Emails from Miami University of Ohio and Florida State University reportedly expose the Sierra Club’s role in environmental studies within academia. One Miami of Ohio researcher commented on a partnership with the leftist environmental activism organization, writing, “I have actually said to the Sierra Club that now that I have worked with them, I need to be very careful in my science… because it will be perceived as biased.”
A series of communications between environmental activists from the Sierra Club and staff at Miami University of Ohio and Florida State University are raising concerns of potential bias in environmental research, according to emails obtained by the Scioto Post.
The emails have led to allegations of a potential anti-agriculture bias in environmental research conducted by U.S. institutions, calling into question the integrity and objectivity of academic studies, as well as how they impact Ohio’s agriculture industry.
Demonstrators from Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace, protest against financing of coal projects (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
A tractor with a sign reading “…but without farming there is no planet A” (INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
“The issue that we are thinking about is, who could we try to partner with that would support making air quality measurements in the EAA while not raising concerns about bias or perceived bias?” Christopher Holmes from Florida State University wrote in an email obtained by the Scioto Post.
Dr. Jessica McCarty from Miami University reportedly responded to the email by openly acknowledging the issue of bias, writing, “The bias issue is real, and I have some ideas on that.”
“I have actually said to the Sierra Club that now that I have worked with them, I need to be very careful in my science… because it will be perceived as biased,” McCarty added.
McCarty’s admission is particularly unsettling, given that Ohio relies on agriculture as a key economic driver, and the Sierra Club’s involvement in academic research has resulted in debates around environmental policies, and have significant implications for agricultural workers.
“Biased research may result in policies that fail to address the unique challenges these communities face, potentially exacerbating existing inequalities in the agricultural sector,” Scioto Post noted.
“Agriculture ranks as the top contributor to Ohio’s economy, with over 74,500 farms and accounting for one out of every seven jobs in Ohio. This sector provides opportunities and security for numerous states and communities across the country,” the report added.
The emails between the Sierra Club and university staff highlight the need for a rigorous evaluation of influences that may have a negative impact on the objectivity, methodology, and overall credibility of scientific studies conducted at U.S. academic institutions.
Read more at the Scioto Post here.