Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pressure Change


After listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" today, they managed to not consider this.

Scientists charge White House pressure on warming
Tue Jan 30, 2007
By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. scientists were pressured to tailor their writings on global warming to fit the Bush administration's skepticism, in some cases at the behest of a former oil-industry lobbyist, a congressional committee heard on Tuesday.

"Our investigations found high-quality science struggling to get out," Francesca Grifo of the watchdog group Union of Concerned Scientists told members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

A survey by the group found that 150 climate scientists personally experienced political interference in the past five years, for a total of at least 435 incidents.

"Nearly half of all respondents perceived or personally experienced pressure to eliminate the words 'climate change,' 'global warming' or other similar terms from a variety of communications," Grifo said.

Rick Piltz, a former U.S. government scientist who said he resigned in 2005 after pressure to soft-pedal findings on global warming, told the committee in prepared testimony that former White House official Phil Cooney took an active role in casting doubt on the consequences of global climate change.

Cooney, who was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute before becoming chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, resigned in 2005 to work for oil giant ExxonMobil.

Documents on global climate change required Cooney's review and approval, Piltz said.

"His edits of program reports, which had been drafted and approved by career science program managers, had the cumulative effect of adding an enhanced sense of scientific uncertainty about global warming and minimizing its likely consequences," Piltz said.


These discussions are part of the run-up to release of a major United Nations report on climate change, scheduled for Friday in Paris. Drafts of the report strengthened the case that humans are the principal cause of global warming after 1950."

And here is a different twist on the same story in the International Herald.

Rep. Henry Waxman said he and the top Republican on his oversight committee, Rep. Tom Davis, have sought documents from the administration on climate policy, but repeatedly been rebuffed.

"The committee isn't trying to obtain state secrets or documents that could affect our immediate national security," said Waxman, opening the hearing. "We are simply seeking answers to whether the White House's political staff is inappropriately censoring impartial government scientists."

Waxman said his committee had not received documents it requested from the White House and other agencies, and that a handful of papers received on the eve of the hearing "add nothing to our inquiry."

I bet Henry will get those documents,

and even make NPR when he does.

I heard Noam Chomsky say that he has been on NPR twice.

Both times, his responses to questions had to be written,

and approved. He then read from that script.

Maybe" a Cooney" is over there too.

Oz note:
I just heard. NPR ran the story with a business slant on Market Watch.


What it is About

Earthfamily Principles

Earthfamilyalpha Content III

Earthfamilyalpha Content II

Earthfamilyalpha Content




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earth's surface temperature could rise by 4.5 C (8.1 F) if carbon dioxide levels double over pre-industrial levels, but higher warming cannot be ruled out, according to a draft report under debate by the UN's top climate experts.
The draft -- being discussed line by line at the four-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- grimly states that the evidence for man-made influence on the climate system is now stronger than ever.

And carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution spewed out this century will stoke global warming and sea-level rise "for more than a millennium," given the time it takes for fossil-fuel pollution to degrade, it says.

Among other things, the document declares it "very likely" that heatwaves and pounding rain will become more frequent, snow cover is projected to contract -- and typhoons and hurricanes will become less frequent but more powerful.

Before the Industrial Revolution, levels of CO2, the principal greenhouse gas, stood at around 280 parts per million (ppm).

Today, CO2 concentrations are around 380 ppm and are rising between two and three ppm per year as big energy-gobbling countries, such as China and India, pursue their economic rise.

The temperature has already risen by 0.74 C (1.33 F) over the last century.

It is "very likely" a probability of more than 90 percent that the rise since the mid 1900s was caused by man-made greenhouse gases. The report paints a bleak tableau of what has been happening to Earth's climate.

Since the 1970s, droughts have become intenser and longer, especially in the tropics and subtropics, while the maximum area covered by seasonally frozen ground in the northern hemisphere has retreated by seven percent since 1900.

Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the warmest years for which there are reliable records.

This could be man made or it could be a natural cycle. It is most possible that the temperatures have been pushed higher more quickly by man.

The average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3,000 metres (10,500 feet), showing that it is absorbing the heat from the atmosphere.

Warming the seas has caused them to expand, which accounts for 60-70 percent of the 1.8mm (0.07 of an inch) per year rise in global sea levels seen between 1961 and 2003. The rest of the rise is accounted for by shrinkage of the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland.

In 2001, the IPCC predicted global atmospheric temperatures would rise by between 1.4 and 5.8 C (2.52-10.4 F) by 2100 compared to 1990, depending on how much CO2 was in the air.

With CO2 at 550ppm, average global temperatures would be between 2 and 4.5 C (3.6-8.1 F) higher than pre-industrial times, "with a best estimate of about 3 C (5.4 F)," says the report.

It warns, though, that "values substantially higher than 4.5 C (8.1 F) cannot be excluded" if CO2 concentrations also rise significantly.

These are among the forecast effects for this century:

-- snow cover will continue to shrink and the depth of thaw will accelerate over most regions with permafrost.

-- sea levels will rise by between 28 and 43 centimetres (11.2-17.2 inches), depending on the CO2 level. In the 2001 estimate, the range was 9-88 cms (3.5-35 inches).

-- sea-ice cover will shrink in both north and south poles. Some projections say summer sea ice in the Arctic "disappears almost entirely" by 2100.

-- hot extremes and heavy precipitation are very likely to become more frequent.

-- tropical cyclones will become less numerous but more intense, and storm tracks will move poleward.

-- the Gulf Stream, the warm Atlantic current which gives Western Europe its balmy climate despite its high latitude, will slow by a quarter during the 21st century, according to average projections.

But fears that Western Europe will be plunged into a regional Ice Age this century can be discounted. The Gulf Stream is "very unlikely" to undergo a brutal slowdown, and in any case, atmospheric temperatures will warm because of the greenhouse effect.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second story, low and behold, was actually on CNN.

It was good to hear the details.

Yesterday evening, on NPR, I heard the editor of the Observer in London giving updated details on climate change. He stated that this is the biggest story that the modern world has ever heard - one that will affect every living person on the planet.

Then we knew that - you have been hammering that theme home since the inception of Earthfamily.


7:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home