December 11, 2006

Boulder Climate Scientist Claims "Kyoto" Censorship; NASA Scientist James Hansen Compares US To "Nazi Germany Or The Soviet Union"

Ongoing investigations into possible Bush administration censorship received support from Boulder-based NOAA scientist Pieter Tans:
A federal climate scientist in Boulder says his boss told him never to utter the word Kyoto and tried to bar him from using the phrase climate change at a conference.

The allegations come as federal investigators probe whether Bush administration officials tried to block government scientists from speaking freely about global warming and attempted to censor their research.
. . .
Pieter Tans, a senior scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Boulder laboratory, said the ban on using the word Kyoto was issued about four years ago.

"We were under instructions not to use the word Kyoto, which of course is absurd," said Tans, who measures levels of carbon dioxide at NOAA's Global Monitoring Division. He has worked for the agency since 1990.
Tans claims that the censorship measure came from the top-down:
Tans said the order was issued verbally by his boss, David Hofmann, the division director. Another senior researcher at the Boulder laboratory, NOAA physicist James Elkins, said Hofmann told him the same thing.

Elkins studies greenhouse gases and has worked at NOAA for more than 20 years. He said he can't remember when the directive was issued, but it was "probably in 2000 or 2001."

"When I asked why we weren't supposed to use Kyoto, I was told that we're not supposed to use it in the policy context," Elkins said. "I'm not supposed to be talking about policy."

Hofmann, however, called the allegations "nonsense" and said there was no ban on using the word Kyoto.

"I never said it specifically in those words," Hofmann said. "I probably said that since the Kyoto Protocol is not ratified - is not part of the U.S. program - stay away from talking about Kyoto when you give a presentation."

"It has nothing to do with the science we're doing here," Hofmann said of Kyoto.
James Hansen, the allegedly persecuted NASA scientist, had this to say:
In February, congressional leaders asked NASA to guarantee its scientific openness. They complained that an agency public affairs officer changed or filtered information about global warming and tried to limit reporters' access to James Hansen, a prominent NASA climate scientist.

The public affairs officer, George Deutsch, resigned.

Hansen said his NOAA colleagues were experiencing even more severe censorship.

"It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States," he told a New School University audience in New York, according to The Washington Post.
When scientific inquiry becomes agenda-driven research, then these governmental agencies have some issues, and advocacy is not one of them. Issue the findings and let the legislative and administrative branches decide what to do, with adequate public input as well. Policy based on scientific findings is necessarily taken as authoritative, so there is no reason to flog the results as some self-proclaimed public watchdog:
"If we as scientists neglect, systematically neglect, to mention in public that there is a link between our emissions and potential climate change, I think we are really depriving the public of essential information," Tans said.

"I am a public servant," he said. "I have to say it. If not, I am irresponsible."
Scientists are irresponsible when they issue misleading or falsified findings--or use scientific evidence to bolster their claims of what they believe to be true, in this case "climate change". Since that debate is still out (even the UN thinks it is), using one's position as a scientist for advocacy or policy purposes constitutes a grave miscarriage of duty, and doing so would make one truly "irresponsible".



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home