Warming data manipulated

The White House manipulating data for political and financial gain? Say it ain't so, Jo-jo.

The Republican War on Science
“The Republican War on Science” (Chris Mooney)

William Neikirk - Warming data allegedly manipulated As a United Nations panel readied an update on global warming this week, charges erupted in Congress on Tuesday over alleged White House political manipulation of scientific climate-change research.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said at a hearing that evidence indicated Bush administration officials had tried to “mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming.”

Two advocacy groups released a survey to the panel in which a number of government climate scientists said either that their research had been edited to change the meaning or that they were told to delete references to “global warming” or “climate change” from reports.

White House officials did not appear before the committee, but President Bush in his State of the Union Address last week referred to “global climate change” and said technology should be used to address the problem. The White House has conceded in the past that changes had been made in some reports to achieve “balance” in the debate.

To many observers, Bush's mere mention of the subject indicated that the White House has softened its stance on the climate-change issue, although the president remains opposed to capping carbon dioxide emissions, a step many scientists believe is necessary.

yeah, if these (un-named) observers are idiots. Bush doesn't want to tackle an issue so closely monitored by his oil-industry cronies - he just wants to mouth words to enable his administration to run out the clock till 2008 while avoiding doing anything to alter energy company profits.

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Waxman reported that he and the ranking Republican on the panel, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, had unsuccessfully sought documents from the White House on climate-change policy.

He said this effort was based on published reports last year that a Bush aide, Phil Cooney, a former lobbyist for the oil industry who at the time headed the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, had “imposed his own views on the reports scientists had submitted to the White House.” Waxman called it an “orchestrated campaign to mislead the public about climate change.”

But Davis said that while he does not deny that global warming is a problem, he is concerned that such allegations of political interference show that “politicizing science has itself become politicized.”

A University of Colorado political scientist, Roger Pielke, told the committee that it was a “myth” that politics and science could be separated. He said scientists often join interest groups that agree with their point of view.

The two advocacy groups, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Government Accountability Project, conducted investigations and produced a joint report titled “Atmosphere of Pressure: Political Interference in Federal Climate Science.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a frequent government critic, mailed a questionnaire to more than 1,600 climate scientists at seven federal agencies. Of the 279 respondents, the survey said, 43 percent “perceived or personally experienced changes or edits” to their research that “changed the meaning of scientific findings.”

Forty-six percent “perceived or personally experienced pressure” to eliminate “climate change” or global warming from their communications, the report said.

The Government Accountability Project, which calls itself the nation's largest whistle-blower-protection organization, reported that government scientists it interviewed complained of difficulty in releasing official news releases on their research. One unnamed agency scientist who had done research indicating a connection between global warming and devastating hurricanes “was repeatedly barred from speaking to the media,” the report said.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 31, 2007 1:41 PM.

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