New report says Bush Administration guilty of science manipulation.

Congress Committee Releases In-Depth Report on White House Climate Science Manipulation :

“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.”

So tell us something we don’t already know.

Here are some of the key findings in the report:

  • The White House exerted unusual control over the public statements of federal scientists on climate change issues.
  • The Administration’s Censorship of Climate Scientists was Widespread – 150 federal climate scientists from eight federal agencies personally experienced at least one incident of political interference during the past five years.
  • The White House systematically minimized the significance of climate change by editing government climate change reports.
  • The White House Edited EPA’s [Environmental Protection Agency] Report on the Environment.
  • The White House Eliminated the Climate Change Section of EPA’s Air Trends Report.
  • The White House was Involved in Editing EPA’s Legal Opinions.

So what does the White House have to say about this report? According to today’s press briefing:

Q Did the White House ever asked employees at agencies like NOAA to suppress climate change information and science?

MS. PERINO: Not that I’m aware and I do not believe that is true.

There may be a small kernel of truth to that claim. It’s not so much that the White House directly requested changes or suppression of facts so much as it is that they appointed unqualified Bush lackies loyalists to oversight positions where they could act on the White House’s behalf. The Bush Administration never had to ask for stuff to be suppressed because the appointees were in place to insure that the request never need be made. So while it’s technically true it’s only in the most literal interpretation of the question.

The full report can be read here in PDF format.

24 thoughts on “New report says Bush Administration guilty of science manipulation.

  1. GOOD!

    The whole “global warming” scare is a crock of shit. CO2 IS NOT the cause of warming! Look up in the sky on a warm day and you will see the exact cause of it.

  2. hey moloch… how much do you really know? seriously.. comments like that just show that you’re a fucking idiot.

  3. Another great word in German with no English equivalent:  Wasserleiche (water-corpse).  Can’t you almost taste it?

  4. Q Did the White House ever asked employees at agencies like NOAA to suppress climate change information and science?

    Wrong question.  Should’ve been “Did the White House ever asked APPOINTEES at agencies like NOAA to suppress climate change information and science?”  Then we could’ve gotten into “Define suppress” or “I don’t recall”.

    Yeah, Moloch did get soft recently.  Guess his doc must’ve upped his meds and it’s wearing off again.  tongue rolleye

    Zilch: …Wasserleiche (water-corpse).  Can’t you almost taste it?

    How fucking bad did things get over there that a word had to be made for it??!?!  I’d say the (American)English equivalent would be “floater”, it’s the only term I’ve heard (on TV) used for water corpses.  Not consistently, though, and it is dependent on the context it’s used in(turds can be categorized as floaters and sinkers).

  5. And here I thought you guys would actually have enough common sense not to believe such a huge public scandal as “global warming”. The whole thing is becoming like a religion itself.

    You think Mitt’s speech was bad? Some of these “global warming” cult followers are getting so closed-minded and bigoted that they are no better than ANGELGIL.

    Just look in this comment section, “14 year old full of crap”, “you’re a fucking idiot”, “Moloch was going soft on us”, “Soft like a corpse in the river” and “Guess his doc must’ve upped his meds and it’s wearing off again”. I’m astonished nobody has called me a “denialist” yet!

    Seriously though, you all can open your minds up enough to see how foolish religion is yet you fall hook line and sinker for what will most likely turn out to be the biggest scam of the 21st century.

    Open up your minds just a tiny bit and you will see how foolish blaming CO2 for warming really is.

  6. Okay, I’ll say it:  Moloch, you are a denialist.

    Unfortunately, global warming is no scam.  Who would benefit from such a scam?  Is Greenpeace rolling in dough now?  But the beneficiary of the “no global warming” scam is not hard to find: business as usual.  Oil companies.  Industry.  Agribusiness.  Everyone who is contributing to the problem: that is you, me, and just about everyone else who would rather not believe that we have screwed up so royally, and that we’re going to have to do something about it or else.

  7. To Moloch’s credit, at least he didn’t immediately descend into an anti-Al Gore ad hominem (unlike the Google ad that was served with my version of this page does).  Those two things are pretty much inseparable everywhere else the discussion’s come up.

    I happen to agree that it’s where the science is pointing.  But we have to get past the tribalism that’s making the debate as pointless as a barfight.  Right now there are a number of really bad “solutions” out there actually causing more harm.  Meanwhile, we’re squandering resources with a needless food-fight started by the kleptocratic neocons—abetted by the Rapture-readies who expect God to flush the toilet after them.  Talk about an unholy alliance, that…

    No, Moloch:  The biggest scam of the 21st century will still be organized religion.  Just like every other century.  Even neoconservativism, with its oblige-less noblesse, won’t even be a contender.

    +1 to Ragman’s sentiment about “Wasserleiche”.  Tho’ I love the word “schadenfreude”, and “Gotterdammerung” has such a ring to it, so you have to take the bad with the good, I guess…

  8. I never said warming was not happening or that warming is even a bad thing. My point is that everyone is focusing on CO2 as the cause when it is not, the sun is naturally causing the temperature to change exactly like it has been doing for the entire existence of the Earth.

  9. Moloch:  The warming of the earth from the sun is due the greenhouse effect.  The impact of C02 on the greenhouse effect was established in 1895.  The levels of C02 are demonstrably higher in our century than previously.  While there’s certainly room for other contributors to global warming, the C02 link is pretty established by climate science.  What other smoking guns do you have?

  10. Wasserleiche is not actually very high on my list of useful German words with no English equivalents.  The only time I’ve ever used it in conversation was in describing a Cindy Sherman self-portrait.

    No, the best German words are doch and schon.  They are practically untranslatable into English.  Schon can mean “already”, but it also means something like “true”, or “it is so”, or “agreed”.  Doch is harder: it means “true/the case, against expectations”.  If you ask, “Do you like this painting?”  and get the answer “Schon”, that means “I do”. If someone asks you “You didn’t do that, did you?” and you answer “Doch”, you mean “Oh yes I did”.

  11. cubiclegrrl: The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is not enough to cause a significant greenhouse effect. It is about 375 ppm by volume in the Earth’s atmosphere, comparable to a few good farts in a movie theater.

    The primary greenhouse component in the atmosphere is water vapor.

  12. ripped from some site I googled:Ladyfingers—known in Italy as “savoiardi”—are sweet, little, fairly dry, finger-shaped sponge cakes.

    So if we make’em fairly MOIST, can we call them Wasserleiche fingers??? 

    And Moloch, my comment wasn’t about your specific global warming comment, but that you’ve been pretty low key recently.

  13. Moloch:  Hmmmm… a 35% increase since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution sure sounds “significant” to me…

    But more to the point, the C02 seems to me to be one of the few factors in the whole equation that we can control.  But I also look on this as an excellent kick in the butt to get some traction on green power—without the boondoggle, flim-flam and sheer wrong-headedness you saw in the late 70s and are seeing again.  Even taking global warming out of the picture, the world’s ecosystems cannot sustain the lifestyles of industrialized nations, nor the third world nations that aspire to live like we do.  That’s where I’m coming from on all this.

  14. Hmmmm… a 35% increase since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution sure sounds “significant” to me…

    A 35% increase in very little is still very little. Thats only since then, we have no data from the 17th or 18th century to determine IF the CO2 levels are actually related to human activites.

  15. No, the best German words are doch and schon.  They are practically untranslatable into English.  Schon can mean “already”, but it also means something like “true”, or “it is so”, or “agreed”.  Doch is harder: it means “true/the case, against expectations”.  If you ask, “Do you like this painting?” and get the answer “Schon”, that means “I do”. If someone asks you “You didn’t do that, did you?” and you answer “Doch”, you mean “Oh yes I did”.

    FWIW…I have found the closest English words to to use for the German ‘doch’ are ‘however’ or ‘but’ – even if it makes my translations sound funny. I can usually get at the meaning by using it in situ as an incomplete phrase.  In similar situations to your doch example I have received ‘Doch, ja.’ as the answer and would translate it as ‘but, yes’

  16. Interesting thread so far…we spend so much time here at SEB defending our atheistic positions against drive-by-chrsitians, and yet, when the subject changes to another touchy subject we are seeming to jump on the bandwagon of “Global Warming” as if all we were told about it was true. Lets do a little devil’s advocate work here….

    The “Global Warming” fad (that is the politically correct formulation thereof) is just “We are all sinners in Gods eyes and have to be punished. The world is going to End” rewrapped for a new generation.

    Yes, we can measure that certain things are warmer now than a few years ago, but, what has not been shown is that it is definitely human caused.  Too much is speculation and extrapolation of already shaky data (ever heard of the Butterfly effect?).

    The cause of 95% of the greenhouse warming is Water Vapor, not Carbon Dioxide. Here’s only one reason why – more CO2 means that plants grow better, because they are able to make more sugars and cellulose with materials more abundantly available, which effectively removes a CO2 glut within a geologically infinitessimal time period.

    Global warming is another dangerous religion that has formed in the 20th century.

  17. Moloch:  Given how even small changes in an ecosystem can cause pretty extensive changes, I’ll argue for the 35% being “significant”.  Some organisms might take it in stride, some might even thrive.  But some wont-t-and the shift in the balance will be felt.

    And the argument over whether or not it’s “our” fault is moot, IMO:  If there’s something else that’s causing it, we have no excuse for abetting it.  Or for not trying to offset it—if we don’t want all the nasties that come along with radical shifts in climate, and the collateral damage (in human as well and ecological terms) that comes with it.

    In the meantime, I’m going with what the science seems to indicate.  If that changes, I’ll change my opinion and behavior accordingly.  In the meantime, it’s not like I have much to lose by not driving a Hummer down the block for groceries, not keeping the house at 80 degrees (F) all winter, not drinking bottled water and all that yadayadayada.  If I’m wrong, then I deny myself a bunch of middle class amenities; if I’m right, then I’ve at a minimum taken some responsibility for my spending choice, and should have more money in the bank to show for it.  (Now if only that perfect green energy investment opportunity would drop into my lap to set me up for early retirement… [smile]).

    Btw:  Thanks for a polite debate.  This is muuuuch closer to what these discussions should be.

  18. Sorry, scenter:  We must’ve been composing at the same time.  Personally, I like to think of the disunity here as a refreshing lack of tribalism, m’self…  wink 

    CO2 may be good for plants, but I prefer oxygen, actually.  I’m not such a martyr for environmentalism that I’ll give up the luxury of breathing, if it’s all the same to you.

    Frankly, though, I don’t know where you got the alternate religion meme.  To my mind, there are two types of atheists (distinct from the folks who just don’t give a $#!+ either way).  The first—the kind that typically doesn’t stay that way—just isn’t into that whole accountability thing.  The second groks the responsibility and lack of absolute answers that comes with living outside a paint-by-numbers value-set.  In either context, I’m afraid that I don’t see the “faith” that you’re seeing on these boards. 

    FWIW, I don’t see global warming as a standalone issue.  It’s a symptom, not the disease, if you will.  If it’s not addressed in that context, then why bother?  But most people tend to dose themselves for the symptoms, which is—to sound redundant—why these discussions have to be had.

  19. scenter- if “religion” to you means something like “believing in something before all the facts are in”, then saying that global warming results from CO2 emissions counts as a religion.  Of course, so does the connection between smoking and lung cancer, or HIV and AIDS, or the Nazis and the Holocaust, or Al Qaida and the WTC.  Not all the facts are in about those either, there are any number of complicating factors, and we may never untangle them enough to completely understand (whatever that might mean) the whole story behind them.  And there are deniers of all the above connections, for whatever reasons.  If you spend enough time reading denialist websites, you might get the impression that they are right.

    That does not change the fact that we know enough to make some general statements and act accordingly.  The connection to CO2 emissions and global warming is well established- the vast majority of climatologists and planetary scientists affirm it.  Of course there are some who don’t, just as there are some scientists who refute evolution.  Interestingly enough, a lot of them are the same people:  I don’t know if anyone has done a statistical study, but if you spend time at places like AntsInYourGenitals and Uh, Duh, you will find that denialists tend to hold more than one denial: very common is denial of evolution and global warming together, often combined with WTC conspiracy beliefs.

    Now, of course, this does not prove that global warming is caused, or exacerbated, by CO2- loonies have some true beliefs, as well.  But the fact that most scientists say it is, plus the fact that all the big money, and guilt, are on the side of denying it, ought to at least give one pause before dismissing it as a “fad”.

    One last personal anecdote: my friend John is an astrophysicist.  He used to be a staunch conservative- I argued with him for hours about the Vietnam war- a Republican, and a denier of global warming.  But because a lot of his work depends upon the state of the atmosphere, he has done a fair amount of research, including time at the South Pole.  He has now, unwillingly, been forced to reappraise his views, and will tell you that global warming is, unfortunately, real, and caused by us.  He is by nature a rather calm person, but gets quite exercised talking about what the Republicans have done to science in America.

    Also not proof.  But I will go with what most scientists say about evolution- and global warming.

  20. Of course it’s the sun making things hotter, but just like having different colored shingles on the roof of your house can contribute to your home heating and cooling different components of your atmosphere matter on how hot your planet is. And, since your planet is mostly water, with a lot of that water normally trapped as ice at the poles, once you’ve started warming up you’re going to have other contributing material in the atmosphere in the form of evaporating water.

    Global Warming doesn’t even mean things have to be hot all the time, as any experiment with a glass of iced tea will show; once you start melting ice things can become brutally cold inside the glass while the majority of the area around it in the rest of your house stays hot.

    Waving at the sun and water vapor as causes though, is like saying that dirty diapers are caused by babies crying or falling asleep with your wife. They only make so much sense, and only if you account for other changes in environment that we’ve also measured. If that change seems insignificant and implausible to have caused all of the change, well then you’re at least still faced with having identified at least one of the actors in the drama and at worst denying evidence based on your subjective sense of implausibility rather than confronting the evidence as facts.

    That said, and even as a resident of woefully low-lying Florida, I’m not terribly concerned with global warming except in the abstract. I’m not sure we can do anything about it except accept it at this point, no matter what we do. I’m in favor of trying, but until the wealthy and powerful start seeing massive penalties for doing so it won’t happen. If it becomes a large enough problem though, it’s not going to be the end of the human race as much as a major industrial adaptation and I like to think that things like that might end up being good for us in spite of ourselves.

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