"Climate change" and "Kyoto" deemed no, no's for government scientists

Mon, 2006-12-11 10:08Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

"Climate change" and "Kyoto" deemed no, no's for government scientists

Colorado's Rocky Mountain News adds two more bits to the government muzzling of climate change science file today. Pieter Tans, a senior scientist at NOAA's lab in Boulder says that he was banned from using the word “Kyoto” four years ago and more recently banned from talking about “climate change” at a carbon dioxide measurement conference. 

Previous Comments

—– Original Message —–
From “Daniel Luna”
Date Tue, 27 Jan 2004 18:13:17 +0000
To Pat Neuman
Subject Re: Next newsletter

Pat,

As I promised from our previous discussion in the conference room.

Do not do any research on government time concerning,
” 2. A new article that I would like to do on how urban heat island (UHI)influences temperature measurements in urban-suburban airport stations. I would use monthly and annual station averages of daily max and min temperatures for both urban-suburban airport stations and non urban NWS cooperative climate stations… within or near the NCRFC area.”

Do not submit your paper and results from Nevada to Bob Wavrin at this time for inclusion to the NCRFC Newsletter. That subject is too sensitive at this point in time for yourself, NCRFC, and the NWS.

As far as the GODE at the Mall of America. Do not present the results from your paper at the GODE. The WFO wants to get the word out to the public as to what we do and who we are, not to present scientific research of any type. That is not the proper audience.

I do not feel research concerning climate change or “global warming” is the best use of your time as a NCRFC employee and in my opinion this research is more conducive to the meteorology side of our agency.. Let’s focus on tasks that need to be done in support of the NCRFC AOP and our mission, which is forecasting and calibration of basins.

Thanks Pat.
danl

Pat Neuman wrote:

> Bob,
>
> I proposed to write an article for the NCRFC newsletter last spring about changes over time in dewpoints, and potential effects of changes in dewpoints on snowmelt runoff in the NCRFC area.
>
> In later conversations with you and Dan Luna about my proposal last spring, it became clear to me that my proposal at that time was unacceptible.
>
> As a result, I explored other ways I could do the study, because I felt the effort would be meaningful to the NCRFC mission. Eventually I wrote an article on dewpoints and snowmelt runoff, which I used in a poster presentation at the 28th Annual NWS CPC workshop (October, 2003 in Reno, Nevada).
>
> Today I have two proposals.
>
> 1. A summary of my October, 2003 article (including figures), which I used at the NWS CPC Workshop.
>
> 2. A new article that I would like to do on how urban heat
island (UHI) influences temperature measurements in urban-suburban airport stations. I would use monthly and annual station averages of daily max and min temperatures for both urban-suburban airport stations and non urban NWS cooperative climate stations… within or near the NCRFC area.
>
> My first choice of the two proposals indicated above is to do an article on UHI. I think knowing more about the magnitude of UHI would help in NCRFC calibrations and operational forecasting.
>
> Pat
>
> —– Original Message —–
> From: “Robert Wavrin”
> Date: Thursday, January 15, 2004 11:17 am
> Subject: Next newsletter
>
> > It’s time for me to get started on the next newsletter. If
> > anyone has a suggestion for an article please let me know.
> >
> > I will be coming around to people to ask that they write a
> > “feature” article for me. Everyone will get a chance to
> > write one these, so if you aren’t chosen this time you
> > will be asked for a future issue.
> >
> > Bob
> >

Bob’s message that Everyone will get a chance to write one of these (above) was incorrect for me, but I was removed from federal service on July 15, 2005. [See my explanation in comments to desmogblog on “US Publishers finding “Heat” Too Hot, 8 Dec 06]

I submitted an official claim to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Disclosure Unit on July 12 and 14, 2000, which initiated a review of NOAA NWS from Aug of 2000 to mid-Jan of 2001 by OSC

I received a reply from OSC on Jan 16, 2001 (text of letter shown below).

In Jan of 2006, I learned that the mission statement for NASA included “to understand and protect our home planet”.

I then reviewed the Jan 16, 2001 letter from OSC, and saw that the letter included a statement: “Should you wish to pursue this matter further, you may contact the Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General.” …

Thus, I sent the Jan 31, 2006 letter (copy below) to the Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General, saying: … “I request that the matters described at the beginning of this letter be pursued further.”

I did not receive a reply from DOC IG to my Jan 31, 2006 letter.

I contacted Sen. Mark Dayton’s office in March 2006, requesting the Minnesota senator to follow up on my request. I was informed by Sen. Dayton’s office (by phone in April 2006) that the DOC IG did not receive my letter. I responded by phone to Jill Oesterreich (Sen Dayton’s office assistant) to hold off pursuing the matter at that time, for personal reasons.

On Sep 20, 2006 I forwarded a copy of the lost Jan 31, 2006 letter to Sen. Dayton’s office and asked that they follow through with the request I made in the Jan 31, 2006 letter to the DOC IG.

Pat

———- Forwarded Message ———-
From : “npat1”
To : jill_oesterreich@dayton.senate.gov
Subj: Copy of Jan 31, 2006 letter to DOC Office of Inspector General
Date : Wed, Sep 20, 2006 04:10 PM

Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General
14 th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 482-5197

January 31, 2006

Subject: Re: OSC File No. DI-00-2100

I received a letter (same subject) dated January 16, 2001 from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Washington, D. C. In the letter, OSC Attorney Tracy L. Biggs stated:

… “You alleged a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety and gross mismanagement by officials at the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS), North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC), Chanhassen, Minnesota”.

… “Specifically, you allege that NWS is not handling the issue of global warming in a way that best serves the interest of the public”.

“The study of global warming is an important scientific area that has generated conflicting opinions and research. Based on the information provided, NOAA is well aware of this issue and supports research into global warming as well as other areas of climate research. …

… “Therefore, we can take no further action regarding your
allegations.”

“Should you wish to pursue this matter further, you may contact the Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General.” …

I learned recently that the mission statement for NASA includes “to understand and protect our home planet”. In knowing that, I believe that my concerns about hydrologic climate change in the Upper Midwest and about global warming, which were identified in OSC File No. DI-00-2100, need to be discussed with scientists in NASA in order to gain a full understanding of the state of the science in Dec 2000, Jan 2001; and currently.

For that reason, I request that the matters described at the beginning of this letter be pursued further.

Sincerely,

Patrick J. Neuman
740 Chippewa Circle
Chanhassen, MN 55317
home phone: 952 906 2824 : home email address: npat1@juno.com

=======================

U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036-4505

January 16, 2001

Mr. Patrick Neuman
740 Chippewa Circle
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Re: PSC File No. DI-00-2100

Dear Mr. Neuman

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has completed its review of the information you referred to the Disclosure Unit. You alleged a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety and gross mismanagement by officials at the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS), North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC), Chanhassen, Minnesota.

OSC is authorized by law to refer protected disclosures to the
involved agency for an investigation and report. Disclosures OSC may refer for investigation must include information that establishes a substantial likelihood of law, rule, or regulation, or gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

Specifically, you allege that the NWS is not handling the issue of global warming in a way that best serves the interest of the public. You believe that NWS does not communicate the urgency of the problem and the potential dangers of global warming to the public. In particular, you contend that given NOAA’s February press release on the possible acceleration of global warming, it is important and appropriate for you to
incorporate its effects into your work at NWS.

For the past twenty years, you have been responsible for the
preparation of the Upper Midwest Spring Snowmelt Flood Outlooks. You informed this office that you believe the study of global warming and its implication for climate model development, calibration of river basins, spring flood outlooks, and NWS products provided to the public, is essential to your position as Senior Hydrologist. Thus, you included
information about global warming and its attendant effects in your outlook for this year’s spring flooding and have requested that the issue be addressed more broadly by the agency.

Your supervisors disagree with you about the extent to which global warming should be a part of your forecasting and other job responsibilities. As a result, the language regarding global warming was deleted from your spring flood outlook. You believe that the failure of the agency to integrate fully global warming information into its mission constitutes a danger to public health and safety.

At the outset, we must emphasize that the Special Counsel lacks the authority to review the mission of an agency and determine whether the mission should be changed. OSC cannot enter into a policy debate regarding the scientific research on global warming and what NWS’ response should be to that issue. Our focus, instead, is limited to whether your disclosures regarding the NWS’ actions fall within our statutory criteria.

The study of global warming is an important scientific area that has generated conflicting opinions and research. Based on the information provided, NOAA is well aware of this issue and supports research into global warming as well as other areas of climate research. How and when a federal agency, such as NWS, incorporates new scientific information into its mission is a matter of agency policy and discretion. In contrast, OSC’s focus is on working conditions and or incidents at federal
facilities that result in an imminent threat to the federal workforce or the public. Because of OSC’s narrow statutory focus, we do not believe that the issues of global warming, unresolved as they are, fall within our criteria for a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. For
this reason, we cannot take any further action on this matter.

We also reviewed your allegations as possible gross mismanagement. The Merit Systems Protection Board (the Board) has set a high threshold for the kinds of allegations of mismanagement that constitute “gross mismanagement.” It has held that “gross mismanagement” is a “management action or inaction which creates a substantial risk of Significant adverse impact upon the agency’s ability to accomplish
it mission.” Nafus v. Army, 57 M.S.P.R. 386, 395 (1993).

The allegations in this case appear to involve managerial decisions that you believe are unreasonable and not in the public interest. In order for the OSC to refer such allegations to the agency head for investigation, we soul have to find that the information that you reasonably believe evidences gross mismanagement also meets the definition established by the Board. OSC must base its determination on several factors, including but not limited to, whether or not the information disclosed has a serious, negative impact on the mission of
the agency.

In this case, we cannot make such a finding, because the allegations do not meet the high threshold set by the Board for gross mismanagement. Rather, this situation appears to be a disagreement between you and the agency over whether or not to incorporate global warming into NWS’ mission and what portion of your professional duties should involve global warming activities. Further, we cannot say that NWS’ decision to
base its forecasting on historical data is gross mismanagement.
Rather, the basis for NWS’ methodology, the manner in which the agency changes its methodology and models of forecasting, and when that change occurs are all matters of agency discretion.

Based upon the information before us, we have concluded there is insufficient evidence that management’s actions created an adverse impact upon the agency’s ability to accomplish its mission. Your disagreements with management over what NWS’ role is with respect to global warming constitute a debate over policy and scientific research, rather than gross mismanagement as defined by the Board. Therefore, we can take no further action regarding your allegations.

Should you wish to pursue this matter further, you may contact the Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230; telephone number (202) 482-2495; hotline (800) 482 5197.

You have also alleged that you have been subjected to prohibited personnel practices at NWS including suspension and the denial of sick leave. Those allegations are being reviewed by OSC’s Complaints Examining Unit and you will be contacted about them separately. For your future reference, the reference number is OSC File No. MA-00-2138.

Accordingly, we are closing our file on this matter. As required by law, we are returning a copy of your correspondence to you. 5 U.S.C. $ 1212(g)(3). Should you wish to discuss this matter, please contact me at (202) 653-6005.

Sincerely,
Tracy L. Biggs
Attorney
LMD:CAM:TLB/tlb Enclosure

I think Jim Erickson has done another great article dealing with climate change and global warming. I read an article he did a few years ago and I thought that one was great too.

In his Dec 11, 2006 Rocky Mountain News article, I especially liked this comment by Pieter Tans:

“If we as scientists neglect, systematically neglect, to mention in public that there is a link between our emissions and potential climate change, I think we are really depriving the public of essential information,” Tans said.

“I am a public servant,” he said. “I have to say it. If not, I am irresponsible.”

NOAA’s NWS does indeed - systematically neglect - to mention in public that the rate of U.S. temperature change by decade has been increasing by about 1.0 Deg. F (beginning in 1976) as shown by their map of temperature change which I found via The Weather Channel blog, link below.

http://image.weather.com/web/multimedia/images/blog/winter_trend_map.gif

The map is a very important piece of information related to climate change and global warming but it is not easily found, visible or understood by the public.

It shows that warming in the U.S. is greatest in the higher latitude and higher elevation areas - a very important global warming signature which warrants public explanation.

NWS has the raw temperature data and has even displayed the trends but it has not made the information readily available for public use or understanding and it shows that climate change and global warming are happening. NWS has claimed that investigating if climate change and global warming are happening is not part of their job duties - or that climate change is too controversial or too political for NWS to comment on. But it is a NWS responsibility to show the public that this is happening and it is NWS responsibility to at least try to begin to account for climate change in their daily operational forecasting methods used to predict weather (overnight lows) and hydrology (floods and droughts). To ignore those responsibilities is a great disservice to the public and to the world.

As shown on the NWS map the temperature trends are warming at about 1.0 Deg F per decade 1976-2005 in Upper Midwest, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.

Also note that in the article The Weather Channel’s Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro it says:

“–However, no two El Nino winters are exactly the same, as El Nino is never the only climate factor at play. There are a myriad of influences, including the acronyms that meteorologists and climatologists like to use (NAO, PNA, MJO) as well as global warming, which is resulting in a clear and significant trend toward warmer winters in the U.S.”

http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11293.html?from=blog_permalink_mainindex&ref=/blog/weather/

December 8, 2006
Stu Ostro
EL NINO! PART DEUX
Stu Ostro, Senior Meteorologist

http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11293.html?
from=blog_permalink_mainindex&ref=/blog/weather/
—————

The NWS created map of temperature trends for the U.S. by decade is also at: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/patneuman2000/album/576460762343892443

The moment when the unusually powerful hurricane ‘Katrina’ hit New Orleans in the summer of 2005, people insisted on being informed and on understanding the phenomenon. Let’s assume that winter temperatures turn suddenly to Ice Age conditions (not experienced for more than one hundred years), but no one talks about this because there is a war going on.

That was the case during the winter of 1939/40, when, in several locations in Northern Europe, average temperatures were more degrees lower than during the previous century, and the WWII war machinery cooled down the earth for four decades. If this investigation succeeds in proving that two major wars changed the course of the climate twice in the last century, it will also prove that shipping, fishing, off-shore drilling, and other ocean uses had constantly contributed to the global warming since the start of industrialization, more than 150 years ago.

A new chapter on the climate change issue could be now opened, giving more attention to oceanic phenomena under the influence of the potential of the “1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” . All research would lead to a better understanding and protection of the stability of our short-term weather and long-term global climate. I hope the report will focus on all the aspects and that it will solve something.

——– Original Message ——– Subject: Re: Kyoto Agreement, The
Administration and recent news
Resent-From: cr.climate@…
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:56:04 -0600
From: Doug Kluck
To: _NWS CR Climate , _NWS CR SOO
, _NWS CR MIC/HIC , Mike Looney

References: <42136E64.590A4785@…>

All,

Last week I sent the message below this one and promised a contact at HQ for our questions concerning global warming etc… I received the names of a couple of people. This is not the final word but a stop gap for the moment. Below is the guidance I received:

“In the mean time, if there are questions that require immediate answers, contact Kent Laborde (the climate lead in Public Affairs - 202-482-5757). But keep in mind that these folks are in the Public Affairs Office downtown and most likely will not be able to answer technical or science-related questions.

I would also ask the Regions to accumulate specific topics that the field offices are receiving with respect to Climate Change and send to me as soon as possible. That way we can make sure these items are specifically addressed in the referral tool.”

Doug

Doug Kluck wrote:

All,
This story came out today on the Kyoto Agreement. It contains general information:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
tmpl=story&cid=514&e=12&u=/ap/20050216/ap_on_re_as/kyoto_protocol_16

************************************************************************
***************************************
I also received this from HQ for dissemination for interested parties.

As many of you know, the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect this week for participating countries.

Please find attached a set of talking points that describes in detail the Administration’s position, as well as the various programs the Administration is implementing to address climate change. Our approach contains a wide variety of domestic and international programs. Please feel free to direct people to the White House Fact Sheet on Global Climate Change located
at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/09/20030930-11.html.

Note that the FY05 budget numbers in the points and fact sheet
obviously do not reflect the current FY06 request. The FY06 climate change crosscut is not yet available, but the FY06 request includes approximately $1.9 billion for the Climate Change Science Program across 13 agencies. The Budget continues to support the goals outlined in the Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan, released in July 2003.

General Talking Points on Kyoto:

Ø The basic arguments against U.S. ratification of the Kyoto Protocol (“Kyoto”) are widely shared, and reflected in the 95–0 vote on the 1997 Senate resolution opposing the approach of the Kyoto framework.

Ø The treaty did not require emissions cuts by the world’s developing countries, a number of which will experience rapid growth in coming decades, accompanied by exponentially growing greenhouse emissions – including China, India, Mexico, South Korea, Indonesia and Brazil.

Ø With lower energy efficiency and productivity rates in many of these countries, it is likely that global greenhouse gas emissions would actually increase under Kyoto, as would traditional air pollution. Any associated decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would be offset by a corresponding increase in the other countries.

ØImplementation of the Kyoto Protocol in the U.S. would force higher energy costs on hard-working American families and businesses. Analysis by the independent Energy Information Administration indicates that U.S. implementation of Kyoto would have resulted in the loss of as much as $397 billion in
U.S. GDP annually, and up to 4.9 million lost American jobs, of which many would be exported overseas to developing countries with lower environmental standards, damaging U.S. economic competitiveness.

ØThe Bush Administration is actively engaged internationally in a wide variety of partnerships to address global climate change. Once such program is the Methane to Markets Partnership, which currently includes 13 member nations and will reduce global methane emissions to enhance economic growth, promote energy security, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gases.

************************************************************************
****************

This is the official Administration’s position. You will receive a name of a contact, hopefully later today, to direct public inquiry.

Doug ————-

This shows muzzling of a government employee in Jan-Feb of 2000, nearly one year before G.W. Bush got into the White House. The NOAA NWS supervisors who did the muzzling probably voted for G.W. in Nov. of 2000.

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: npat1@juno.com
To: D.James.Baker@noaa.gov
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 18:21:05 -0600
Subject: I request your help
Message-ID: <20000205.182108.-491747.0.npat1@juno.com>

To: Dr. James D. Baker, director of NOAA
From: Patrick J. Neuman, National Weather Service, North
Central River Forecast Center, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Dear Dr. Baker,

I have recently experienced complications at work as a result of my efforts in support of your bold statements on global warming on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.

I made a poster on global warming, and planned to participate in the demonstration of government services at the Mall of America this weekend. On Friday, I was ordered to stop all efforts concerning global warming by my supervisor, Dean Braatz. I called the NWS Central Region personal office and spoke with Pat Jordan who advised me not to participate in the demo even as a private citizen. Today I discovered that my computer at work has been removed and sent to the regional office.

Next week I oversee our initial snowmelt flood outlook, which I have done for the past 21 years. Although the potential for flooding in the Midwest this year is not great, it is still going to be a very difficult task without easy access to my computer and files.

My messages of concern on global warming can be found on several egroup lists on the Internet, primarily on mn-politics-discuss. I have been considering this effort as having importance above all else.

Will you check into this work complication for me and see if I can get my computer back immediately to help in preparing for this week’s flood outlook?

Will you see if I can get explanation on why I was allowed to prepare for the demo at the Mall on global warming then not even allowed to participate in it as a private citizen?

This situation is creating a great deal of stress in my life. Please get back to me as soon as possible. I would be honored to speak with you about it, if you called me.

Sincerely,
Pat Neuman
St. Paul MN
phone: home 651 647 5136 work: 612 361 6664
e-mail npat1@juno.com work: pat.neuman@noaa.gov

this bonus ;)

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