Update on Maryland Climate Report

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on August 12, 2008

in Science

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

A few days have passed since I discussed in this space my dispute with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science over an alarm-sounding global warming report that was leaked to the sympathetic Baltimore Sun but is not available to anyone else. The report is supposed to be released later this month by (or to, not sure which) Gov. Martin O'Malley as part of the findings from the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Dog-and-Pony Show to Kill the Economy and Diminish Freedom. Or something like that.

Since last Tuesday the Washington Examiner has joined in the fray with both an op-ed and an editorial criticizing the report's expected findings (based upon the Sun's story) and demanding the datasets that fed the report. Like me, the Examiner was also denied a copy of the report.

Yesterday Red Maryland blogger Mark Newgent opined for the Examiner:

The report’s editor, Donald Boesch (pictured), runs the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and, not coincidentally, chairs the MCCC Scientific and Technical Working Group.

The MCCC itself is a kangaroo court conceived and controlled by the Center for Climate Strategies, a subsidiary of an avowed alarmist advocacy group posing as a disinterested technical consultant. If you want a sneak peek at what is in store for Maryland, just look at CCS’ other state reports; the recommendations are all nearly identical.

Clearly, this report is nothing more than a push poll designed to produce predetermined conclusions. The conclusions, of course, are outrageous predictions of doom in order to sway support for draconian restrictions on greenhouse gases.

And the Examiner editorialists followed up today:

With these positions of prominence and political influence, it is no surprise that Boesch and UMCES have received more than $65 million in federal grants and contracts since 2000, as well as an unknown amount of state money. Judging by the secrecy surrounding a critically important report Boesch edited for Maryland officials, however, taxpayers should start demanding some answers about what they are getting from Boesch in return for their hard-earned money….

The Baltimore Sun reported last week that Boesch edited a report prepared for the MCCC that will be used to submit 42 policy recommendations to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on the effects of global warming on Maryland. It’s not clear whether O’Malley’s pet daily got a leaked copy of the draft or final version of the report. When Paul Chesser, director of Climate Strategies Watch, requested a copy of the report from a Boesch spokesman, he was refused. A similar request by this newspaper was also denied.

Very curious that the Sun could easily obtain the report while others, including the third-largest newspaper in the nation's capital, could not. Sun reporters Timothy Wheeler and Frank Roylance also appear more-than-willing to bend journalistic principles in order to advance the environmental advocacy football another ten yards. For example, they don't explain how they obtained the report — why? Is this such a sensitive story with horrible implications if the leaker's name is disclosed? And of course, no counter-commentary from global warming skeptics, as per usual.

And why aren't the two environmental groups, who the reporters said contributed to the report's findings, identified? You could be certain that if this was a report on school choice that supports vouchers from former Gov. Ehrlich's administration, co-written by a couple of conservative think tanks, that the Sun would have named the groups and conducted a full rectal exam of who they are and how they are funded.

Correction, 2:55 p.m.: Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott says "We reach about three times as many households as the (Washington) Times. Not sure about the web site traffic, think they may be a little bigger." I stand corrected and my apologies.

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