There's an aspect of Jim Hansen’s piece on global warming in the New York Review of Books that I missed. The intro says:

Jim Hansen is Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. His opinions are expressed here, he writes, “as personal views under the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

I failed to grasp the import of that final sentence. Accountability Bloke set me straight.

[Hansen] is definitely crossing a line with the Bush Administration which has been attempting to apply its strategic control of information emerging from federal government offices to science agencies. Agencies such as Goddard have traditionally allowed its experts to operate with the relative freedom of their academic colleagues when it comes to presenting and publishing their research, but under the Bush Administration the clearances and filtering processes have been tightened to make certain that anything emerging from these agencies was consistent with Administration policy positions. In this case, Hansen circumvents those filters and clearances by declaring that the opinions expressed in this review are offered "as personal views under the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."

It is a shame Hansen had to do that, but I am glad he did.

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