Bush's Global Warming Lies Exposed (Again)
Bush apologists must be getting free gas until 2008. Why else would they defend this administration's war on science? 60 Minutes just aired an interview with James Hansen, the world's leading researcher on global warming and head of NASA's top institute studying the climate, about the fact that global warming is accelerating. Hansen, an Independent, should be all over the media, but the White House has forbidden him from speaking out. "Or they're censoring whether or not I can say it. I mean, I say what I believe if I'm allowed to say it," he said. "In my more than three decades in the government I've never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public."
Restrictions like this e-mail Hansen's institute received from NASA in 2004. "... there is a new review process ... ," the e-mail read. "The White House (is) now reviewing all climate related press releases," it continued.Phil Cooney, the lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute turned editor of the Council on Environmental Quality, walked through the White House's revolving door in June to work for Exxon Mobil, the company that earned $36 billion last year, the biggest profit ever for a U.S. company. The White House and the oil industry = one big happy family.
Dozens of federal agencies report science but much of it is edited at the White House before it is sent to Congress and the public. It appears climate science is edited with a heavy hand. Drafts of climate reports were co-written by Rick Piltz for the federal Climate Change Science Program. But Piltz says his work was edited by the White House to make global warming seem less threatening.
"The strategy of people with a political agenda to avoid this issue is to say there is so much to study way upstream here that we can't even being to discuss impacts and response strategies," says Piltz. "There's too much uncertainty. It's not the climate scientists that are saying that, its lawyers and politicians."
Piltz worked under the Clinton and Bush administrations. Each year, he helped write a report to Congress called "Our Changing Planet."
Piltz says he is responsible for editing the report and sending a review draft to the White House.
Asked what happens, Piltz says: "It comes back with a large number of edits, handwritten on the hard copy by the chief-of-staff of the Council on Environmental Quality."
Asked who the chief of staff is, Piltz says, "Phil Cooney."
Piltz says Cooney is not a scientist. "He's a lawyer. He was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, before going into the White House," he says.
Cooney, the former oil industry lobbyist, became chief-of-staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Piltz says Cooney edited climate reports in his own hand. In one report, a line that said earth is undergoing rapid change becomes "may be undergoing change." "Uncertainty" becomes "significant remaining uncertainty." One line that says energy production contributes to warming was just crossed out.
"He was obviously passing it through a political screen," says Piltz. "He would put in the word potential or may or weaken or delete text that had to do with the likely consequence of climate change, pump up uncertainty language throughout."
In a report, Piltz says Cooney added this line "... the uncertainties remain so great as to preclude meaningfully informed decision making. ..." References to human health are marked out. 60 Minutes obtained the drafts from the Government Accountability Project. This edit made it into the final report: the phrase "earth may be" undergoing change made it into the report to Congress. Piltz says there wasn't room at the White House for those who disagreed, so he resigned.