NOAA withholds climate documents from Congress

Somebody needs to call up Scooby and Shaggy to see if they can borrow Hillary Clinton’s Mystery Machine. There’s a puzzle to be solved at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which may require a master detective. The agency released some new climate data earlier this year which called into question the “pause” in global temperature increases. That seemed to fly in the face of many of the actual numbers which have been recorded and released, but you never know with these eggheads, right? In any event, Congressman Lamar Smith (R – Texas), in his capacity as chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, issued a request for NOAA to release their supporting documentation which led them to reach these conclusions.

Wouldn’t you know it? The documents seem to have been lost in the mail or something. (Yahoo News)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has refused to answer an Oct. 13 subpoena from by Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith, a prominent climate change denier, demanded that internal communications surrounding a recent climate change study by NOAA scientists be turned over to his committee for examination.

Thomas Karl, the director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, published the paper in question in a June issue of the peer-reviewed journal Science. By explaining relevant data trends, Karl and his colleagues dispute “the notion of a ‘slowdown’ in the increase of global surface temperature” and argue climate change is as prevalent as ever.

Smith, who regularly tries to disprove climate change, insists the NOAA scientists manipulated data to get the “results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda.”

The wording in that Yahoo article is pretty biased to the AGW crowd, but they at least get to the heart of the request at hand. NOAA isn’t denying that the documents exist. They just aren’t going to turn them over. And what’s their excuse for the refusal of a congressional request? (Emphasis mine)

The agency says it has given the committee all data and information available to the public, as well as explanatory briefings on the research. And the agency says their obligations to the committee end there.

“Because the confidentiality of these communications among scientists is essential to frank discourse among scientists, those documents were not provided to the Committee,” the agency told Nature. “It is a long-standing practice in the scientific community to protect the confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions.”

Excuse me? Where in blue blazes did that long-standing practice come from? You’re a government agency which is funded by the taxpayers, so unless your information involves national security and would endanger us or our allies if it became public, you turn over your work to the people’s house upon request. And since when is a scientific debate in need of confidentiality to begin with? In theory at least, the public debate of theories, research and ideas so they can be vetted and tested is at the core of the scientific principle. You’re talking about a bunch of temperature readings as well as questioning the accuracy of instruments. How is that not a matter for public consumption?

Were I more suspicious and less forgiving type, I’d almost think NOAA was trying to hide something. Of course, I’m sure that’s not the case. They’re always so forthcoming with their data. Say… how’s that hurricane prediction game going for you guys? I seem to recall that at the start of this storm season you predicted between 6 and 11 named storms in the Atlantic basin and Gulf of Mexico this year. With four weeks to go we’ve had 3, and Claudette really didn’t count because it was some sort of anomaly.

All joking aside, guys, this looks very bad for you and your cause. Let’s get off the stick and turn over the documents which were requested. It’s not like you’re sitting on the nuclear launch codes. These are thermometer readings.

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