Environmental scientists, concerned by recent steps taken by the new administration, have been scrambling to archive federal climate data. Fearing potential censorship, groups have been rushing to save data that has been collected for years. University of Wyoming’s Professor of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Jeffrey Lockwood, has just released a powerful study of corporate and political climate science censorship, offering several examples of scientific and artistic suppression that have occurred in Wyoming. His book, Behind the Carbon Curtain: The Energy Industry, Political Censorship and Free Speech serves as a grim warning about the direction our nation may be headed if we aren’t more cognizant of this important issue.
It turns out that Wyoming, because we are so small and so clearly dominated by a major industry, is an excellent and fertile ground for researching this issue. Lockwood does not pull punches, nor does he position corporations as universal bad actors or the exclusive censors of scholars and artists—self-censorship is explored in great detail as well. I highly recommend this book as it is an excellent introduction to the very urgent conversation Wyoming must have about our future. To get a sense of Jeff’s very fair and balanced arguments, you can read a review that was just published in Science magazine, and you can also watch his interview on Wyoming Chronicle airing this weekend (May 5, 6, 7) on Wyoming PBS.