Pollution

UCLA Professor Sues for Firing over Diesel Pollution Study Whistleblowing

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Dr. James Enstrom

A California epidemiologist who lost his job with UCLA not long after challenging the science behind claims that diesel pollution was responsible for 2,000 deaths a year in the state is suing to get his job back.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) announced today it had filed suit Wednesday in Los Angeles against UCLA officials for violating Dr. James Enstrom's constitutional rights:

"The facts of this case are astounding," said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. "UCLA terminated a professor after 35 years of service simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda that was not only based in fraud but violated California law for the sake of imposing expensive new environmental regulations on California businesses.  UCLA's actions were so extreme that its own Academic Freedom Committee unanimously expressed its concern about the case."

Dr. Enstrom, a research professor in UCLA's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, published important peer-reviewed research demonstrating that fine particulate matter does not kill Californians.  Also, Dr. Enstrom assembled detailed evidence that contends powerful UC professors and others have systematically exaggerated the adverse health effects of diesel particulate matter in California, knowing full well that these exaggerations would be used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations in California.  In addition, the complaint argues that he exposed the fact that the lead author of the key CARB Report used to justify the diesel regulations did not have the UC Davis Ph.D. degree that he claimed.  Instead, according to the suit, this "scientist" bought a fake Ph.D. for $1,000 from a fictional "Thornhill University."

Finally, Dr. Enstrom discovered that several activist members of the CARB Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants have exceeded the legislatively mandated three-year term limits by decades. The suit contends that shortly after Dr. Enstrom revealed this systematic wrongdoing, UCLA not only issued a notice of termination, it denied him any compensation for his work by systematically and wrongfully looting his research fund accounts.  Dr. Enstrom worked for more than a year without pay as he in good faith appealed his wrongful termination using UCLA procedures.  Ironically enough, the fake "scientist" was only suspended for his misconduct while Dr. Enstrom was terminated for telling the truth.

The legally inclined can read the lawsuit here [pdf].

Reason.tv interviewed Dr. Enstrom in 2011 and detailed the controversy, as well as the economic disaster California truckers face in the wake of CARB's diesel guidelines.

 

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization waded into the subject matter, releasing a study declaring diesel fumes a carcinogen akin to second-hand smoke, so it's possible truckers in other states (or countries) may soon be fighting this fight as well.

Hat tip to Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for the Twitter tip. FIRE has been heavily involved in both covering and assisting Enstrom's fight.

UPDATE: UCLA has posted their response here.

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  1. Also, Dr. Enstrom assembled detailed evidence that contends powerful UC professors and others have systematically exaggerated the adverse health effects of diesel particulate matter in California, knowing full well that these exaggerations would be used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations in California.

    Well, duh. If you want to control something, all you need to do is pay some “scientists” to come up with the conclusion that you need to justify the regulations.

    Al Gore set the blueprint. It works very well.

    Oh, and consensus!

    1. Oh, I think this sort of thing began well before Al Gore ascended to the CAGW throne.

      1. ascended to the CAGW throne

        Some cheap competitor to the Iron Throne?

  2. Those damned science hating fundies and nihilist libertarians at UCLA.

    1. Progressive: It isn’t corrupting science with politics when we do it.

  3. This is just an isolated incident. Such censorship could never happen in other areas where the left has a dog in the fight. Don’t even think about thinking this might mean climate science is a fraud, you wingnuts.

  4. I’ll have you know, my PHD in Phrenology from Thornhill U. has gotten me laid a number of times.

    GO THORNIES!

    1. Zero is a number.

      1. Brett L|6.14.12 @ 2:16PM|#

        Zero is a number.

        But it’s not Natural.
        /according to my definition

    2. Hey baby wanna measure my coconut?

      1. It’s all about the lumbs, Sugar!

  5. Why do the Watermelons in CA hate diesels while Euro commie / greens love them?

    They get better mileage and emit less evil CO2. I’m confused.

    1. They emit soot. Soot is dirty. Dirty is bad.
      Because dirty is bad, it must be bad for you.
      I mean, it must be harmful because it must be harmful.
      It’s dirty.
      And bad.

      See?

      1. Well, I mean sure. 30 years ago before we started using crude oil as our primary source of elemental sulfur, a good portion of it went with the diesel. This led to ACID RANEZ! Now I believe there is essentially no particulate or sulfur in petroleum diesel.

        1. Yes, ultra low sulfur diesel went from 500PPM to 15PPM. Certain types of engines/uses are not required to purchase it yet, but will in the next couple of years.

          http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/…../index.htm

    2. Gotta hate something. Right?

    3. Because they’re not High Speed Trains.

    4. Why do the Watermelons in CA hate diesels while Euro commie / greens love them?

      SPLITTERS!!!!!

    5. I’ll take a crack at this. Here in the U.S., diesel is primarily associated with businesses and redneck pickup truck drivers. Do I even need to go on?

  6. It’s hilarious watching the envirocultist house of cards starting to crumble. I fucking love it.

  7. Bah, this has been going on for years. for a long time CARB was being heavily lobbied by CNG bus manufacturers to condemn diesel. Maybe these folks didn’t get the memo that Natural gas is bad now too.

    The first time I went to the ARB building in Sacramento, I was shocked by it’s brutal architecture. Someone told me it was to resist car bombs. This was back in the 90’s before anyone worried about such things. They do plan ahead.

  8. You know that report Methodology for Estimating Premature Deaths Associated with Long-term Exposure to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California? Well, the project coordinator and lead author is a guy with questionable professional ethics.

    And you know all those ARB regs based on his report’s findings?

    I’m not saying his research is bullshit. Just that it has no credibility. That’s all.

  9. UCLA terminated a professor after 35 years of service simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda that was not only based in fraud but violated California law for the sake of imposing expensive new environmental regulations on California businesses.

    Heretic! Denier! Witch! /eco-mentalists

  10. Isolated incident?

    Nothing else happened?

    Stop resisting?

    1. Maybe they’ll give his dog lung-cancer?

    2. Consensus.

  11. For UCLA’s response, please click here:
    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/porta…..35208.aspx

    1. I added an update with a link to the response in the piece.

    2. That response is wonderful. “Proceedures were followed”. Which proves that they support academic freedom. Genius.

  12. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization waded into the subject matter, releasing a study declaring diesel fumes a carcinogen akin to second-hand smoke,

    See? Even the WHO admits it’s bullshit. They compared it to second-hand smoke, which their own report (title nonwithstanding) found no link to cancer.

    1. 2nd hand smoke can be dangerous for kids if exposed to it in the home often.

      I also would not run a diesel engine inside the home and expose children to it.

      1. 2nd hand smoke can be dangerous for kids if exposed to it in the home often.

        Citation needed. Despite desperately wanting it to be true, the WHO report showed nothing of the sort. Got another one?

  13. I do not understand these comments. Here in Europe it is an established fact that diesel fumes are dangerous and that people get sick and some actually die if exposed to these fumes, especially in the cities. People with asthma, COPD, heart conditions or are just old and weak are especially in the danger zone. The diesel cars and trucks are spewing out CO2, NOx, NO2 and PM10. They are all very toxic. I lived in the US for ten years and it is my impression that Americans do not care too much about the environment, despite the fact that you are the worst polluter in the world beside China.

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