Hearings in the newly Democratic Congress yesterday highlighted what many of us have been saying for some time: that the Bush Administration has waged a deliberate campaign to obscure and downplay scientific evidence of climate change in our environment. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer opened up hearings on the subject, as did Rep. Henry Waxman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
AP has an article on the wire this morning, describing some of the evidence presented:
At the House hearing, two private advocacy groups
produced a survey of 279 government climate
scientists showing that many of them say they have
been subjected to political pressure aimed at
downplaying the climate threat. Their complaints
ranged from a challenge to using the phrase "global
warming" to raising uncertainty on issues on which
most scientists basically agree, to keeping scientists
from talking to the media.
The survey and separate interviews with scientists
"has brought to light numerous ways in which U.S.
federal climate science has been filtered, suppressed
and manipulated in the last five years," Francesca
Grifo, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned
Scientists, told the committee.
In addition to highlighting the suppression of scientific opinion on global warming, Waxman and the House committee's top Republican, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III , have set a course on getting documents that the White House Council on Environmental Quality is reluctant to provide.
The ranking members have written to the White House, insisting that it "reconsider the confrontational approach" and asking for the documents within 10 days.