Bush the anti-scientist and global warming obfuscation

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    Martin W

      Couldn't resist a post here using this as headline!


      Even tho it's about comedian Robin Williams:

      Williams says, "There is global warming. I know our president doesn't agree. (Bush thinks) 'Global Warming. Oh just go inside for a bit.'"

      Martin W

        If to have a thread with this title, may as well add some posts about George "Warmer" Bush, the world’s leading Anti-Scientist (leading as in his powerful position, has downplayed science, notably re global warming). Now this buffoon is presiding over major cut in satellite monitoring that’s important for knowing what’s happening with global warming. (Any skeptics wander by: important, too, for showing whether and to what extent global warming really is an issue.) From AP report, here in the Guardian:

        The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as the president tries to convince the world the U.S. is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases. A confidential report to the White House, obtained by The Associated Press, warns that U.S. scientists will soon lose much of their ability to monitor warming from space … the Pentagon and two partners – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA – will rely on European satellites for most of the climate data. “Unfortunately, the recent loss of climate sensors … places the overall climate program in serious jeopardy,” NOAA and NASA scientists told the White House in the Dec. 11 report obtained by the AP. They said they will face major gaps in data that can be collected only from satellites about ice caps and sheets, surface levels of seas and lakes, sizes of glaciers, surface radiation, water vapor, snow cover and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch, a watchdog program of the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, called the situation a crisis. “We’re going to start being blinded in our ability to observe the planet,” said Piltz, whose group provided the AP with the previously undisclosed report. “It’s criminal negligence, and the leaders in the climate science community are ringing the alarm bells on this crisis.” … Jerry Mahlman, a former scientist at NOAA who is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said he and other colleagues warned of problems as far back as 1995. He compared the preparations for the satellites to a “planned train wreck.”

        U.S. Cuts Back Climate Checks From Space

        Martin W

          Big article in the Rolling Stone, includes:

          the Bush administration has never felt bound by the reality-based nature of science – especially when it comes from international experts.

          the White House has implemented an industry-formulated disinformation campaign designed to actively mislead the American public on global warming and to forestall limits on climate polluters.

          “They’ve got a political clientele that does not want to be regulated,” says Rick Piltz, a former Bush climate official who blew the whistle on White House censorship of global-warming documents in 2005. “Any honest discussion of the science would stimulate public pressure for a stronger policy. They’re not stupid.”

          Bush’s do-nothing policy on global warming began almost as soon as he took office. By pursuing a carefully orchestrated policy of delay, the White House has blocked even the most modest reforms and replaced them with token investments in futuristic solutions like hydrogen cars. “It’s a charade,” says Jeremy Symons, who represented the EPA on Cheney’s energy task force, the industry-studded group that met in secret to craft the administration’s energy policy. “They have a single-minded determination to do nothing – while making it look like they are doing something.”

          The Secret Campaign of President Bush’s Administration To Deny Global Warming

          Martin W
            The Bush administration must release a climate-change research plan and scientific assessment report that are as much as two years overdue, a federal judge ruled, rejecting a White House claim that compliance with a law requiring the studies is discretionary.

            U.S. District Judge Saundra Armstrong in Oakland, California, said yesterday that the administration violated a 1990 U.S. law requiring the government to produce the research plans every three years and the assessments every four years. She ordered a summary of the research plan to be produced by March and the assessment by May.

            The administration “unlawfully withheld action” required under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, said Armstrong. The last research plan was in 2003, and the last assessment was published in 2000. Greenpeace International and two other environmental groups sued in November seeking a court order to produce the reports.

            “This administration has denied and suppressed the science of global warming at every turn,” Brendan Cummings, an attorney arguing the case for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. Cummings called the ruling “a stern rebuke of the administration’s head-in-the-sand approach to global warming.”

            President Bush Ordered to Release Overdue Global-Warming Plan

            Martin W

              From Daily Telegraph – showing even Bush surely having to change views, though highly unlikely that he’ll take any real action.

              George Bush’s top scientific advisor has delivered the strongest statement yet from within the US administration that greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity are to blame for climate change.

              Professor John Marburger said it was more than 90 per cent likely that mankind was causing global warming and that the earth may become “unlivable” without reductions in CO2 output.

              “I think there is widespread agreement on certain basics, and one of the most important is that we are producing far more CO2 from fossil fuels than we ought to be,” he told the BBC.

              “And it’s going to lead to trouble unless we can begin to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we are burning and using in our economies.”

              Man is to blame for global warming, US admits

              Martin W

                Though certain energy industry types and allies/near allies keep churning out disinformation, even George Bush is being persuaded global warming is a real issue – but still figuring it’s best to talk rather than act.

                Reuters has short timeline, showing how his views have changed. Includes:

                June 11, 2001 – Shortly before his Europe tour, Bush says it remains uncertain how much of global warming is caused by humans and pledges to use science and diplomacy to fight it.

                June 4, 2002 – Bush distances himself from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report to the United Nations on the negative effect of global warming, saying it was a “bureaucratic” hot air.

                January 23, 2007 – Bush mentions global warming for the first time in his State of the Union speech, saying solutions to the problem lie in technological advances and the use of renewable fuels like ethanol.

                FACTBOX-Bush’s evolving policy on global warming

                Martin W

                  George "Warmer" Bush isn’t going to look good in history, especially for his environmental record. Atlanta Journal-Constitution has short but scathing piece on Bush and his wobbly wimpiness re warming. Includes:

                  During his tenure, the president first tried to deny mounting scientific evidence of global warming; later, when denial was no longer possible, he tried to downplay its importance. Even now, with the need for action as obvious as a melting glacier, he continues to deny responsibility for addressing the challenge. … As a candidate in 2000, Bush supported the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change and pledged on the campaign trail to treat carbon emissions as a pollutant. Upon election, however, he morphed into a sneering global warming skeptic and then a disinterested thumb-twiddler. He leads the nation responsible for generating 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, yet declines to take a decisive leadership role in fixing the problem. Unfortunately, global warming is moving much faster than the president, and much faster than scientists originally predicted.

                  A matter of life and global warming

                  President Bush’s hot-and-cold approach delays strategy to cut harmful gases

                  Martin W

                    So, the days of Bush government trying to muffle news re global warming and its impacts are not over yet.
                    From Think Progress:

                    CDC officials are now revealing that the White House heavily edited Gerberding’s [ie Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] testimony [to a senate committee, on “Human Impacts of Global Warming”], which originally was longer and had more “information on health risks“:

                    “It was eviscerated,” said a CDC official, familiar with both versions, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the review process.

                    The official said that while it is customary for testimony to be changed in a White House review, these changes were particularly “heavy-handed,” with the document cut from its original 14 pages to four. It was six pages as presented to the Senate committee.

                    The White House’s deletions included “details on how many people might be adversely affected because of increased warming and the scientific basis for some of the CDC’s analysis on what kinds of diseases might be spread in a warmer climate and rising sea levels.”

                    White House ‘Eviscerates’ CDC Director’s Senate Testimony On Global Warming

                    ABC News also picked up this story; report includes:

                    Environmental and public health experts overwhelmingly denounced editing by the White House of a federal health agency head’s testimony to Congress Tuesday. Significant deletions were made from the testimony, concerning global warming and the potential impact on human health.

                    The original, unedited testimony presented to Congress by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and obtained by ABC News was 14 pages long, but the White House Office of Management and Budget edited the final version down to a mere six pages.

                    Scientists and public health organizations called the move “frustrating,” “terrible” and “appalling.” The edits essentially deleted all sections that referred to climate change as a public health concern — including the risks of increased food-borne and waterborne diseases, worsening extreme weather events, worsening air pollution and the effect of heat stress on humans.

                    Scientists Denounce Global Warming Report ‘Edits’
                    Public Health Experts Say Edits Represent Censoring of Science

                    Martin W

                      Boston Globe has column re US administration’s foot dragging, and behind the times attitude, re global warming. Includes:

                      UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling on the United States and China to take global warming as the “challenge of our age.” In his address that accompanied the release of the IPCC report, Ban said, “The world’s scientists have spoken, clearly and with one voice. In Bali, I expect the world’s policy makers to do the same.”

                      Ban listed several threatened world “treasures,” such as melting Antarctic ice and the drying out of the Amazon rainforest into a savanna. He talked of children wearing protective clothing for ultraviolet radiation in Punta Arenas, Chile, under the hole in the ozone layer. “These scenes are as frightening as a science fiction movie,” Ban said. “But they are more terrifying because they are real.”

                      Bush officials treat this as fiction. The United States reportedly tried to eliminate a part of the report that detailed possible outcomes of global warming, such as a melting of ice sheets more rapidly than originally thought. The prospect of melting is considered so dire that it “would make it not just difficult, but impossible to adapt successfully” to climate change, Princeton scientist Michael Oppenheimer said in The New York Times.

                      Yet, when queried as to what level of global warming the White House found acceptable, senior environmental adviser James Connaughton said incredibly, “We don’t have a view on that.”

                      Here at home, many governors with a longer view, both Democrat and Republican, are taking matters into their own hands.

                      In dire scenarios of climate change, many islands will be swamped. The White House is the last island of ignorance in a fast-rising sea.

                      Hesitance on the warming front

                      Martin W

                        US Committee on Oversight and Government reform has produced damning report on Bush administration’s attempts to distort and downplay climate science.

                        The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.


                        In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal “Communications Action Plan” that stated: “Victory will be achieved when … average citizens ‘understand’ uncertainties in climate science … [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’” The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry’s communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy.
                        The White House Censored Climate Change Scientists

                        The White House exerted unusual control over the public statements of federal scientists on climate change issues. It was standard practice for media requests to speak with federal scientists on climate change matters to be sent to CEQ for White House approval.

                        Committee Report: White House Engaged in Systematic Effort to Manipulate Climate Change Science

                        Martin W

                          No big surprises here, I’m afraid

                          The head of the US environmental protection body ignored advice from staff in rejecting California’s bid to set tough new vehicle emissions standards, it was reported on Friday.

                          On Wednesday Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Stephen Johnson denied California’s request because the state did not meet certain legal requirements for being permitted its own emissions limits.

                          But Friday The Los Angeles Times cited several sources inside and outside the agency as saying that EPA staff who had studied the issue for months had advised Johnson that the opposite was true.

                          “California met every criteria … on the merits. The same criteria we have used for the last 40 years on all the other waivers,” one EPA staff member told the Times. “We told him (Johnson) that. All the briefings we have given him laid out the facts.”

                          California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols told the Times she had learned from EPA staff that they were over-ruled by Johnson.

                          Nichols said the decision showed that President George W. Bush’s administration “ignores the science and ignores the law to reach the politically convenient conclusion.”

                          US environment chief ignored advice on Cal. emissions: report

                          Martin W

                            Bush has finally announced something like plans re warming, right in the twilight of his presidency. Woeful stuff, though:

                            President Bush has been criticised by environment groups after he called for a halt to the growth of US greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 but offered few ideas on how to achieve it.

                            The proposal on global warming, which fell short of European proposals, was announced as the US Congress prepares to consider more ambitious plans and before international climate change negotiations take place in Paris.

                            Mr Bush offered only broad principles, such as focusing on emissions from the power industry, and rejected new taxes, abandoning nuclear power and trade barriers.

                            President Bush’s environment plans criticised


                            On LA Times blogs:

                            A congressional investigation has produced new details on the degree to which senior Bush administration officials favored using the Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gas emissions — until pressure from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, ExxonMobil and others in the oil industry led the Bush administration to change course.

                            A report by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued today, supports the disclosure by a former Environmental Protection Agency official last week that someone in Cheney’s office had a hand in the shift in policy.

                            Among the findings of the congressional investigation: There was wide senior-level support at the EPA for concluding that greenhouse gases are a danger to the public and that the EPA should regulate emissions — from vehicles, power plants, refineries and other sources.

                            That would have been a dramatic shift in federal policy, and it would have given the EPA a powerful hand in trying to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases widely blamed for causing global warming.

                            Report links Cheney office, oil giant to global warming policy shift

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