New Climate Report Counters Bush Administration’s Record of “Denial, Disinformation, Cover-Up, and Delay”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2008
5:40 PM

CONTACT: Government Accountability Project
Rick Piltz, Climate Science Watch Director Email: director@climatesciencewatch.orgor
Dylan Blaylock, GAP Communications Director Phone: 202.408.0034 ext 137, 202.236.3733 Email: dylanb@whistleblower.org

New Climate Report Counters Bush Administration’s Record of “Denial, Disinformation, Cover-Up, and Delay”
Years-Overdue Scientific Assessment Report Produced Under Federal Court Order

WASHINGTON, DC – May 29 – A report released today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States, summarizes evidence of global climate disruption, the harmful impacts it is already having on society and the environment, and future projections of potential damages. The report, years overdue under a requirement of law, was produced only in response to an August 2007 federal court order that an assessment be produced by May 31, 2008.

“This report discusses evidence of climate disruption that has been well-understood in the science community and in the government for some time,” said Rick Piltz, Director of the Government Accountability Project’s Climate Science Watch program. “After seven years of denial, disinformation, cover-up, and delay, in its waning months, the Bush administration is finally beginning to allow the publication of reports that acknowledge this scientific reality.”

“In 2001, the White House began to exaggerate a sense of scientific uncertainty about the climate change problem,” added Piltz. “They directed federal agencies to suppress references to and use of the National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts, a major federally supported assessment that was available from the beginning of this administration. As a result, the world has lost precious years to Bush administration officials’ spin, which has failed to prepare our country to deal effectively with the problem.”

By law, the assessment released today is to be transmitted to the President and to Congress.

Added Piltz, “Will the President finally act on the impacts of climate change on agriculture, water resources, land use, biodiversity, and transportation? Or will he dismiss this as just another “report put out by the bureaucracy?””

The government report released today is posted on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Web site: http://www.climatescience.gov/

“The report released today was drafted secretively, with no public review,” Piltz said. “The National Academy of Sciences had called on the federal climate research program to use the original national climate change assessment, with its exemplary and pioneering engagement of stakeholders across the country, as a platform for moving forward in connecting the research program to meet the real needs of society’s decision-makers. But that process was suppressed, and instead we get this rather tepid re-hash of the scientific literature we’re already familiar with. This all underscores the need for the next president to move forward with fundamental reform of the federal climate science program and its relationship to society.”

Piltz made headlines in 2005 when months after he left the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, it was revealed that the 2003 edition of Our Changing Planet, an annual report to Congress which Piltz coordinated and edited, and other reports had been re-edited and censored by a White House official for political purposes.

Piltz is available to the media for comment. Please contact GAP Communications Director Dylan Blaylock at 202.236.3733 with media inquiries.

To visit Climate Science Watch, click on www.climatesciencewatch.org

To read CSW’s post on the court order in the lawsuit filed against the Bush administration by Center for Biological Diversity et al. on the administration’s suppression of national climate change impacts assessment as required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, click here.

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

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