Union of Concerned Scientists

Wed, 2010-12-22 08:00Chris Mooney
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A Critical Science Moment for the Obama Administration

For those concerned about ensuring the accurate use of science in U.S. politics and political decision-making—about stopping what everybody now calls the “war on science”—we now stand at a critical juncture. What happens next will be extremely important. That’s the topic of this post; but first, let’s review how we got here.

1. The Last Administration Misused and Abused Science To a Degree Unprecedented in Modern American Politics.

There are still a few contrarians who question this conclusion. But they’ve long since lost the argument.

A voluminous number of science abuse case studies from the Bush administration were investigated and documented by myself, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and many others across the journalistic and NGO communities. Importantly, we demonstrated that a) during the Bush years, scientific information itself was regularly distorted for political reasons (e.g., these were not just disputes over policy, but over matters of fact and what is true about the world); and b) this happened on some of the most high profile issues of the day, where the scientific facts or scientific consensus was clear and the administration undermined them anyway (like stem cells and global warming).

How did we demonstrate this?

Thu, 2008-10-16 11:08Kevin Grandia
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Report outlines major risks of "clean coal"

The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a report today outlining the considerable risks associated with so-called “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage technology (pdf.)

Clean coal has been a persistent theme throughout the US election, with presidential candidates on both sides of the political ledger touting the message that coal is somehow clean. As coal industry commentator and author Jeff Goodell puts it best: 

Clean coal” is not an actual invention, a physical thing – it is an advertising slogan. Like “fat-free donuts” or “interest-free loans.”

Tue, 2008-06-03 12:51Bill Miller
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Does economists’ change of tune herald turning point on climate change?

The most interesting aspect of the 1,700 prominent signatories urging U.S. politicians to make immediate, deep reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions is that so many of them are economists.

Predictably, the statement by the Union of Concerned Scientists, issued on the eve of U.S. Senate debate on the Lieberman-Warner climate bill, affirms the long-standing scientific evidence for global warming.

But what was unusual, and surprising, was the prominent role of economists as measured by the statement that acting quickly to cut emissions “would be the most cost-effective way to limit climate change.”

Thu, 2008-05-29 11:26Emily Murgatroyd
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1,700 Scientists and Economists Call For Immediate Action on Greenhouse Gas Reductions

More than 1,700 of the nation's most prominent scientists and economists today released a joint statement calling on policymakers to require immediate, deep reductions in heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming.

Wed, 2008-04-23 12:29Bill Miller
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EPA scientists drop bombshell in political-interference survey

Science around environmental matters has long been dismissed in the rough and tumble of U.S. politics, but many scientists contend things got markedly worse through two terms under President Bush, as incidents have shown how political appointees were involved in shaping government reports on everything from climate change to condoms.

Now, more than half the 1,600 Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an online questionnaire complained of political pressure in interpreting and performing their work.

And four in 10 scientists who have worked at the agency for more than a decade said interference has been more prevalent in the last five years than previously.

Here's the full report, Interference at the EPA, by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Thu, 2007-03-01 10:40Bill Miller
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New vehicle design surpasses California’s emission standards

Engineers at the Union of Concerned Scientists have unveiled a minivan design for an affordable, clean vehicle using existing technology and fuels that would meet or exceed global-warming pollution standards for cars and trucks adopted by California and 10 other states.

Sun, 2007-01-07 08:13Richard Littlemore
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Union of Concerned Scientists Slams Exxon-Tobacco Link

The tactical link between ExxonMobil's funded denial of climate change and the tobacco industry's organized denial of the health risks of its product have been documented in these pages before.

But this new paper (pdf.) by the Union of Concerned Scientist brings such discipline and rigor to this argument that its conclusions are undeniable: Exxon is spending a fortune to prop up a convenient lie; and it's using the same tactics and many of the same people that the tobacco industry used.

This paper should be required reading for every policy maker.

Update: here's what Exxon has to say.

Update: here's what the CEI has to say.

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