Federal Scientists Accuse Bush of Climate Science Censorship

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Federal Scientists Accuse Bush of Climate Science Censorship

Postby Wilberforce » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:36 am

Federal Scientists Accuse Bush of Climate Science Censorship
From Larry West, Your Guide to Environmental Issues.

Reports Show White House Censored Scientific Research on Global Warming
Dear EarthTalk: How is it that the Bush Administration is said to have "censored" climate scientists?
-- Anna Edelman, Seattle, WA

Word of the White House censoring federal climate scientists on global warming began leaking out to the press
early in George W. Bush’s first term in office, but only in the last few years have a few federal employees
themselves been willing to go on record with such accusations.

Federal Employees Report Climate Science Censorship
A report titled "Investigation Reveals Widespread Suppression of Federal Climate Research," released last
January by two leading nonprofits, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Government Accountability
Project (GAP), found that nearly half of 279 federal climate scientists who responded to a survey reported being
pressured to delete references to "global warming" or "climate change" from scientific papers or reports, while
many said they were prevented from talking to the media or had their work on the topic edited.

"The new evidence shows that political interference in climate science is no longer a series of isolated incidents
but a system-wide epidemic," says UCS’s Francesca Grifo. "Tailoring scientific fact for political purposes has
become a problem across many federal science agencies."

The issue first bubbled to the surface when Rick Piltz, who worked for a decade coordinating federal research
on global warming as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program - first under President Clinton and then
Bush - quit in mid-2005 alleging that his superiors were misusing and abusing the scientific information he was

Piltz told reporters that Phil Cooney, an official with the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
who worked for an oil industry trade group before coming to the White House, had been editing and altering
documents published by the program. “The changes created a greater sense of scientific uncertainty about
observed climate change and potential climate change,” said Piltz. Soon after Piltz’s accusations became
known, Cooney left CEQ to work for ExxonMobil, which has itself been accused of publicly misrepresenting
the science of global warming.

NASA Joins the Fray Over Climate Science Censorship
Just when the brouhaha stirred up by Piltz appeared to be dying down, National Aeronautic and Space
Administration (NASA) climate scientist James Hansen, who has been sounding alarms about global warming
since the 1980s, rekindled the debate by telling reporters that NASA public affairs staff, under pressure from
the Bush administration, were trying to censor his lectures, papers and website postings and keep him away
from journalists. In response, NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin vowed to support "scientific openness"
on climate and other topics.

But openness is only a first step. Says Piltz: "Even if we succeed in lifting this heavy hand of censorship, there
is still the problem of getting the political leadership to embrace the findings put forward by the scientists."

http://environment.about.com/od/environ ... p_clim.htm


Tell your senators to strengthen a landmark global warming bill
Scientists agree that unless we act soon to significantly reduce global warming pollution, average temperatures
will continue to rise, causing more heat waves, air pollution, droughts and wildfires, heavier rains and flooding,
rising sea levels, melting tundra and widespread loss of wildlife habitat. Urge your senators to co-sponsor and
strengthen legislation that would cut global warming emissions.

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