The House Committee on Science and Intimidation

It is perhaps no surprise that, with a month to go before the start of the international conference in Paris to control carbon emissions, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has issued a subpoena to Tom Karl, Head of the National Centers for Environmental Information. In this, they demand access to email correspondence and data relating to a recent study (published in Science), which updated global temperature estimates, based on a re-evaluation and adjustment of meteorological observations. Although these adjustments were absolutely trivial in the context of global warming, the publication provided the Committee with the perfect excuse to create a controversy out of nothing. Their goal is simple: to promote the appearance that data were manipulated in order to promote an Obama-driven agenda to reduce carbon emissions, and thereby to try and undermine the negotiations in Paris. This is red meat for the fanatics and conspiracy theorists who are unable to distinguish scientific facts from science fiction. But it does absolutely nothing to advance scientific understanding of global warming. Does the committee seriously claim that it has the expertise to evaluate the scientific basis for the Science paper, or that is has the credentials to re-assess the work carried out by the nation’s premier Center for environmental monitoring? That idea is laughable. Let’s be clear: Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science Committee, is recklessly abusing his position in order to promote a political agenda, relentlessly attempting to silence those who study science to better understand our environment. This is abundantly clear in his efforts to cut the budget of NASA’s earth observation program by 40%, and to decimate the budget of the Geosciences Directorate in the National Science Foundation (which funds research in climate science). Rather than support and promote science, Representative Smith has pursued a —> Read More