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Old 07-16-2005, 10:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
Global Warming: Congressmen Without Faith in the Competition of Ideas

Joe Barton (R-TX) has obviously not heard of Stalin's favorite scientist, "Comrade" Lysenko, or of the parachutists !

Are ignorance, ambition, greed, and lobbysists, destined to destroy the U.S.?

Add'l comments added, 6:00 am EDT July 17, 2005:

IMO, the Bush administration has engaged in unprecedented (in size, scope, detail, news coverage, publicly reported reaction from scientists employed by federal and state gov. agencies) politicization of scientific research, environmental regulation, regulation of food and drugs, and agriculture, just to name some of the prominently reported areas and incidents. The common theme of this disturbing trend, is transfering the priorities and primary mission of government regulatory agencies from policies that err on the side of caution in the protection of the American public and the environment, including management of parks, recreation,wilderness areas, and water resources, to policies that emphasize "self-regulation" by the businesses themselves, that exhibited the documented record of abuses and damagesto the environment, food and drug products, public forest, water, and park land resources, that necessitated the creation of the regulatory agencies, and the scientists that are employed or receive grants to study and advise political appointees who manage these agencies, and the politicians who appoint them. Another disturbing new trend is the interference of a religious minority ,encouraged by political appointees of the current administration, documented in previous threads here attempting to challenge the scientific body of knowledge in the areas of geology and earth science, specifically in instructional and educational materials in our national parks, with materials interpreted from passages from American Protestant Christian bibles.

Some examples:
SURVEY CREATES CONTROVERSY INSIDE NOAA FISHERIES SERVICE — Director Hogarth Regards Survey Results as Personal Attack

Washington, D.C. — Dr. William Hogarth, Director of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, communicated to all agency employees his concerns over a report showing political interference with scientific decision-making at NOAA. Director Hogarth sent two emails in reaction to the negative attention generated by the public release of a questionnaire administered to NOAA Fisheries scientists working in field and regional offices by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)......

........... The survey of more than 460 NOAA Fisheries scientists, which received a response of 27%, showed agency science is suffering under political manipulation and inappropriate influence of special interests. More than half of all respondents (53%) were aware of cases in which “commercial interests have inappropriately induced the reversal or withdrawal of NOAA Fisheries scientific conclusions or decisions through political intervention,” and only one-quarter of the respondents said they “trust NOAA Fisheries decision makers to make decisions that will protect marine resources and ecosystems.”

In its response to both Hogarth messages, PEER expresses its concern that Hogarth set out to explain away the disturbing reports of political interference as the inability of agency scientists to fully appreciate the non-scientific factors in decision-making. This argument fails to show that scientific decisions at the agency are safe from inappropriate influences and criticizes highly trained professional staff in the process.
Some examples: <a href="http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=the_bush_administration_s_environmental_record&general_topic_areas=bush_env_globalWarming">Global Warming</a>
<a href="http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=the_bush_administration_s_environmental_record&general_topic_areas=bush_env_wildlifeProtection">Wildlife
<a href="http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=the_bush_administration_s_environmental_record&corporate_interests=bush_env_timberIndustry">Timber Industry</a>
<a href="http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/project.jsp?project=bush_enviro_record">Bush Administration's Environmental Record (123 Items)</a>

For Republicans, it was not always "this way":
Nixon EPA chief criticizes Bush

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 Posted: 11:40 AM EDT (1540 GMT)

Former EPA head Russell E. Train says President Bush has weakened the Clean Air Act.

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) -- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency for two Republican presidents criticized President Bush's record on Monday, calling it a "polluter protection" policy.

"It's almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection," Train said. "I find this deeply disturbing."

In 1988, Train was co-chairman of Conservationists for Bush, an organization that backed the candidacy of George W. Bush's father.

Train spoke at an event organized by Environment2004, which opposes Bush's environmental record.

He accused Bush of weakening the Clean Air Act and said the president's record falls short of those set by former Republican presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt, who advocated creating national parks and forests, to George H.W. Bush, who supported revised standards for clean air.........
IMO, this guy is a "malignancy", with regard to his representation of the "interests" of the American public:
Rep. Barton Faces Energy Challenge
New Panel Chairman and Industry Ally Will Be Man Behind Major Legislation

By Thomas B. Edsall and Justin Blum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 14, 2005; Page A25

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) has evolved over the past 20 years from a maverick conservative willing to cast lonely, defiant votes into a central political figure who cuts deals and raises millions of dollars for his colleagues and who marshaled a small army of lobbyists to secure for himself a powerful chairmanship.

Now head of the Energy and Commerce Committee, with jurisdiction over more than half the legislation that moves through Congress, Barton last week began what could be one of the most difficult and important tasks facing the 109th Congress: drafting and passing major energy legislation after years of failed efforts.......

......Barton's key hires since taking the chairmanship are likely to further secure his ties to the energy industry and to the House leadership.

Barton picked C.H. "Bud" Albright, chief lobbyist for Reliant Energy Inc., a Houston electricity producer, to be the committee's chief of staff. Reliant has contributed more than $160,000 to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and his leadership political action committees, and gave $50,000 to the Roy B Fund run by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Albright hired Margaret Caravelli, a lobbyist for producers of MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), a gasoline additive that is the subject of groundwater-pollution litigation nationwide. Barton and DeLay have been the leading defenders of MTBE producers, insisting they be protected from product-defect lawsuits. Kurt Bilas, former senior counsel at Reliant Energy, has been hired as a committee counsel.

Barton and President Bush share the same pro-business agenda and market-based philosophy. The two have championed tax incentives for the oil and gas industry, and both are advocates of drilling in the Alaska refuge.

The two Texans also have dipped heavily into the same rich pool of campaign contributions from corporate and trade associations, according to a review of campaign finance and lobbying records.

Since 1997, oil, gas, electricity, nuclear, coal and chemical companies have contributed $1.84 million to Barton, more than to any other House member. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, these same energy interests gave Bush $9.2 million, more than to any other presidential candidate.

The top source of energy money for both men -- $103,390 to Barton, $172,922 to Bush -- has been the PAC and employees of Southern Co., the electric utility serving Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

As committee chairman, Barton will be central to the success of energy legislation as well as other Bush administration legislative initiatives.

The panel has the authority to arbitrate the major battles between polluters and environmentalists, between cable companies and broadcasters, and between drug companies and consumer groups. The committee oversees anti-terrorist security at nuclear plants and port facilities and is responsible for rewriting the 1996 Telecommunications Act. It is responsible for protecting Internet users from identity theft as well as for dealing with the nation's nuclear waste, and determining whether tough "decency" standards should be applied to broadcast and cable television.

The scope of the committee's jurisdiction has turned members into magnets for campaign contributions from every Washington interest from the AT&T Corp. PAC to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC.

In his quest for the chairmanship, which began in earnest in mid-2003 when Tauzin first signaled his retirement, Barton, a calculating poker player, funneled more than $6 million in campaign contributions to his House colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee for the upcoming congressional elections. Barton was host of a $5 million-plus event for the NRCC in March 2003, gave the committee an additional $290,000, made contributions ranging from $500 to $10,000 to 82 House Republicans, and served as the main draw for lobbyists at numerous fundraisers held by junior GOP members.

A network of former Barton staff members-turned-lobbyists -- including Jeffery M. MacKinnon (clients: Reliant Energy, Philip Morris, MCI and at least 36 others), Stephen Sayle (American Chemical Council, AT&T and 19 others) and Stephen Waguespack (Duke Energy, Ford Motor Co. and eight others) -- worked the crucial corporate and trade association community on Barton's behalf.

Perhaps Barton's most telling attribute is an unwavering support for many big energy interests.......

Saturday, July 16, 2005 :: infoZine Staff
Leading Climate Scientists Question Rep. Barton's Inquiry
Focus on Single Global Warming Study Called Puzzling

Science & TechnologyWashington, D.C. - infoZine - Twenty leading climate scientists - including Nobel and National Medal of Science laureates, members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other highly regarded researchers - sent a letter to Congress expressing concern over the approach of a Congressional investigation into a global warming study. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), in his capacity as the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, is conducting the investigation.............

.........On June 23, 2005, Rep. Barton and Rep. Ed Whitfield, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, sent a letter to Drs. Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes questioning the data, methodology, and results of a specific study of historical temperature that has come to be known as the "Hockey Stick" study for its findings of rapid twentieth century warming.
"White Robes" (Beliye Odezhdi) was published in 1987, at the height of perestroika. Set in the late 1940s, it tells the story of some scientists who, despite Lysenko's denunciation of genetics as the "whore child of imperialism", secretly carry on research in the field. The hero of this novel, Dezhkin, is, according to Dudintsev, "an agent of good sent into the camp of evil with the assignment of defeating them." His fight is clandestine, unlike that of Lopatkin, the hero of "Not By Bread Alone", who fought openly. The author explained the difference this way:

Years had passed between the writing of these two novels. And I understood that for the Lopatkins to win, they must become Dezhkins. That is, in a definite social situation, those people pursuing a socially significant goal require not only courage, but also the ability to correctly and sensibly carry on the battle. If Dezhkin spoke out publically in defense of the scientific discovery, the repressive machine, having gathered momentum, would simply smash him. If I had portrayed such a hero as overcoming the system, his victory would appear false and programmed by the will of the writer's mind, not dictated by genuine reality.

"White Robes" also contains the idea of "parachutists", described by Dudintsev this way:

<h4>People thrown from the destroyed world into the conditions of Soviet reality. Entrepreneurs and egoists in their souls, they looked around and saw that here, too, it was possible to live if they accepted the new "rules of the game". And hiding their true nature they began to shout along with everyone else, "Long live the world revolution!" Masking their insincerity, they shouted louder and more expressively than others so that they quickly rose to the top, occupied leading posts and began to struggle for their own personal, comfortable lifestyle.</h4>

According to Dudintsev, this is why gray-haired academics supported Lysenko and gave the leadership the needed "scientific" conclusions; and this is why, says Dudintsev, "ministers built not what was needed by the people, but that which did not contradict their personal interests." To Dudintsev it is obvious that the ecological disasters around the Aral Sea, the Volga, and Lake Ladoga are the work of the "parachutists"........
Trofim D. Lysenko

He was Joseph Stalin's favorite scientist, and it's easy to see why. Lysenko was a peasant-born agronomist and Marxist ideologue who rejected Mendel's ideas because they contradicted the doctrine of dialectical materialism. He offered instead to solve the Soviet Union's chronic crop failures through a process he called vernalization, by which he would "train" spring wheat to be winter wheat and thus increase the number of annual harvests. Lysenko believed all living organisms passed on to succeeding generations characteristics acquired in their lifetime. This untested theory was at odds with what Lysenko scathingly called "alien bourgeois" genetics, but Soviet scientists who dared disagree risked being sent to the gulag. The cost was high. Even after Lysenko's final fall at the end of the Khrushchev era, Soviet agriculture continued to suffer. Worse still, Soviet scientists missed out on the genetics revolution. To this day, Russian biology lags behind that of the West, thanks to Comrade Lysenko.

Nobel and National Medal of Science Laureates, Researchers and Members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Intergovernmental Pa
Dear Chairman Barton and Chairman Whitfield,

Science & TechnologyThe Honorable Joe Barton, Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
The Honorable Ed Whitfield, Chairman
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dear Chairman Barton and Chairman Whitfield,

As scientists with expertise relevant to the understanding of Earth's changing climate, we are writing to help inform the inquiry you are conducting on the work of Drs. Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes. We understand that as a representative of the American people, you have a responsibility to inform yourself and your colleagues about scientific knowledge that is relevant to policy decisions. However, we are deeply concerned about your approach and we respectfully submit the following clarifying context.

In your letters of June 23, 2005, to these scientists, you state, "We open this review because this dispute surrounding your studies bears directly on important questions about the federally funded work upon which climate studies rely." In fact, the specific findings of Mann et al. constitute only one item among literally thousands of pieces of evidence that have contributed to the present consensus on the serious nature of climate change. While the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted this work as a useful illustration of our understanding of the impact of fossil fuel-related emissions on climate change, in no way does the report suggest that it is an essential element of that understanding. This understanding has been developed over many years from many diverse lines of inquiry.

There are legitimate areas of scientific debate over the best methodologies to apply in reconstructing historic temperatures, as there are in many topics of current scientific interest. However, the essential points of the Mann et al. study.that the late twentieth century likely included the warmest decades in the last millennium.are supported by numerous other studies. We refer the committee to the full reports by the IPCC, the 2001 review of the Third Assessment report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the June 7 statement from the NAS and other leading science academies for balanced assessments of the current state of the science.

We also note that much of the information that you have requested from the scientists involved is unrelated to the stated purpose of your investigation. Requests to provide all working materials related to hundreds of publications stretching back decades can be seen as intimidation.intentional or not.and thereby risks compromising the independence of scientific opinion that is vital to the preeminence of American science as well as to the flow of objective advice to the government.........
Content and comments below this line was also added 6:00 am July 17, 2005

In a letter from Joe Barton to Dr. Michael Mann, Asst. Professor of Environmental Science, University of Virginia, date June 23, 2005, The following material and answers are requested (demanded) by July 11, 2005 !

..........To assist us as we begin this review, and pursuant to Rules X and XI of the U.S. House of
Representatives, please provide the following information requested below on or before July 11,
1. Your curriculum vitae, including, but not limited to, a list of all studies relating to climate
change research for which you were an author or co-author and the source of funding for
those studies.
2. List all financial support you have received related to your research, including, but not
limited to, all private, state, and federal assistance, grants, contracts (including subgrants
or subcontracts), or other financial awards or honoraria.
3. Regarding all such work involving federal grants or funding support under which you
were a recipient of funding or principal investigator, provide all agreements relating to
those underlying grants or funding, including, but not limited to, any provisions,
adjustments, or exceptions made in the agreements relating to the dissemination and
sharing of research results.
4. Provide the location of all data archives relating to each published study for which you
were an author or co-author and indicate: (a) whether this information contains all the
specific data you used and calculations your performed, including such supporting
documentation as computer source code, validation information, and other ancillary
Dr. Michael Mann
Page 3
information, necessary for full evaluation and application of the data, particularly for
another party to replicate your research results; (b) when this information was available to
researchers; (c) where and when you first identified the location of this information; (d)
what modifications, if any, you have made to this information since publication of the
respective study; and (e) if necessary information is not fully available, provide a detailed
narrative description of the steps somebody must take to acquire the necessary information
to replicate your study results or assess the quality of the proxy data you used.
5. According to The Wall Street Journal, you have declined to release the exact computer
code you used to generate your results. (a) Is this correct? (b) What policy on sharing
research and methods do you follow? (c) What is the source of that policy? (d) Provide
this exact computer code used to generate your results.
6. Regarding study data and related information that is not publicly archived, what requests
have you or your co-authors received for data relating to the climate change studies, what
was your response, and why?
7. The authors McIntyre and McKitrick (Energy & Environment, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2005)
report a number of errors and omissions in Mann et. al., 1998. Provide a detailed
narrative explanation of these alleged errors and how these may affect the underlying
conclusions of the work, including, but not limited to answers to the following questions:
a. Did you run calculations without the bristlecone pine series referenced in the
article and, if so, what was the result?
b. Did you or your co-authors calculate temperature reconstructions using the
referenced “archived Gaspe tree ring data,” and what were the results?
c. Did you calculate the R2 statistic for the temperature reconstruction, particularly
for the 15th Century proxy record calculations and what were the results?
d. What validation statistics did you calculate for the reconstruction prior to 1820,
and what were the results?
e. How did you choose particular proxies and proxy series?
8. Explain in detail your work for and on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, including, but not limited to: (a) your role in the Third Assessment Report; (b)
the process for review of studies and other information, including the dates of key
meetings, upon which you worked during the TAR writing and review process; (c) the
steps taken by you, reviewers, and lead authors to ensure the data underlying the studies
forming the basis for key findings of the report were sound and accurate; (d) requests you
received for revisions to your written contribution; and (e) the identity of the people who
wrote and reviewed the historical temperature-record portions of the report, particularly
Section 2.3, “Is the Recent Warming Unusual?”
Dr. Michael Mann
Page 4
Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Spencer of
the Majority Committee staff at (202) 226-2424.
Joe Barton Ed Whitfield
Chairman Chairman
Subcommittee on Oversight
and Investigations
cc: The Honorable John Dingell, Ranking Member
The Honorable Bart Stupak, Ranking Member,
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
To wrap this up....note the length and breadth of the items/answers that Barton requests on behalf of his "congressional committee investigation", of Dr. Michael Mann, with just 18 days notice.

If congressional committee chairmen showed this aggressive pursuit of knowledge towards the Bush administration concerning the change in assessment of Iraq's WMD programs, compared to what Powell and Rice on record telling the media pre 9/11, compared to the change in rhetoric before the invasion of Iraq, or to Diebold, concerning the propietary computer code that company uses in it's "receiptless" electronic voting systems that were being funded and promoted to cities and counties by a Bush politcal appointee in 2003, how would the world be different today?

In view of Joe Barton's resume, former Republican EPA admin. Russell Train's comments, the links to documentation of the Bush admin. regulatory record, the pressure (harrassment?) being brought to bear on scientists,(and science), and the prospect of a minimum of three more years of the Bush administration, and an indeterminant length of the rein of committee chairman, Joe Barton, convince me that I've made the case for a comparison of the history of the effects of extreme political interference on scientists in Soviet Russia, with today's trend in America. Too extreme ? Re-read Joe Barton's "resume" and compare it to his current committee's responsibilities and influence, and then peruse the 123 examples of the first four years of Bush admin. regulatory influence and control, and maybe my comparison will seem more apt.

Last edited by host; 07-17-2005 at 02:59 AM..
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Old 07-16-2005, 11:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm missing something again, but to me this looks like a simple protest over a congressional investigation. I'm not sure what this has to do with bringing up a Soviet quack. If you're trying to insinuate that they want to supress info on global warming or something to that effect then why are they only going after this group?
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
Pissing in the cornflakes
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Sorry host, but try adding something of your own. This is just getting silly now.
Agents of the enemies who hold office in our own government, who attempt to eliminate our "freedoms" and our "right to know" are posting among us, I fear.....on this very forum. - host

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Old 07-16-2005, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I request that you add to the information placed in here with reasoning behind the post. While we all (I hope) appreciate the effort you put into research.....this is a debate forum and requires some input from members to begin on the right foot.

Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. - Buddha
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
Cracking the Whip
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I am forced to agree.

If I want to read articles, I can go to Yahoo.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." – C. S. Lewis

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Old 07-16-2005, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well if you you people went off topic. What a terrible thing to do and the mods doing it as well So ill join in


I think your main problem is that you expect people to think like you. We don't and not all information reads the same. Thus as you try to make your point with nothing but quotes others either don't get it at all or see something else. This obviously leads to quite a bit of frusturation on both your part and us the readers.

Now every now and then you come out of your quote posting shell and express your own conclusions. You did so in your recent thread concerning Jim Sharp. I was delighted to see your expressing your views and THEN posting info on how you obtained them.

Ironically, I thought this thread and the picture it painted was well constructed and rather clear. Though perhaps smaller quotes would do the trick.

In responce to the original topic:

I think everyone is a "parashootist" of sorts. People will generally only get (seriously) involved with something out of personal gain.

I don't think your analogy is dead on though. All but the corporate owned scientific bodies agree that climate change is rapidly happening. Golobal warming is far from a myth and most people will agree that somthing is happening to climate as a result of personal experience (I don't know about you guys but our weather has been pretty un-usual for the past decade or so).
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
What is going on here is a political battle between Republican committee chairmen in both the house and in the senate. House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) has now come out to publicly voice criticism of Rep. Joe Barton that parallels what I have posted concerning Barton's attack on science and on scientists.

In the senate (see bottom quote box), moderate Republican Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) who is pro-scientific research methodology and findings, is opposed by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee,[who] has called global warming the “greatest single hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

I view this as unusual because there is a publicly exposed split between Republican legislative leaders who attempt to represent the interests and future wellbeing of the American people who they represent, at least in this instance, and those who back the agenda of the Bush administration, which seems to coincide with the polluting and exploiting industry and development lobbies. Ironically, as politicians like Bush, Cheney, Barton, and Inhofe sell out the air, water, energy, mineral, forest, and wildlife resources of the U.S. to their influential campaign contributors, business partners, or future employers, once these resources and the oversight of regulatory agencies are compromised or gutted, what will these politicians, or the younger political supporters who aid and support their agenda, have left to sell to lobbyists?
When the agenda to bankrupt the federal government and end all regulation is complete, assuming the defense industry is left standing, will there be a government relevant enough to support the careers and compensation of all of the lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians who are currently occupied in implementing this agenda?

July 20, 2005, 1:27AM
Rep. Barton's harassment of scientists, disdain for fellow lawmakers a disservice
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

The heart of science isn't quiet. Challenges to data, methodology and interpretation churn throughout the scientific process. Harassment of scientists, however, deserves no role in scientific inquiry. U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, ignores this principle in his shameful hectoring of well-known climatologists.

Late last month, Barton requested mounds of documents from three scientists known for studying global warming. As chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Barton demanded detailed documentation of almost every aspect of hundreds of studies the scientists had penned.

He made a similar request to the head of the National Science Foundation, writing, "The term 'records' is to be construed in the broadest sense ... whether printed or recorded electronically or magnetically or stored in any type of data bank, including, but not limited to ... summaries of personal conversations or interviews ... diaries ... checks and canceled checks ... bank statements."

Barton gave the scientists 18 days to comply with the request, which he has the power to convert into a subpoena.

One recipient was University of Virginia researcher Michael E. Mann, whose studies suggest the Earth's climate has grown warmer in large part due to humans' use of fossil fuels. Mann co-authored a 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since then, numerous climate studies have supported Mann's original findings.

Partly because of its influence, Mann's early work still draws critiques from global-warming skeptics. Barton cited these critiques in his letter to Mann, adding "this dispute surrounding your studies bears directly on important questions about the federally funded work upon which climate studies rely."

The extraordinary scope of Barton's investigation has rightly appalled many scientists and lawmakers. The European Geosciences Union called the requests "burdensome and inappropriate." The director of the National Academy of Sciences vainly offered to appoint an independent panel to review the consensus on global warming claims.

A mark of the inappropriate nature of Barton's actions, a fellow Republican rebuked him in a public letter. U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Science Committee, warned Barton that his investigation was outside his committee's jurisdiction and showed "an insensitivity toward the workings of science [that] may reflect your Committee's inexperience in the areas you are investigating."

Calling Barton's precedent "truly chilling," Boehlert added, "My primary concern about your investigation is that its purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them."

Barton has responded to his critics with a bizarre tone unsuited to the subject's gravity. "We regret that our little request for data has given them a chill," his committee spokesman recently said.

Barton is right that global warming is a pressing and controversial issue � and tracking the use of federal funding is a worthwhile endeavor. In his indiscriminate mining for documents, however, Barton ignores the first steps of fact-finding: hearings, discussions with the scientists and reading the peer-reviewed and published papers in the field.

Given his indebtedness to the oil and power industries � from 1989-2004 he received more money from these industries that any other House member � Barton seems to be acting on motives other than a thirst for truth. This is a disservice to the nation. Harassing scientists is the wrong way to find answers to environmental questions that affect us all.
July 21, 2005
Climate-change debate may hinge on Senate committees' jurisdiction
By Kari Lundgren

The opening salvo of a jurisdiction battle over climate-change regulation will be fired today at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The issue highlights a sharp division between leaders of two Senate committees. Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and ranking member Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), on one side, have shown interest in passing a bill, while Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has called global warming the “greatest single hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The hearing is the first of two promised by Domenici in June after 53-44 passage of a nonbinding sense-of-the-Senate amendment calling for mandatory action to “slow, stop and reverse the growth” of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Today’s hearing will focus on the scientific research behind climate change and the economic strategies to manage global warming.

The Environment and Public Works Committee has said it will hold its own hearings on climate change next week. “We’re interested in hearing whether the U.S. is really behind the power curve on this issue,” said John Shanahan, the committee’s press secretary..............

........There is a lot to be said for Environmental Protection Agency regulating this, but that does not mean you can’t write a program that’s run by the Energy Department.”

Before the passage of the energy bill in June, Bingaman circulated a draft proposal based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP), a nongovernmental panel funded mainly by the Pew Charitable Trusts. According to research done by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the NCEP proposal would reduce emissions by 4 percent in 2015 and 7 percent in 2025, at an annual cost of $78 per household.

Jason Grumet, executive director of the NCEP, will testify at today’s hearing, a fact welcomed by environmentalists as a step forward but dismissed by some industry lobbyists who question the work of the NCEP.

“The NCEP is not a national commission,” Ebell argued. “It wasn’t created by any official action. It’s a special interest, and it should have no more credibility that any other interest group.”

Ebell said the witness list is stacked in favor of climate-change activists, a charge dismissed by Black. “We picked the broadest, biggest institutions to tell us about climate change. These institutions reflect the center of the debate,” Black said..........

..............A similar battle played out in the House earlier this week between House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas). In a tart letter sent July 14, Boehlert chided Barton for pursuing an investigation into several leading climate-change scientists and raised questions over the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction on the issue.

“The only conceivable explanation for the investigation is to attempt to intimidate a prominent scientist and to have Congress put its thumbs on the scales of a scientific debate,” Boehlert wrote.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
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Politics and religion don't mix. Politics and science don't mix. I alway assumed this was common knowledge, but again and again I see them intertwwine and screw themselves up. This is a wonderful example. Lobies see a great opportunity to further their interests, and they go for it. Unfortunatally, this means that their particular agenda gets through without the due study and testing that are necessary to ensure that what gets through is safe. We sell tomorrow for a dollar today.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: From Texas, live in Ohio
As a scientist, I would like to add that even though I am not part of the field of climate change (even though I study the effects of winter temperatures on arthropods), I have seen increasing pressure on my colleagues over the last five years to conform to a more pro-business paradigm. It frightens the scientific community and has many young scientists (myself included) looking for work overseas.

Our field is important to us, and objectivity and free debate are absolutely essential for science to work. Introducing any bias at any level of scientific discourse (from experimentation to access to publication) is anathema to the entire discipline. A pro-business bias is like any other bias, unwelcome.

In the same way that music cannot exist without sound, science cannot exist without objectivity. Without it, science becomes blurred with belief, which is an entirely separate entity.
They shackle our minds as we're left on the cross. When ignornace reigns, life is lost!

Zach de la Rocha
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
Originally Posted by willravel
Politics and religion don't mix. Politics and science don't mix. I alway assumed this was common knowledge, but again and again I see them intertwwine and screw themselves up. This is a wonderful example. Lobies see a great opportunity to further their interests, and they go for it. Unfortunatally, this means that their particular agenda gets through without the due study and testing that are necessary to ensure that what gets through is safe. We sell tomorrow for a dollar today.
I won't be sorry to say goodbye to Joe Barton and James Inhofe, as committee chairmen of anything that has any impact on the environment or on anything that will affect my future or the future of my friends and family....IMO, they have contributed to further fouling of the environment and to setting back scientific research and the international reputation of the US as a leading edge nation, to an "on the fringe" country, in just a few years that seemed to last forever.

[Dislaimer: this post professes the exact opposite of the Bozell christian fundamentalist/"ohhh!!! that liberal media bias", propaganda <a href="http://mediamatters.org/items/200607120007">message.</a>]

This is not a Sen. James Inhofe "lovefest" post. If you're looking for that, go here:
<b>Finaly ONE senator understands global warming (long, scroll button)</b>
<b>Watch It:</b>
<b>‘God’s Still Up There’</b>

In an interview with Fox and Friends this morning, outgoing Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that the current wave of unprecedented warming is due to “natural changes.” “God’s still up there,” Inhofe said, and to the extent there is warming going on, it is “due to the sun.” He added, “George Soros, the Hollywood elitists, the far left environmentalists on the committee that I chair — all of them want us to believe the science is settled and it’s not.” Watch it.

Despite Inhofe’s repeated efforts to muddy the picture, there is no real scientific debate over whether global warming is manmade or naturally-caused.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body which involves thousands of scientists from over 120 countries who develop detailed reports on climate change, produced a report in 2001 which was reviewed by more than 1,000 top experts, including so-called “climate skeptics” and representatives from industry. The report stated, “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

Most recently, the National Academy of Sciences has unequivocally concluded that natural causes cannot explain the unprecedented warmth over the last 400 years. Rather, “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming,” the report states.


INHOFE: Now look, God’s still up there. We still have these natural changes, and this is what’s going on right now. New science comes out. I had a news conference yesterday, Brian, and the reason I did is because we were going to go over to Nairobi, take a bunch of scientists to get the true science over there, only to find out that the registration had dropped off. Almost no media was over there. So we had the same news conference yesterday right here in Washington, D.C.

We had all these scientists and all of them came to the conclusion, yes, part of the globe is warming. Let’s keep in mind, now, the southern hemisphere has never been warming and changing in the last 25 years. The last time I checked that’s part of the globe.

But if the northern hemisphere is warming up, it’s not due to manmade gases. And that’s what these people all come to the conclusion. And yet the other side, the far left, the George Soros, the Hollywood elitists, the far left environmentalists on the committee that I chair — all of them want us to believe the science is settled and it’s not.

By the way, there’s all kinds of new things. Gretchen, you’ll enjoy this. Get your violin out and get ready. They came out with a great discovery just a few weeks ago. And this came from the geophysical research letters and you know what they said? Hold on now! They said the warming is due to the sun. Isn’t that remarkable?


BRIAN: That’s a Fox News alert.

GRETCHEN: <b>That is a Fox News alert.</b>
Update: Inhofe Tipped to UN "Brainwashing" by Former Limbaugh Producer
By Justin Rood - November 17, 2006, 12:35 PM

The U.N. conference on global warming in Nairobi was nothing more than a "brainwashing session," Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) declared yesterday. As we noted then, Inhofe -- a man of science -- wasn't basing that on firsthand knowledge, but on the word of his staff who attended the event.

Who was this expert staffer? Press accounts identify him as Marc Morano, who isn't a scientist but is Inhofe's press flack. Morano is also a former reporter and producer for the Rush Limbaugh show, according to an online biography of the gentleman.

TPMmuckraker editorial guidelines strictly prohibit the writing of completely obvious punch lines. So I will only point out the building blocks -- Inhofe, "brainwashing," expert, Rush Limbaugh Show -- and let readers construct their own.
Senator raps U.N. "brainwashing" on climate
Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:14pm ET27

By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate's most vocal global warming skeptic, James Inhofe, on Thursday dismissed a U.N. meeting on climate change as a "brainwashing" session.

Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who will step down as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in January, told a news conference, "The idea that the science (on global warming) is settled is altogether wrong."

A majority of scientists, many in the U.S. government, accept that global warming is spurred by human actions and the emission of greenhouse gases. President George W. Bush said as much in July at a summit of industrialized nations.

Inhofe said he acknowledged that the planet is warming but disputed those who attribute it to human activity and the emission of greenhouse gases. Instead, he blamed climate change on natural cycles.

That puts him at odds with some in his own party, including Arizona Sen. John McCain, who on Thursday took the first step toward a White House run in 2008.

McCain said he and Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, plan to re-introduce a bill on climate change on the first day of the new Congress.

"I think we've reached a tipping point in this debate, long overdue," McCain said at a forum on energy and the environment. "I think there's great urgency ... and the scientific evidence continues to accumulate.".....
McCain: Bush Admin Breaks Laws to Hide Global Warming Data
By Justin Rood - November 17, 2006, 1:35 PM

"They're simply not complying with the law. It's incredible."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) raised eyebrows yesterday with that comment regarding the Bush administration, made before a crowd of several hundred at a Washington, D.C. event.

At issue is a report on climate change that Congress requires every ten years. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is responsible for producing the document, last filed a report in 2000. A new report -- the first to be filed by the Bush administration -- was due in November 2004, but to date the agency has not done so.

"When you get to that degree of obfuscation, then you get a little depressed," McCain said, according to the trade daily Environment and Energy.

McCain has rapped the administration before over the long-overdue report.

At a June 2005 hearing, McCain grilled Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Bush's appointed chief of NOAA, over a GAO report chastising his agency for failing to deliver their findings on time.

"Basically, they say you're not complying with the law," McCain told Lautenbacher.

"Yes, sir," the NOAA chief responded.

"Are you complying with the law?" McCain asked.

"I believe that we are complying with the law, yes sir," Lautenbacher replied.

"You know," McCain said a few moments later, "you are really one of the more astonishing witnesses that I have [faced] -- in the 19 years I've been a member of this [Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation] Committee."

Lautenberger explained that his staff was working on "pieces" of the report, and conceded the November 2004 deadline had been a "difficult requirement to meet."

McCain isn't alone in wanting the study. On Tuesday, a trio of environmental groups announced they are suing NOAA to release the document.
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