Friday, June 10, 2005

Scott McClellan responds to editing of climate change report

In a press briefing earlier this week White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan answered questions regarding the editing of climate reports by a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute with no scientific background. McClellan responded that this was a normal part of the review process and that the administration's 10 year plan for climate science, one of the reports cited as having been edited, was "widely praised" by the National Academey of Sciences.

While I do not doubt that having former oil industry global warming skeptics alter scientific reports in such a way as to to downplay the findings of climate science is part of this administration's "normal" review process, I must take issue with the claim that NAS "widely praised" the administration's 10 year plan for climate science. That statement is less than wholey truthful, as science/politics journalist Chris Mooney points out on his blog, the NAS found that:
Involving high-level political leaders in CCSP management helps to provide the program with resources that it requires, but also allows the possibility that the program’s priorities or scientific results could be influenced by political considerations. Either the reality or perception of such influences could discredit the program unless independent evaluations of the program and its products are conducted on a regular basis....Whatever mechanism is chosen, the committee believes that independent program oversight will be essential to maintaining the long-term credibility of the CCSP.
Further analysis of McClellan's reponse by Mooney can be found here.

Mooney also provides a summary and link to the climate science whistleblower complaint released by Rick Piltz detailing the systematic manipulation of climate science by this administration.

Here is a link to the front page of Mooney's blog (which has several more posts about the editing of science reports.) Also on the site are links to articles previously written (on various science related issues) by Mooney.

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