Letter: The “scientist” on BP’s payroll | AspenTimes.com

Letter: The “scientist” on BP’s payroll

The “scientist” on BP’s payroll

Glenn Beaton’s Jan. 4 Aspen Times column on climate change/thinking for yourself (“Fear, loathing and global warming”) was one of his more balanced pieces. I usually read Beaton’s columns because it saves me from watching a week of Faux News. His column is a real public service.

His follow-up rebuttal of Lynn Goldfarb’s response had me backtracking on The Aspen Times website to find out what had been said that caused the bee to fly into his Indiana Jones bonnet. I found Goldfarb’s letter to be as perfectly reasonable as Beaton’s column. Even more so because solutions were offered to solve climate change.

However, I’m not writing to debate climate change. I’d rather ski slush in January.

The source of Beaton’s column was a Wall Street Journal article by a former Obama administration scientist, Steve Koonin. As Beaton recited ad nauseam, this guy has credentials: “He’s President Obama’s former undersecretary for science. He’s also a former professor of theoretical physics and a provost at Cal Tech, and holds a Ph.D. from MIT.” Wow!

The one element of this resume Beaton didn’t mention was that Koonin was British Petroleum’s chief scientist from 2004 until he joined the Obama administration in 2009. I don’t know how Beaton missed that salient point but I think it matters.

This is the day and age of the revolving door between government and industry. It pays off very handsomely for corporations to place executives inside the government to write policy then return to the private sector where they are then remunerated extravagantly to make up for their years in “public service.” You can probably look up any name in the Obama administration and trace the corporate interests behind it.

It can be argued that these people are experts and their presence inside the government is a benefit. It can also be argued that it is the highest form of corruption. Some call it a Corporatocracy. For the record, there is a name for the melding of government and business into one, but it is so distasteful to believe that we live under this form of government that I won’t utter it. However, facts don’t lie.

Speaking of lying, The Wall Street Journal is not a credible source for anything that comes from its opinion page. All you have to know is that it is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has an agenda in all that he does. Despite Beaton’s assertions, you can shoot the messenger if it is full of BS and you know it. All of Murdoch’s media holdings are propaganda machines that would make Pravda envious. Faux News will ruin your IQ by not reporting the salient points as much as “reporting” what passes for news.

Beaton overlooking the BP connection of this scientist is proof that we are just as ignorant of what we don’t know as what we think we do. I don’t believe Beaton is guilty of overlooking important points and not reporting them as Faux News is. While he admonished readers not to “take scientific advice from politicians and celebrities,” it appears that he parroted the WSJ opinion page verbatim because of Koonin’s impressive credentials. Any “scientist” on BP’s payroll is suspect.

As Goldfarb said, “Follow the money.” I’ll take that advice over any media anywhere.

Johnny Boyd

Snowmass Village

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User