Eintime Conversion for education and research 05-14-2006 @ 16:53:32
Copyrighted by originating associated source: Original

Climate Reports, Edited to Fit (5 Letters)

To the Editor:

The report that a White House official edited government climate reports to play down the threat of global warming brings to mind the phrase "History is written by the victors" ("Bush Aide Edited Climate Reports," front page, June 8).

Apparently, the Bush administration believes that the victors of a national election also have license to rewrite the laws of nature.

But science is not persuaded by a few cunningly inserted adjectives.

One of the beauties of science is its unyielding existentialism: it is what it is, and it will do what it will do, even if a government lawyer masquerading as a scientist tries to obscure the truth.

The dangers posed by global warming continue to grow at an alarming pace. The administration's unconscionable actions will not slow the peril but will ensure only that future consequences will be all the more severe.

David Alexander
Powell, Ohio, June 8, 2005

To the Editor:

You report that some White House officials said the changes made by Philip A. Cooney "were part of the normal interagency review that takes place on all documents related to global environmental change."

This is the problem with the Bush administration: the "normal interagency review" inevitably results in changing a clear message based on data to an opposing one based on political goals to allow the famous "base" to continue in its agenda to the detriment of everyone when reality catches up with them.

Daniel K. Miller
Lancaster, Pa., June 8, 2005

To the Editor:

What the Bush administration has done on climate change is to muddy the distinction between science and policy and so corrupt both.

In allowing a White House official who was a former oil industry lobbyist to change scientific conclusions in government reports on climate change, the Bush administration has undermined the integrity of science by making it the handmaiden of ideology and fostering doubt about the objectivity and credibility of government scientific reports.

At the same time, by exaggerating the uncertainties about climate change, the administration has corrupted the policy-making process, which must always be informed by sound science.

By reshaping the science to justify inaction on global warming, the administration has distorted the evidence available to policy makers and undercut their ability to make informed decisions.

Peter Cannavo
Clinton, N.Y., June 8, 2005
The writer is a professor of government at Hamilton College.

To the Editor:

Philip A. Cooney crossed out several lines predicting the reduction of mountain glaciers and snowpack in polar regions and "serious impacts on native populations that rely on fishing and hunting."

His marginal note says the deleted material was "straying from research strategy into speculative findings/musings." True or false?

Polyakov et al. (2002) found that the Arctic was warmer during the late 1930's than it is today.

So attributing most or all recent reduction in Arctic ice cover to man-made global warming is speculative. Davis et al. (2005) found that Antarctica's snowpack is thickening.

As for impacts on native peoples, Inuit culture flourished during several periods when Alaska was as warm as or warmer than it is today. Mr. Cooney's description of the deleted material as "speculative findings/musings" is correct.

Marlo Lewis
Washington, June 8, 2005
The writer is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

To the Editor:

This is just another example of White House staffers telling Pesident Bush what he wants to hear rather than what is. That way, when things go wrong, the president can say he was fed wrong information.

Anne Krick
Wheaton, Ill., June 8, 2005

(Original Len: 4472 Condensed Len: 4499)

Created by Eintime:CondenseHtmlFile on 060514 @ 16:53:32 CMD=RAGSALL -LP83