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On the Public Dime, A Very Public Whine … on a very false note

June 29th, 2009 · 3 Comments

From the industry global-warming denial mouthpiece Competitive Enterprise Institute to CBS News to Faux News (with a guest ranting by James Inhofe (R-Exxon calling for a criminal investigation), the Global Warming denial “news of the day” is about supposed suppression of a “report” ‘proving’ that global warming isn’t real by EPA economist Alan Carlin.

Carlin’s supposed report is an absurdity, with a litany of citations from one anti-science syndrome website and sufferer after another.

So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. Seriously, if that’s the best they can do, the EPA’s ruling is on pretty safe ground.

If I were the authors, I’d suppress this myself, and then go for a long hike on the Appalachian Trail….

And reporting that Carlin was surppressed is, well, an absurdity.

As Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, wrote in an email:

They are trying to invert the “war on science” narrative.

Problem is, you would have to have actual science on your side in order for this to work.

Let’s let the Obama Administration speak about this for a moment. EPA Press Secretary Adora Andy’s on the record statement.

Claims that this individual’s opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.

The opinions were considered and studied … too bad that they were false and blatant examples of anti-science syndrome.

This Administration and this EPA Administrator are fully committed to openness, transparency and science-based decision making.

It really is sad that CBS News allowed itself to be played, so well, by the global warming denier crowd, helping to give legitimacy to an invented story.

Try speaking with scientists at EPA and it is hard to overestimate the shift in morale in that institution. There are people who have dedicated their lives to public service, to supporting the interplay of science and policy making on environmental issues, who were beaten down for eight years. And, this isn’t solely a ‘partisan’ issue, as two acquaintances are relatively senior in the civil service at EPA and Republicans. One said to me the other day, “I had forgotten what it felt like to be happy to go into the office. I’m almost literally bouncing into the office. We’re being taken seriously in a way that I don’t think I could have imagined a year ago.”

These principles were reflected throughout the development of the proposed Endangerment finding, a process in which a broad array of voices were heard and an inter agency review was conducted. The individual in question is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue.

Nevertheless the document he submitted was reviewed by his peers and agency scientists, and information from that report was submitted by his manager to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding.

Okay. So (1) not on the study team; (2) not on the review team; (3) not a scientist; (4) still listened to.

In fact, some ideas from that document are included and addressed in the Endangerment finding.

Oh, and despite 1-3, (5) some of his material influenced the Endangerment finding.

Additionally, his manager has allowed his general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and considered inside and outside the EPA and presented at conferences and at an agency seminar. And this individual was granted a request to join a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to both agency and outside experts, where he has been able to invite speakers with a full range of views on climate science.

About this, I decided to pulse some sources and find out just how much he has been able to do related to climate-change denial on his salary, despite the fact that he is not a climate scientist and climate change is not in the position description for which the American public pays his salary.  I was informed that:

  • He wrote his diatribes (excuse me, opinions) on agency time
  • They were published at least four times in non-atmospheric science journals and had multiple working papers published in his department’s website.
  • He participates in a climate-seminar series and is able to invite other deniers to speak
  • And, he gave at least four presentations as an EPA employee (at an EPA seminar before other EPA employees, twice to university conferences (paid for by you and I, as EPA paid for the costs)

Now, considering the work, from what I can tell there is only one Carlin worth listening to about Global Warming.

Update: See Media Matters with Fox & Friends embraces falsehood undermining “hushed up” EPA report

See, as well, Zach Roth, TPMuckraker, Climate Skeptic: “I Was Hoping People At EPA Would Pay Attention” To My Work

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Tags: climate change · climate delayers · Global Warming · global warming deniers

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