Obama’s Transparency War Targets Climate Skeptics

by David Bier on December 15, 2011 · 4 comments

in Energy, Environment, Features, Global Warming, Transparency

President Obama ran on a platform of transparency. He praised whistleblowers. “Such acts of courage and patriotism,” he said, “should be encouraged rather than stifled.” He was intensely critical of the Bush administration that “ignored public disclosure rules.” The president and his staff have both said, “This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.” Yet his administration has been even more secretive and hostile toward public disclosure than the previous. He has cracked down on whistleblowers (and the journalists who they leak to) more than any other administration in history. He has brought nearly double (5) the number of indictments against whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined (3), and is currently working on another.

On top of this war on whistleblowers, the president has fought Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “Two years into its pledge to improve government transparency,” the Associated Press reports, “the Obama administration handled fewer requests for federal records from citizens, journalists, companies and others last year even as significantly more people asked for information.” In November, Obama’s Justice Department proposed a rule that would allow them to lie about the existence of documents that were of national security concern. Last month, CEI’s Chris Horner called the administration the “most secretive ever,” and listed many ways in which under Obama, FOIA requests have been thwarted in the most underhanded ways.

Today, Horner has reported new outrages in Obama’s transparency war. He writes that “the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, is working with United Kingdom police to pursue the leaker of the 2009 and 2011 ‘Climategate’ emails. I have learned that last week DOJ sent a search-and-seizure letter to the host of three climate-change ‘skeptic’ blogs. Last night, UK police raided a blogger’s home and removed computers and equipment.” He continues:

The leaked records derailed “cap-and-trade” legislation in the U.S. and, internationally, as well as talks for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The emails and computer code were produced with taxpayer funds and held on taxpayer-owned computers both in the US and the UK, and all were subject to the UK Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and state FOIA laws.

They also were being unlawfully withheld in both the UK (by the University of East Anglia) and the U.S. (Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including stonewalling me for two years, and three other requesters for longer).

The hunt involving U.S. and UK law enforcement agencies is now escalating. On Wednesday night UK time, six detectives with the UK police (Norfolk Police Department) raided the home of at least one blogger, removing his equipment to look for clues to the identity of leaker “FOIA 2011.”

On December 9, DOJ sent a preservation letter under 18 U.S.C 2703(f) to the publication platform (website host) WordPress. This authority authorizes the government to request an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to preserve all records of a specific account for 90 days while the feds work on a warrant.

Norfolk PD affirmed to the subject of at least one of their raids that this international law enforcement hunt is for the leaker, meaning not for those whose acts the leaker exposed by making public emails containing admissions in their own words.

View the whole article here.

Leslie Graham December 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Lest we forget…

In March of 2010, the British House of Commons’ Science and Technology committee released the results of their investigation into the scandal, revealing that nothing in the 1,000 emails conflicted with the scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.” They concluded that the scientific reputation of the CRU “remains intact.” Another independent investigation released in July similarly cleared the scientists, saying they were honest and their research was reliable.

Yet another investigation (there were NINE in all) by the U.S. Commerce Department was conducted after Inhofe requested an inquiry into the emails on May 26, 2010. The response, sent to Inhofe, states:

In our review of the CRU emails, we did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data comprising the [Global Historical Climatology Network] dataset or failed to adhere to appropriate peer review procedures.

The remaining SIX seperate inquiries in two countries ALL found that, in the words of one of them, the scientists “simply have no case to answer”. The only real criticism was that the FOIA requests could have been handled better – even though much of the data was not the property of CRU and could not be released for legal reasons and also that the scientists were receiving up to SIXTY frivolous FOI requests per DAY at one point – organised by McIntyre surprise surprise.

And yet the denial industry still likes to pretend that they havn’t been proved wrong on all counts and that there was some kind of ‘fraud’ or ‘fudgeing’ going on.
No wonder it has backfired on them this time. They’ve been well and truly rumbled.
And a good thing too.

Dennis Jaques December 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

L.Graham: if you are sure that nothing in the CRU or NOAA daatbases needs hiding, why are the U.K. police and U.S. Dept. of Justice denying Freedom of Information requests for the data-handling and manipulations of raw climate data by Phil Jones and colleagues using TAXPAYER money in research grants. This is highly suspect. In fact, I – as a science researcher for 45 years – have looked at North American raw climate data and analyzed it and have found that the manipulations apparent in the UN IPCC 2007 report are incorrect and biased towards producing warming during the past 30-40 years on a magnitude not found in the raw data. How did they manipulate these recent climatic station data and why won’t they release the data and their methods of analysis. No – I repeat – no peer-reviewed scientific publication can escape accurately and fully divuling their methods of analysis. But the U.N. “scientists” have done just this! Unspeakably inept at the least and dishonest in all likelihood. At least, this makes one wonder at the veracity of their conclusions. I firmly disagree with their conclusions and challenge Dr. Phil Jones to a debate of real data!

Correct data an analyses such as I have performed show that the warming period from 1978-1998 has ENDED and the mean annual temperatures in North America have been stable or cooling since about 1998. In addition, these honest data analyses show that the warming period from 1978-1998 was COOLER than a similar warming period from 1924-1941. As well, the recent warming period which ended about 1998 was MUCH cooler than the Medieval Warm Period and The Roman Warm Period of ancient history! Seems to me there’s a serious data analysis problem that the “scientists” who produced the data in the UN IPPC 2007 report want to hide. Focus on this issue of data analysis. Any science worth it’s salt MUST be replicable to have any semblance of credibility.

Carbonicus December 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Dennis, you have it right. Except that wrt your last sentence, theirs isn’t science as you know it. It is political pseudo-science parading as science.

Empirical evidence doesn’t matter. The MWP and RWP are whisked away by a computer model specifically tuned to eliminate it, virtually no matter what data is fed into it (Mann, Bradley, Hughes). When tree ring data becomes uncooperative, it is spliced to surface temperature records to produce a temperature reconstruction that fits the predetermined conclusion, all without mention of the blatant abrogation of scientific method used to produce it. These are well documented facts.

L.G., your NINE “investigations” were a joke. The makeup of the panels and how they were selected, what info they reviewed, what qualified them to reach their conclusions. Both the science and these investigations were the product of a machine that has already determined the outcome in each case.

L.G., I would direct you to the little dustup between Copernicus, Galileo, and the Catholic Church circa 1600s. It is instructive. This scientific debate ends similarly. The prevailing wisdom, dogmatically clung to by the authority and its masses (the latter under threat of jail), turns out to be totally, completely wrong. A miniscule minority, jailed in the 1600s for their views (Galileo) turns out to be right. Today, any suggestion that the earth is the center of our universe and the sun and all the planets revolve around it would be laughed at. History will regard your present belief system on the subject of CO2/GHGs equally.

L.G., do not confuse highly technical political pseudo science with the kind of actual, outcome-agnostic science Dennis and people like Dr. John Christy, Roy Spencer, and many other fine scientists conduct. What your side puts forth as science is the equivalent of the 1600s religious “science” taught (imposed under threat of jail for blasphemy) by the Catholic Church (no offense meant to the Church or its followers; this is merely an analogy to the modern “church” of “global warming”). In short, it is faith, not science. And “consensus” isn’t a scientific consideration. 999,999 experts can believe one thing, and one person with a provable hypothesis turns out to be right. Consensus is politics (no coincidence).

This would be a mere intellectual debate but for the fact that the US govt. has wasted $100 BILLION on “climate policy” over the last 12 years. Western govts. in the aggregate have wasted well over $200 BILLION over the same period. Meanwhile, we have over 1 billion humans on this planet without adequate clean water, food, basic sanitation, and other critical elements of reduced disease, increased life expectancy, reduced infant mortality, and improved living standards. THIS is what history will record as the shame. It is what your side stands for, and has directly caused. Not that our generation ruined the planet or its atmosphere due to our gluttonish consumerism, capitalism, or industrialization, but that we misdirected billions of dollars toward an ideology that attempted to use a false science to control the aforementioned evils by controlling energy, under the auspices of a planetary crisis that never existed in the first place.

Nice work.

Jeffrey Eric Grant December 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

For me, it is not the question of “what” that is critical; it is the question of “why” that is in the forefront. Science is in the position to answer “why”. Take the complexities of the Universe, for example, with the ongoing questions into particle physics. The scientists that formulate theory think they have it right — just needs to be ‘proven’ by detection of the particles in question….take this week’s announcement from CERN that they think they may have found the “last” quark. The point is — the theories are just someone’s conjecture until they have been ‘proven’.

That is the case with armospheric physics, as well. All this AGW stuff is based on computer generated guesswork. Until it is ‘proven’ with empirical scientific studies, it is still just conjecture.

So, where are the scientific studies that answer the following two questions?
1) Just point me to a recent scientific empirical study that concludes that a rise in atmospheric temperature (exceding roughly 2C/100 yr) was caused by a similar rise in atmospheric CO2. and
2) Since it is known that water absorbs more CO2 when it cools, how is it that the oceans are both rising in temperature and becoming more acidic, AT THE SAME TIME?

True science is not afraid to show not only their results, but how they arrived at same. In fact, most scientists I know love to show their results and win the argument; not by political means, as that is easy, but through exacting research. All science uses the ‘scientific method’ to arrive at their conclusions — that is the best way to be certain that the result is closer to the truth.

So, if anyone cares to, please send me a link to scientific research that answers either of the above questions, please. I have been asking these for quite some time, with no takers. I am beginning to think that there is no recent research on either subject.


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