Sauce for the Gander

So, as if to prove my point, here is an article that gives some idea of the kind of thing the Competitive Enterprise Institute gets up to. Helping the Bush White House to ‘play down’ research on global warming that could have consequences the CEI wouldn’t like, for example.

White House officials wanted the CEI’s help to play down the impact of a report last summer by the government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in which the US admitted for the first time that humans are contributing to global warming…The email discusses possible tactics for playing down the report and getting rid of EPA officials, including its then head, Christine Whitman…The CEI is suing another government climate research body that produced evidence for global warming.

Interesting. On the one hand we have an article from someone at the CEI who cites malfeasance by two count them two scientists, but talks about ‘the scientific community’ and ‘environmental scientists’ as if there were no difference between two scientists and all scientists. On the other hand we have the CEI colluding with the Bush administration to ‘play down’ (it’s not clear from the article whose language ‘play down’ is, whether it’s actually in the email in question or it’s the reporter’s paraphrase) scientific findings they don’t like.

And then…it’s interesting that Iain Murray draws our attention to one speech by a scientist and one article by another, but doesn’t draw our attention to the way Bush’s staff suppressed and re-worded whole sections of an EPA report on climate change.

A temperature record covering 1,000 years was also deleted, prompting the EPA memo to note: ‘Emphasis is given to a recent, limited analysis [which] supports the administration’s favoured message.’ White House officials added numerous qualifying words such as ‘potentially’ and ‘may’, leading the EPA to complain: ‘Uncertainty is inserted where there is essentially none.’…When the report was finally published, however, the EPA had removed the entire global warming section to avoid including information that was not scientifically credible.

What price the ideals of science or ‘science as an objective tool in public policy decisions’ now, eh?

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