In the face of the Climategate scandal and recent admissions by the IPCC (the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that the reports it had published urging action to avert climate change were based on flawed data, Republican senator James Inhofe, ranking member of Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee is asking for an investigation. He wants the Obama administration to revisit the supposedly finished debate on anthropogenic climate change with regard to whether there was “research misconduct or criminal actions” carried out by the scientists involved in generating the reports relied upon the IPCC. Today the minority members of the committee have issued a statement of concern that these scientists have “violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, federal laws.” (emphasis mine) They also want Al Gore called back to Congress to defend his movie and himself in this affair, and for the EPA to reconsider its recent “Endangerment Finding” (which would eventually lead to the agency regulating CO2 emissions) seeing as the finding was based on the particularly flawed fourth report from the IPCC.
Here’s a quote from their statement:
“Since the Climategate files were released, the IPCC has been forced to retract a number of specific conclusions — such as a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — and has been forced to confirm that the report was based in large part on reports from environmental activist groups instead of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Murari Lal, an editor of the IPCC AR4 report, admitted to the London Daily Mail that he had known the 2035 date was false, but was included in the report anyway “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.”
The minority Senators cite four major issues revealed by Climategate:
1.The emails suggest some climate scientists were cooperating to obstruct the release of damaging information and counter-evidence.
2.They suggest scientists were manipulating the data to reach predetermined conclusions.
3.They show some climate scientists colluding to pressure journal editors not to publish work questioning the “consensus.”
4.They show that scientists involved in the report were assuming the role of climate activists attempting to influence public opinion while claiming scientific objectivity.”
Their statement also includes a number of potential violations including:
1.It suggests scientific misconduct that may violate the Shelby Amendment — requiring open access to the results of government-funded research — and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policies on scientific misconduct (which were announced December 12, 2000).
2.It notes the potential for violations of the Federal False Statements and False Claims Acts, which may have both civil and criminal penalties.
3.The report also notes the possibility of there having been an obstruction of Congress in congressional proceeds, which may constitute an obstruction of justice.
This report appeared on Pajamas Media and was linked to by the Drudge Report. I wonder if it will show up anywhere else? And will Inhofe’s request have even a ghost of a chance of being honored by the democratic majority? To say nothing of an adminstration that has already openly declared its intent to proceed on actions designed to “save” us from the effects of man-caused climate change whether it exists or not…
Here’s the article: Climategate and the Law
And here’s another story by the same writer, also on Pajamas Media: “Climategate: The World’s Biggest Story, Everywhere but Here.” This one was particularly interesting in its tracing of the unfolding of the American media’s formulation of the way they would report this story — not as a failure of the scientific process and community, but as a couple of minor flaws — “mistakes were made” — but nothing significant and certainly nothing that affects the already-thoroughly-established credibility of and consensus regarding AGW “science”.