Obama’s new Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told her staff something that no one would actually be surprised to know, but that is a little surprising for an Interior Secretary to actually announce publicly — on the question of global warming, skepticism with respect to her views is not welcome. Of course, Jewell didn’t use the respectful term “skeptic” when referring to those who might disagree with her views. Instead she used the pejorative “denier.” Addressing her staff, she proclaimed that “I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior.” She also told them that combating global warming is a “moral imperative” and added that it was a “privilege.” Of course, when a goal is a “moral imperative,” there can be no room for disagreement, and if there’s no disagreement, there’s no science.

Personally, I find the secretary’s honesty refreshing. She doesn’t even pretend to honor scientific openness or objectivity with respect to considering the economic costs and benefits of alternative policies. It’s about morality, much like fighting the Nazis or communism during the Cold War. Marlo Lewis writing on GlobalWarming.org assesses the situation as follows:

Only a few months on the job and Jewell already behaves like a self-righteous bully. A good swift dose of congressional oversight is in order. It might just keep the thought police from harassing climate dissenters at DOI.