Science Committee Slams Industry-funded climate science attack

Ah, a breath of fresh air on Capitol Hill today. Was it the spring air? Nope, it was a Congressional Subcommittee hearing today questioning industry efforts within science agencies, like NASA, NOAA and the EPA, to control federal scientists and confuse the public around the science of global warming. Check here for the RealPlayer webcast.

Choice quotes from Subcommitee Chairman Brad Miller:

“According to the New York Times, opponents of the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 began recruiting scientists who believed, or at least would say, that evidence of global warming was insubstantial and evidence that greenhouse gas emissions was the cause of global warming was especially dubious. Peer-reviewed studies by climate scientists were almost unanimous in finding that global warming was real and that greenhouse gas emissions were a measured part of it. But in the popular press the question was treated as controversial amongst scientists.”

“The [global warming] sceptics were in the indirect employ of the oil and gas industry and that obvious conflict of interest was rarely disclosed [in the popular press]. Few paid sceptics did any original research and many were not even trained in the fields in which they claimed expertise, and most simply specialized in attacking as junk science the careful legitimate research that was published in journals and tested by rigorous peer-review.”

“We need to rely on sound, dispassionate research to inform our decisions.”

Then we hear from Republican member Dana Rohrabacher who aks that we refer to his website for a list of “hundreds of prominent scientists from major universities who are not part of this so-called consensus.” Looking at Rohrabacher's website under the global warming section you will find the who's who of the global warming denial movement and the list of “prominent scientists” he refers to is none other than the laughable Oregon Institute Petition Project operated by Arthur Robinson.

Check here for the entire story of Robinson and the Oregon Petition.

Also listed as sources on global warming expertise on Rohrabacher's site are The Friends of Science, the George C Marshall Institute, the Cato Institute and the Science and Envionmental Policy Project, whose Chair, Fred Seitz, is the former chief medical advisor for tobacco giant RJ reynolds.


Maybe it's because I'm Canadian, but I was somewhat shocked to see even a GOP congressman with sources like that on his government sponsored website.

Why wouldn't he have NASA, NOAA etc. as sources?

I would think that at this late date there should be a penalty of treason for people found to be deliberately trying to deny factual science on the subject of global warming, climate change, and air pollution. Everyone in the free world is entitled to hold an opinion, but when it is not your opinion and it is paid for by oil companies, it should be a treason offence. Fossil fuel emissions are a real threat to us all, and if they can throw people in jail for possession of pot - apparently a danger to society - then climate change deniers should be locked away too.

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By the way, if it is of interest, here is the final report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Canada), “Climate Change: we are at risk” (The Honourable Donald Oliver, Q.C., Chair; The Honourable John Wiebe, Deputy Chair; November 2003). It lists the many interviews and discussions they had across the country. It is a few years old now but the details are still relevant.