Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hearing On Climate Change Research & Scientific Integrity

Feb 7: The Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, Chaired by Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) held a hearing entitled, Climate Change Research and Scientific Integrity. Opening statements were made by Senators Inouye, John Kerry and Ranking Member Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Senator Stevens indicated, “I am concerned about the human impacts on our climate. This is why I introduced S. 183, the Improved Passenger Automobile Fuel Economy Act of 2007 (CAFE). Some think that’s a strange thing coming from me. But I believe that it’s essential to raise the question about how much of these effects are being caused by man and how much of it is really a natural phenomenon. This bill requires a fuel economy standard of 40 miles per gallon for passenger automobiles manufactured in the model year 2017. I believe we do have the technology base to do that."

Senator Inouye said, "...before we can even begin debate on climate change, we much investigate the numerous allegations that our federal scientists are being constrained from conveying their research findings and conclusions. Such allegations are serious. To deny federal scientists the right to speak, to change the findings of their work, or to deny the release of their work, basically creating an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, is a great disservice to the public."

Senator Kerry said, "It is crucial that the best available science on climate change be disseminated to the public. Under the Bush Administration, however, this science has been increasingly tailored to reflect political goals rather than scientific fact. The examples of interference are stunning -- from deleting key words including, global warming, warming climate, and climate change from press releases to changing agency mission statements to de-emphasize climate research and denying media access to prominent climate scientists. The abuse must stop."

Testimony was received by representatives of Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Acting Chairman, Climate Change Science Program; University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Climate Dynamics and Prediction Group, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; an Environmental Consultant; Climate Science Watch, Government Accountability Project; and Chemistry and Earth System, School of Physical Sciences, University of California.

Access the hearing website with links to all testimony, the majority opening statements and a webcast of the hearing (click here). Access the statement of Senator Stevens posted separately (click here). [*Climate]