Monday, October 27, 2014

Bush Administration Suppression of Climate Science

One of the revisionist statements I frequently hear from deniers is that contrary scientists are persecuted by the government and that all you have to do to get funding is to say you are researching climate change. Apparently, in their interpretation of science funding, the government is in a grand conspiracy with climate scientists and will throw unlimited amounts of money at anyone willing to publish anything supporting the company line. When I point out that much of the science they object to was actually done during the Bush administration and that administration actively worked to suppress climate change research I typically receive a very strong denial of that. The Bush Administration, I am told, was a very strong supporter of climate change research and never did anything against climate scientists.

I'm not making this up. I wish I was, but this is an example of just how the denier industry is manipulating public opinion. If they say it, there are people that will believe it and repeat it. Of course, the record speaks for itself and clearly shows that administration did, in fact, actively suppress climate scientists.

Now, sadly, Rick Piltz, the man that blew the whistle on this campaign, recently passed away. He not only exposed how the White House was actively working to suppress any science, including climate science, that disagreed with the party line, but he also founded the website Climate Science Watch.

The story was reported by The New York Times on June 8, 2005. Evidence that was leaked included White House documents that actually had hand-written edits by White House officials. He also revealed the main person behind the effort was Philip Cooney. Cooney came to the administration by way of the American Petroleum Institute, which is a fossil fuel funded group, and was hired to coordinate the government's reports on climate change. Cooney left the White House two days after being exposed and went to work for ExxonMobil.

One of the amazing things is how Piltz predicted specific things that would impact the public and saw all of those predictions come true, including the flooding of the New York subways due to a storm surge. Yet, the fact that these things were accurately predicted in advance isn't something you read about. It is all just conveniently ignored.

So, the question remains, if climate science is a grand conspiracy of the government and climate scientists, why is it that much of the key research used to reach conclusions today was done when the White House actively worked to suppress any conclusions supporting climate change? And, don't try to say that the Bush administration did not try to suppress climate science. Rick Piltz showed just how wrong that statement is.

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