Scientists: White House Climate Review Threatens Credibility


Scientists have objected to reports that the White House plans to make federal researchers debate the studies used for the National Climate Assessment, Scientific American reports.

The White House is reportedly planning on creating a “red team” debate on the methodology used to assemble the report, possibly by compelling scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which scientists have criticized as an attempt to cast doubt on the assessment.

“Forcing federal scientists to relitigate solid science that has been firmly established by thousands of peer-reviewed studies dating back over 160 years when many of these same scientists are already self-censoring themselves so as to not run afoul of agency politicals is an intimidation tactic that could conceivably be used to drive people out of federal positions or even ruin the careers of those who disagree,” said one of the assessment’s lead authors, Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist and a professor political science. 

“True science is debated in the scientific literature, not in kangaroo courts set up by politicians with agendas that rely on muddying the waters and hiding the truth to succeed,” she added.

Hayhoe said that if the White House does create a “red team,” then it should be subjected to the same scrutiny that the assessment underwent.

“Who feels that they understand the science better than over 400 federal and academic authors, experts at every relevant federal agency and the National Academy of Sciences, the premier scientific body of this country?” she asked.

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