UCLA Cans Professor James Enstrom for Thought Crimes

Under a hard tyranny, if professional intellectuals fail to toe the official line, they are imprisoned or killed. What happens to them in a soft tyranny? Ask Dr. James Enstrom, a professor at UCLA who has been fired for thought crimes:

Enstrom, an epidemiologist at UCLA’s School of Public Health, … says his studies show no causal link between diesel soot and death in California — findings that … set him far apart from the pack and put him in direct conflict with the California Air Resources Board [CARB], which says its new standards on diesel emissions will save 9,400 lives between 2011 and 2025 and will reduce health care costs by as much as $68 billion in the state.

Sure. Slashing the tires of the trucking industry will save the state $zillions. Truck exhaust makes people keel over by the thousands. Now for reality:

The expected benefits of the new standards have been used to justify their estimated $5.5 billion price tag, which opponents say will cripple the California trucking industry at a time when the state can least afford it. The new standards, the critics warn, also could set the stage for national regulations.

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Enstrom questions the science behind the new emissions standards, and he has raised concerns about the two key reports on which they were based — exposing the author of one study as having faked his credentials and the panel that issued the other study as having violated its term limits.

State bureauweenies are as ham-fistedly repressive as their allies at UCLA:

Robert McClernon, president of the California Dump Truck Owners Association, which opposes the diesel standards, says the officials who support them are “systematically quieting down anybody that’s against what they’re doing,” and that Enstrom was just their latest target.

“We go to the board meetings and Mary Nichols will give someone else 15 minutes to talk and will limit us to three,” McClernon told FoxNews.com, referring to CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols, who is a former UCLA professor. “It’s so one-sided it almost makes you sick to be involved in it, but of course we have to be involved in it because it’s our livelihood.”

McClernon, who owns a dump truck company in Sacramento, said the regulations not only make it too expensive for companies like his to maintain their fleets but also devalue the trucks they currently own, paralyzing their ability to get loans.

One month after coauthoring an op-ed for Forbes.com expressing his concerns with these obviously pernicious regulations, Enstrom got a letter stating that he was getting canned because his “research is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department.”

That academic mission: to help the moonbats running California use faulty science and phony environmentalist posturing to destroy the state’s economy, with the rest of the country soon to follow it down the drain. Out of the ruins will arise a collectivist utopia, in which the inequalities unavoidably associated with freedom will never trouble us again, and enlightened experts will make all our decisions for us. Surely such a glorious end justifies any means.

On tips from G. Fox and Kevin in Auburn. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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