NOAA's Ark of Lies: Weather Agency
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Preparing False "Climate" Scare
By: Christopher C. Horner, .
Word from within the Bush White House is that one of its own agencies plans to spring a political stunt on unsuspecting taxpayers soon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency overseen by the Department of Commerce, is preparing a formal government document directly contravening President Bush's policy on climate change and science.
NOAA is putting together a city-by-city compendium of predictions designed to scare residents of major American population centers about global warming. The problem is that scientific models designed to predict future climate and related impacts can't possibly predict anything on a city-by-city basis. Not even close.
The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is explicit in asserting that the computer models used for climate modeling are only "credible...down to sub-continental scales" (IPCC Third Assessment Report, "The Scientific Basis" [TAR], p. 473). These models -- from which NOAA claims it will derive climate effects specific to particular cities -- "are not useful for assessing" [even] "regional aspects of climate change" (TAR, p. 476).
In other words, there exists absolutely no scientific basis to make climate projections for cities or metropolitan regions. To assert otherwise, given available modeling capabilities, constitutes bureaucratic malfeasance on the part of NOAA.
The effort seems calculated to advance an energy suppression agenda favored by some NOAA professionals. This is not altogether surprising since the professional stature of those toiling in the field of climate science would greatly improve were the public sufficiently frightened.
NOAA's stated mission is to "describe and predict changes in the Earth's environment, and conserve and wisely manage the Nation's coastal and marine resources." Commerce Secretary Evans, who is now responsible for ultimate oversight of the agency, would surely agree that creating scary scenarios out of whole cloth is not part of that mission.
And NOAA's current politicization also flies directly in the face of President Bush's proclamation in a Rose Garden speech on June 11 re-establishing science as determinative in the area of climate modeling and prediction.
Though it is still early - and some mistakes have been made -- this administration has generally proved more respectful of the scientific method and appropriate expenditure of taxpayer dollars than its recent predecessors. And it has taken considerable political heat for standing up for sound science. But this White House whisper indicates that certain people "at the top" would not be sympathetic to whistleblowers revealing the games going on at NOAA.
Nonetheless, the NOAA challenge will test this administration's dedication to certain environmental and regulatory principles, the differences on which were so great between George W. Bush and Al Gore that it helped provide the margin victory in key states Ohio and West Virginia in the 2000 election.
This apparent mischief, if continued, raises issues of federal "data quality" requirements and congressional oversight of public expenditures. "Data quality" requirements dictate that certain scientific basics be satisfied or a product cannot serve any official purpose. It was designed with such tricks in mind.
Let us hope this administration takes affordable energy and fiscal responsibility seriously enough to intervene, and clean house where necessary.
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