Monday, December 10, 2007

Documenting the Atrocities

A just issued report from the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee confirms what we all knew

The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.

In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal “Communications Action Plan” that stated: “Victory will be achieved when … average citizens ‘understand’ uncertainties in climate science … [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’” The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry’s communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy.
Without going into the chapter and verse, there is an indicative paragraph towards the end of the document dealing with how the EPA denied a petition that they regulate CO2 emissions
CEQ (Council on Environmental Quality, a White House Office) and others inserted a comment after the conclusions of the National Academy of Sciences on global warming were included in the draft of the petition denial. In response to National Academy quotes like “the changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities,” the comment read: “the above quotes are unnecessary and extremely harmful to the legal case being made in this document. This is not a survey of the science, but a legal argument.”220 (endnote)
Ken Peel of the CEQ further instructed EPA to “revise all science text in collaboration with DOJ.”214 Science and facts being inconvenient things further instructions noted

The following sentence was in the original text of the draft: “At present, the best scientific information indicates that if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, changes are likely to occur.”218 A comment was inserted after this sentence: “this strong statement does not support EPA’s position.”219
An undated CEQ document amplifies this point. The first line of the document listing CEQ edits to the draft denial of the petition to regulate CO2 states simply: “Vulnerability: science.”221 Later in the document, CEQ notes: “Lead sentence is trouble, as it leans too much on science.”222 Far from being the touchstone for CEQ edits, CEQ apparently saw the science of global warming as an obstacle standing in the way of its desired result: the refusal to regulate motor vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming.


Anonymous said...

“Victory will be achieved when … average citizens ‘understand’ uncertainties in climate science.."

...wink wink...

American Petroleum Jelly Institute understands, all right.

Anonymous said...

I think the major issue that has yet to be addressed is Chris Landsea. It's pretty obvious from the report that he was the goto guy for the White House on generating FUD around hurricanes and climate science.

How could a guy like Landsea be so blind that he didn't notice that he was always getting selected to speak to the press? When you look at his publication record, it certainly doesn't lead one to believe that he is really that prominent.

Mus musculus anonymouse

Hank Roberts said...

as noted elsewhere, of course, there's adaptation:

Anonymous said...

yep Hansen was censored after giving 1400 media interviews

Horatio Algeranon said...


Anonymous said...

The former director of the National Hurricane Center says political pressure did not cause him to change his congressional testimony to downplay the link between global warming and hurricanes — contradicting the findings of a Democratic led investigation released Monday.

"I can truthfully say that no one told me at any time what to say in regard to possible impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones," said Max Mayfield in an e-mail to ABC News.