“Rep. Lamar Smith asked NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] to produce the data used in their study so Congress could look at them…NOAA is declining to respond to the House’s subpoena and produce the documentation the House science committee is requesting.” The Weekly Standard, November 9, 2015, p. 5
The Weekly Standard, November 9, 2015, p. 4, 5, VOL. 21, NO. 09
In a recent interview with Politico, Al Gore made a pretty remarkable claim about climate change: “All the predictions of the scientists have come true in spades, except it’s now abundantly obvious that they erred on the conservative side.” Whatever side you come down on in the climate change debate, this statement is patently absurd. In fact, more than a few climate change activists have noted that a generation of alarmism hasn’t helped their cause. And it’s downright galling to hear such tripe coming from Gore, who claimed that the polar ice cap would be gone in as little as five years—a prediction he made in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The fact is that alarmist climate scientists continue to do little to help themselves. For a while now, they have been vexed by why warming appears to have paused for 15 years. Well, this summer scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a paper saying the data actually show no pause in global warming and concluding that it was, in fact, accelerating. They reached this conclusion by “correcting” the previous data to show that temperatures before the pause were lower than previously recorded, and more recent temperatures were warmer than reported.
If that sounds arbitrary and suspicious to you—well, you’re not alone. Rep. Lamar Smith asked NOAA to produce the data used in their study so Congress could look at them. Naturally, the climate change community was outraged by such impertinence from a climate change denier such as the Texas Republican, e.g., Slate characterized this move as “More Global Warming Nonsense from Congress.”
Their outrage is going to be pretty hard to sustain, however. That’s because NOAA is declining to respond to the House’s subpoena and produce the documentation the House science committee is requesting. “It is a long-standing practice in the scientific community to protect the confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions,” NOAA said in a statement to Nature.
The idea that scientific process should not be fully transparent, especially when it’s publicly funded, is a bold assertion. Especially since the climate change community is still reeling from events in 2009, when hacked emails from the University of East Anglia showed climate scientists apparently colluding to deal with inconvenient data. And never mind that peer review is essential to the scientific process. Saying complete transparency runs counter to “a long-standing practice in the scientific community” is, well, unscientific.
This stonewalling is even more appalling when you consider that in September, 20 notable climate scientists signed a letter asking the White House to use antiracketeering laws to go after fossil fuel companies. This idea had been floated by Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse in the Washington Post in May.
Who’s being unreasonable here? Rep. Smith wants climate scientists to show taxpayers the work they’re paying for. Climate scientists and Democratic senators want to use racketeering laws to throw their critics in jail.
The Scrapbook is more than willing to consider scientific evidence that climate change is real and man-made. But threatening to criminalize the debate does not suggest that climate change alarmists are confident the truth is on their side.