Fighting over the Research
Tue Sep 20, 2005
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For anyone who likes a heated argument, the Climate Change issue probably fills you with glee. But one of these spats took an interesting turn recently. Hi, Iím Bryan Yeaton for The Weather Notebookís Climate Change series.
One of the common disagreements is accuracy of the science. The Bush Administration and its allies say simply that the scientists are wrong, while those who believe in human-caused climate warming cite an overwhelming preponderance of evidence.
But the debate got a bit nasty recently when Chairman of the US. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee, Joe Barton, demanded an investigation into the work of three scientists who compiled information from a variety of proxy data that points to the 1990ís as being the warmest decade in a millennium.
However, Representative Sherwood Boehlert has claimed that Bartonís attack is [quote] ďa transparent effort to bully and harass climate change experts who have reached conclusions with which you disagree." Boehlert also claims that his committee, the House Science Committee, has jurisdiction over Climate Change. Both Barton and Boelhert are Republicans.
The investigation has also sparked the concern of many other climate scientists, twenty of whom wrote a letter to Barton and Ed Whitefield, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. These scientists, which include seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, and recipients of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In the letter, the scientists claim the work in question is only one of thousands pointing toward gravity of the issue, and that the investigation calls for documentation unrelated to the Climate Change. This, they say, could be perceived as intimidation.
Barton has said he will continue his investigation in spite of Boehlertís charges.
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