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Following up on Peter’s post about the New York Times’ Saturday piece, when the White House last published such a Climate Action Report in 2002, it did so in very misguided fashion. This is because the document constitutes a catalogue of the US’s “policies and measures” relating to anthropogenic climate change, according to the Rio Treaty Articles 4.2 and 12. This is a bad thing because the Administration believed that it could appease global warming alarmists without risk by leaving in controversial conclusions so long as it added qualifiers. This led to no end of grief – mostly spurious cries – and even serves as the basis for claims and congressional hearings both past and coming) alleging that the White House “censored science”.

The next CAR is in process and, word on the street has it – pardon my vagueness, but I am now careful to pay little attention to recalling the names of sources given the show trials in which we all are possible bit players – career employees of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP, which by statute and subsequent delegation manage large parts of the document), joined by folks seconded to draft this CAR, are cleverly setting up the CAR Controversy II. That is, they are creating a paper trail of insisting that the State Department (which ostensibly publishes the document) to now drop the phrase “as the science justifies”. They also purportedly have demanded that the White House stop using the phrase, not just a common sense qualifier but common throughout government policy for years.

This is the latest incremental effort to impose a speech code on the subject of anthropogenic climate science.

Word also has it that the same individuals are obstructing publication of CAR in the name of demanding that State beef up the “scientific assessment” (more models, outcomes, etc.). Whatever the outcome this abets Chairman Henry Waxman’s planned next installment in his series of show trials, both on “substance” and timing.

Game this out: If they are rebuffed, their communications will find their way into WaxCarthyite missives shouting to the heavens of proof of censorship; if they succeed, it is (again) “proof!”, but that the Bush White House (particularly the next scheduled victim, former WH CEQ chief of staff Phil Cooney, et al.) “censored science”, because the absence of certain parties we see at last the truth permitted, and so on.

Just imagine the trial lawyers salivating over the prospect of the litigation that this will foster, once “(even) the Bush Administration now admits the science is settled!” Let us hope that the administration can learn from (CEI’s cautions, ignored) last time that this is not a throwaway document but per a ratified treaty the US official position on, e.g., the science of climate change; and that dropping this common sense qualifier is one more giant step toward making the case for the Alien Tort Claims Act class our litigious barristers are now doubt desperate to certify.



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