Saturday, June 6, 2015

Instigators of "seepage" more Bush Administration suppression of climate science

It seems to me we as a society were supposed to be having a public education dialogue with two components.
First, to learn about how our global heat and moisture distribution engine operates. 

Second, resolving the great debate on how best to deal with slowing down the increasing levels of insulating greenhouse gases we're injecting into our thin atmosphere.

Both required good faith debates where learning from the best facts presented was the goal.  Instead we've been forced into lawyerly debate games that have nothing to do with honesty, or learning, or resolving important questions and everything to do with winning political battles at any costs.

This exhibit picks up where the previous one left off, as the Bush Administration continued their campaign of suppressing the climate science that was being collected while intimidating the scientists doing the collecting.

I suggest it's another example of the dynamics of forcing political Seepage into what's supposed to be reporting on the science as it is (not as they wish it).  This article was written by the late Rick Piltz from Climate Science Watch (which is a project sponsored by the Government Accountability Project). 

Court Rules that Bush Admin. Unlawfully failed to produce Scientific Assessment of Global Change

"A Federal judge says the Bush Administration has violated the Global Change Research Act by failing to produce a national global change research plan that was due by July 2006; and a scientific assessment of global change that was due in November 2004. The last scientific assessment, the US National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, was submitted to Congress in November 2000. Climate Science Watch has long maintained that the Bush administration’s suppression of official use of the first National Assessment report and its termination of the national climate change assessment process for connecting scientists to policymakers and society is the central climate science scandal of the administration. 

Ruling on the lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity et al, U.S. District Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong has ordered the Administration to produce both the plan and the assessment no later than the end of May 2008.
The lawsuit [PDF] was filed on November 14, 2006, against Dr William Brennan (Acting Director, Climate Change Science Program), the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, John Marburger III (Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy), the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Federal Coordinating Council on Science, Engineering, Technology (now known as the National Science and Technology Council). Joining the Center for Biological Diversity as plaintiffs were Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Senator Kerry and Congressman Jay Inslee filed a memorandum of Amici Curiae [PDF] on 17 April 2007. Rick Piltz (Climate Science Watch director; formerly with the Climate Change Science Program) filed a declaration in support of the Kerry and Inslee intervention; and Mike MacCracken (Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute) filed a declaration in support of the plaintiffs. Mike MacCracken was Executive Director of the National Assessment Coordination Office from 1997 through 2001. 

The lawsuit, amicus brief and declarations are available are available along with other material related to the case on the Center for Biological Diversity Web site.

In their lawsuit, plaintiffs charged that the Administration had failed to produce a global change research plan and scientific assessment. They asked that the court declare the defendants in violation of the law, and that the court order the Administration to produce the documents "by a date certain," and that the court "retain jurisdiction over this action to ensure compliance with the Court's decree."

On 20 March 2007, the plaintiffs followed up by filing a motion for summary judgment (see definition). They asked that the court grant their motion and that it order the Bush Administration "to produce the required updated Research Plan and Assessment within nine months of this Court’s Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion." The Court's Order issued on 21 August 2007 by U.S. District Judge Armstrong granted the plaintiff's motion.

Judge Armstrong found that "there are no disputed facts, making this action particularly well-suited for summary adjudication." She continues:  . . ."


Online resources:
  • Declaration of Rick Piltz, Director of Climate Science Watch. See also Exhibits A through Y that accompany the Piltz Declaration
  • Other Climate Science Watch postings related to the National Assessment
  • (November 16, 2006)
  • (November 14, 2006 )
  • (November 14, 2006 )
  • (October 8, 2006)
  • (October 4, 2006 )
  • (August 28, 2006 )
  • (January 4, 2006)
  • (June 8, 2005 )
  • News coverage of the court ruling (as of 0900 hrs EST, 22 August 2007):

Long-veiled climate report is released

'07 EPA findings kept under wraps by Bush called for regulations

October 14, 2009|By Jim Tankersley and Alexander C. Hart, Tribune Newspapers

"WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency released a copy Tuesday of a report -- suppressed by officials in the Bush administration -- concluding that the government should regulate greenhouse gas emissions because global warming posed serious risks to the country.
The report, known as an "endangerment finding," was prepared in 2007, but the Bush White House refused to make it public. The administration opposed new government efforts to regulate the gases most scientists see as the major cause of global warming. 
The existence of the finding, and the refusal of officials under President George W. Bush to disclose it, were known. But no copy of the document had been released until Tuesday. …"
FACT SHEET | January 17, 2008

The Environmental Monitor: The Bush Environmental Record in 2007 and the Democratic Response

In 2007, the Bush Administration intensified its program of weakening environmental protections in favor of corporate special interests. Democrats in Congress share Americans’ widespread support for strong laws protecting the environment and public health. Democrats are committed to enacting sound environmental policies and to vigorous oversight of the Bush Administration’s anti-environmental activities.
The Environmental Monitorsummarizes actions taken by the Bush Administration in 2007 that have seriously undermined environmental and health protections.

No comments: