The NOAA/Climate Change Science Program “Unified Synthesis Product,” which I previously noted, and upon which EPA has indicated it intends to rely to support its GHG regulations, has had its plug pulled — for now. Here’s how and why.
First, the U.S. Chamber pointed out that a preponderance of the 21 reports that had purportedly been “synthesized” had not actually been produced yet. Sure, that sequence sounds odd in the real world, but is reminiscent of the IPCC, to which the USP appealed as the authority for certain otherwise unsupported claims (though the IPCC openly admits that it, too, performs no scientific research). This is a point we also made in our comments. I’m informed that NOAA has now agreed to publish the underlying documents first . . . and then put out their desired USP. The Chamber should have a release out soon.
Second, a series of scientists, including Roger Pielke Sr. and Jr., Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger, Joe D’Aleo, Fred Singer, and a handful of others joined my colleague Marlo Lewis and me in exposing in detail the scientifically and legally unsupportable nature of the 208-page monstrosity. Key absurdities included breakout points in the Executive Summary of “Urgency of Action,” “Irreversible Losses,” “The Future Is in Our Hands” and “Tipping Points” (even though nowhere else did the document actually offer a discussion of “Tipping Points” that could be summarized), as well as calls for adoption of a certain policy agenda, all in a supposedly scientific document. The rest of the product was no less skewed, and I hope CEI will post many of these comments later today for your reading pleasure.
All of this flew smack in the face of the statute in whose name the document was produced — the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990, which nowhere authorized such content — and the Information Quality Act which demands objectivity, utility, and integrity of information disseminated by the government.
None of this content came as a surprise, however, having been produced largely by the same gang responsible for the first stab at such a screed, the November 2000 National Assessment — you read that date right. (Hmm, anything else going on in November 2000 that might have prompted such a document?) Litigation by CEI, Sen. Inhofe, and Reps. Emerson and Knollenberg led to NOAA posting a disclaimer that the document had not met the IQA requirements.
This time around, the authors cited their own work more than 100 times, blowing a kiss to the Wegman Committee which exposed the self-affirming and incestuous climate-science community. One addition to the team was a Susan Hassol, writer of the HBO Special Too Hot Not to Handle, produced by none other than Laurie David (I don’t know if Sheryl Crow did the soundtrack). So much for balance. As Pielke Jr. revealed, Ms. Hassol appeared to simply move some of her website’s claims into this self-proclaimed official U.S. government “highly influential scientific assessment.”
So the obvious goal of rushing out a compendium of unsupportable red meat to wave around during this election cycle — shrieking “even George W. Bush now admits…!” – has been frustrated. But stay tuned. Although I have no doubt our comments scared them enough to take paper over some of their main vulnerabilities to further litigation, they know we can’t unring the media bell even if we prevail. Unless NOAA heeds the call by us and several others to replace the drafting team with one meeting the statutory and balance requirements, an equally bad report will issue early next year.