Please stop, Greenwire, before we die of laughter.
JunkScience.com readers will remember that last September we reported about Fresno, Calif. U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger excoriating U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service scientists for deception and zealotry with respect to the Delta smelt.
Today Greenwire reports,
An independent panel has cleared two Interior Department scientists of scientific misconduct, more than three months after a federal judge lambasted their testimony on an endangered fish as “false” and “outrageous.”
U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger stopped short of accusing the employees of scientific misconduct in a September ruling, which dealt with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s justification for water pumping cutbacks to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He instead called Jennifer Norris of the Fish and Wildlife Service a “zealot” and Frederick Feyrer of the Bureau of Reclamation “untrustworthy as a witness.”
But an independent panel of scientists — convened by Resolve, a nonpartisan “dispute resolutions” organization — found that neither Norris nor Feyrer violated standard scientific practice. In a recent report obtained by Greenwire, the panel asserts that no further action is needed on the issue. [Emphasis added]
First (we’re saving the best for last), only naive Greenwire readers would think that Resolve is “nonpartisan.” Check out its web site, and you’ll find that Resolve is as green as green gets, though it couches its views and services in banal corporatic bureaucratese.
Next — and you won’t read this in the Greenwire report — the Fish and Wildlife Service commissioned Resolve to do the “independent” review:
The Atkins/RESOLVE team was contracted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to coordinate an external science review of the declarations and testimonies…
Did FWS pay for “exoneration”? You can judge that for yourself.
The closest Greenwire came to this issue was:
The report was commissioned by Interior, which launched the investigation soon after Wanger’s comments.
While FWS is part of the Department of Interior, Greenwire’s statement is clearly wrong (based on the Resolve admission) and can easily be construed as an effort to draw readers’ attention away from the FWS’ involvement.