The Story That Wasn’t: EPA ‘Suppressed’ Report Countering CO2 Endangerment Finding

by Bill Chameides | July 1st, 2009
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 2 comments

A guy walks into a bar and says, “Did you hear the one about suppression at the EPA?” The bartender says, “Yeah, but did you hear the one about melting glaciers in the Himalayas?” “But that’s not funny,” the guy says. “Exactly,” replies the bartender.

I guess it’s not surprising given the vote in the House last week that the climate deniers would be out in force. But I never would have thought that a story about a poorly conceived and poorly documented draft report [pdf] by an economist and a scientist with a Ph.D. in physics at the Environmental Protection Agency would have the staying power that this one has had.

It continues to grow like a pandemic on the blogosphere; see for example here and here. But that goes with the turf, right? And yes, it’s understandable that folks like have covered Senator Inhofe’s latest call for satisfaction on the topic, but et tu,

Slant, Rant and Cant (Or Is It ‘Can’t’?)

The fact is that this draft report reflects a very slanted and incomplete view of the science of climate change. A couple of examples:

  1. The report claims that the satellite record does not show warming temperatures. Not true; see this final report [pdf] by U.S. scientists.
  2. The report claims that EPA’s findings of endangerment from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are based on a 3-year, “out-of-date” report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But in fact, just a few weeks ago the U.S. Global Change Research Program released a comprehensive report confirming much in the last IPCC report and documenting the serious impacts of CO2 emissions to the United States.

I found it humorous that the authors claimed that “EPA tended to accept the finding of outside groups, particularly … the CCSP.” It turns out that the CCSP is none other than the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (now the U.S. Global Change Research Program), which is sponsored by 13 federal agencies including the U.S. EPA. Does the U.S. EPA qualify as an outside group to the EPA? I guess that just goes to show how much these guys actually know about the state of climate research in the United States.

For a full analysis of the um “facts” in this “suppressed” document, check out the thorough and cutting analysis by the climate scientists over at Real Climate. For a preview, they titled their post “Bubkes.”

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  1. Dan K.
    Jul 1, 2009

    I’m sorry you had to read Malkin. It’s torturous because I do it sometimes too. I’m sure you read Joe Romm’s post yesterday on this, but it’s a good take on the whole thing:

  2. Chris Winter
    Jul 1, 2009

    “I found it humorous that the authors claimed that ‘EPA tended to accept the finding of outside groups, particularly the CCSP.’ ” Could it be they were trying to evoke some weird resonance with CCCP (Cyrillic for “USSR”, aka the Soviet Union)?

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