In a blockbuster story soon to be swept under the carpet, Politico reports:

“The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.

In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.”

In weasel words that even make this Washingtonian of twenty years blush, the Department of the Interior Inspector General writes:

“‘The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,’ the IG report states, without judgment on whether the change was an intentional attempt to mislead the public.” (emphasis added)

One can certainly “lead to an inference“. But … “led to the implication”? Oh, right. You are trying not to say “implied“.

This is Exhibit A for why law schools drill into every first year’s head do not use the passive voice. It obscures meaning, begs questions, and diminishes confidence and credibility in the speaker. You come off as trying to weaselly avoid saying something. Like this guy.

And here is the, ahem, ‘implication’ placed in the administration’s twisted report before asserting the recommendations of engineers who in fact did not approve or recommend the moratorium. Prepare yourself to wade through the fog:

“the recommendations contained in this report have been peer reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering”.

An implication that “led to”. A ‘lie’. Whatever. All good. (Except to the federal judge who caught…er, was led into… it, too; see p. 3).

So, the sexed up report implied something that wasn’t true — that ‘science’ and not ideology drove the numb-skulled left-wing fever dream of a drilling moratorium still effectively ravaging the Gulf Coast’s economy — an ‘implication’ which was nowhere to be found in the original report before the political and ideological spinmasters were called in late the night before the White House issued its sexed up document. They moved some language around…’implying’ a politically desirable conclusion that was patently untrue.

Contrast this with the allegedly scandalous toning down of unsupportable language in a legally meaningless climate report to the UN by former George W. Bush staffer Phil Cooney, who became the subject of a smear job in Al Gore’s silly sci-fi movie (treated in detail here). The Obama administration’s stunt entailed sexing up claims for political/ideological purposes. Where’s the outrage? (come to think of it…where’s Gore?)

Not toning hyperbole down. Sexing claims up unsupportably.

The former was scandalous — we were told. The other is being dismissed by the same crowd as, if anything, simply a result of people not reading the report objectively.

Which is where things get worse. Heads now really must roll.

“Steve Black, energy counselor to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, was the department’s point man for the safety report…Black said he didn’t have any issues with the White House edit; he and his staffer both told the IG it never occurred to them that an objective reader would conclude that peer reviewers had supported the six-month moratorium.”

Ah. Interior thinks White House did nothing wrong in…rewriting outside parties’ work to fit the ideology and agenda of Interior and the White House. So I assume BP can indeed clear itself, too?

But the smear of others never ends with people who are never wrong. Guess who the unobjective parties alluded to here are? The scientists who wrote the report that was re-written in the wee hours by an uncomfirmed (because she is unconfirmable) anti-energy czar’s ideologues!

That’s right: The White House is blaming the scientists for not recognizing their own report after the ideologues got through with it. It was they who read their bastardized work and complained. Two of the peer reviewers, upset about the ‘implication’, sent letters to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The DOI sent letters of apology for the misunderstanding.

Now, having been outed by one of their own, if with weasel-worded friendly fire, the administration blames the people they wronged, for not being objective in reading how people flagrantly mischaracterized their own conclusions.

Incredible. And to think, coming from Carol Browner’s office! Who knew? (well, I did, dedicating the better part of a chapter — “Van Jones Was No Accident:  The Obama Administration’s Radical ‘Green’ Activists” — to her and her M.O.). Orwell and Nixon both live on in the Obama administration.

Originally posted on Pajamas Media

When the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing [1] on the state of climate science on December 2, the Republicans were ready to focus it on the Climategate fraud scandal [2]. And the first witness, President Obama’s science adviser, Dr. John P. Holdren, was ready to respond.

Instead of summarizing his written testimony in his oral remarks, Holdren read a prepared statement on Climategate. He said that the controversy involved a “small group of scientists” and was primarily about one temperature dataset. He said that such controversies were not unusual in all branches of science and that they got sorted out through the peer review process and continuing scrutiny. Holdren also said that openness and sharing of data was important, which is why the Obama administration is strongly committed to openness. In the case of the disputed dataset (the “hockey stick” graph [3]), the National Academies of Science (NAS) undertook a thorough review of it and all other similar datasets and concluded that the preponderance of evidence supported the principal conclusion of the research. Holdren concluded by predicting that when the dust settles on this controversy, a very strong scientific consensus on global warming will remain.

Well, that sounds pretty plausible, but anyone who has followed Dr. Holdren’s amazing career knows that he is a master of plausible buncombe that disguises his “outlandish scientific assertions, consistently wrong predictions, and dangerous public policy choices,” as my CEI colleague William Yeatman has put it [4]. Everything that Holdren said in his opening statement is incomplete and misleading. But explaining that is a job for another day. The point is that the alarmist establishment and environmental pressure groups have settled on these talking points in order to try to contain and sanitize the scandal.

When Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and other Republicans on the committee challenged Holdren’s analysis of Climategate, the president’s science adviser responded by repeating that it was just a small group of scientists engaged in some narrow research. Any mistakes or misdeeds on their part couldn’t possibly compromise the scientific consensus, which is as strong as it is vast.

But when asked about some of his own extreme statements and predictions, Holdren replied that scientific research had moved on from the latest UN assessment report in 2007. The most up-to-date scientific research was contained in a report written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and released last summer. Holdren mentioned and referred to this report, Copenhagen Diagnosis [5], several times during the course of the hearing.

I remember when Copenhagen Diagnosis came out because nearly every major paper ran a story on it. Global warming is happening even faster than predicted, the impacts are even worse than feared, and that sort of thing. I also remembered that the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis included many of the usual conmen who are at the center of the alarmist scare. So I asked my CEI colleague Julie Walsh to compare the list of authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis with the scientists involved in Climategate.

I’m sure it will come as a shock that the two groups largely overlap. The “small group of scientists” up to their necks in Climategate include 12 of the 26 esteemed scientists who wrote the Copenhagen Diagnosis. Who would have ever guessed that forty-six percent of the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis [6] belong to the Climategate gang?  Small world, isn’t it?

Here’s the list of tippity-top scientists who both wrote the authoritative report that Holdren relied on to support his statements and belong to the “small group of scientists” who are now suspected of scientific fraud:

Nathan Bindoff, also a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (hereafter LA-IPCC FAR)

Peter Cox, also LA-IPCC FAR

David Karoly, also LA-IPCC FAR and the Third Assessment Report (TAR)

Georg Kaser, also LA-IPCC FAR

Michael E. Mann, also LA-IPCC TAR (the hockey stick scandal made him too radioactive to participate in writing FAR)

Stefan Rahmstorf, also LA-IPCC FAR

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, merely “a longstanding member of the IPCC.”

Stephen Schneider, also LA-IPCC FAR, TAR, and the First and Second Assessment Reports (SAR) plus two of the IPCC’s synthesis reports

Steven Sherwood, only a contributing author to IPCC-FAR

Richard C. J. Somerville, co-ordinating LA-PCC FAR

Eric J. Steig, no connection to IPCC listed

Andrew Weaver, also LA-IPCC FAR, TAR, and SAR

In the interests of space, I’ve left out all of their distinguished positions as professors, editors of academic journals, and heads of institutes. You can search for their Climategate emails here [7].

Then there are those Climategate figures who didn’t help write Climate Diagnosis, but who have been involved in the IPCC assessment reports. Here are three that come to mind:

Phil Jones, contributing author IPCC TAR

Kevin Trenberth, co-ordinating LA-IPCC FAR and SAR, LA-IPCC TAR, and an author of the summaries for policymakers for FAR, TAR, and SAR

Ben Santer, convening LA-IPCC First Assessment Report

Now, I wouldn’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but it kind of looks to me like the “small group of scientists” caught out by Climategate are pretty much the same people who make up the vast and strong scientific consensus on global warming and write the official reports that the U.S. and other governments rely on to inform their policy decisions. I’m sure Dr. John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, has a plausible alternative explanation. He always does.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] hearing:

[2] scandal:

[3] the “hockey stick” graph:

[4] put it:

[5] Copenhagen Diagnosis:

[6] Copenhagen Diagnosis:

[7] here:

The Associated Press is reporting  from London that Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia is temporarily stepping down as director of the Climatic Research Unit, which is at the center of the Climategate scandal.

No surprise there.  Jones has been a goner for days. What is surprising is the reason that the AP gives for his “temporary” removal from his directorship:

The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.
The AP story’s lead sentence is even more surprising:
Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.
One wonders how long this reporter will last in the mainstream media. He’s clearly not with the MSM program to contain and sanitize this mushrooming scandal.
(Originally posted on Pajamas Media here.)

(Note: this is a copy of part of a post on Pajamas Media, which can be found here.)

When I read the Washington Post’s disgraceful editorial the other day on the Climategate scandal, I thought of how far they have fallen since their big moment in the sun, Watergate.  In those heady days, Editor Ben Bradlee  and a team of crack investigative reporters led by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein exposed the Watergate coverup and brought down President Nixon.  Of course, they were then on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, who loathed Nixon (as he loathed them), just as they are now on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, for whom global warming alarmism is a deeply held commitment.

If it were up to the Washington Post and the New York Times and the three major teevee broadcast networks, the Climategate scandal would be last week’s news.  Their strategy is clearly to contain it and sanitize it.  The “world’s leading climate scientists” and the environmental pressure groups and the mainstream media have all agreed on their talking points.  Their story is: Critics are cherry-picking a few nasty e-mails and taking them out of context, but the vast edifice of scientific consensus is unshaken.  And they’re sticking to it.  But already this coverup isn’t working.  The blogosphere is pushing forward with new revelations and connecting the dots.  This is the work of tens of thousands of people, some of them with more scientific and statistical expertise than the tippity-top climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.  And a lot more honest and dedicated to finding the truth, of course.

In the meantime, the Post editorial page editors are in denial.  Today, the Post published three letters in reply to their editorial article.  I’m not surprised that they didn’t print mine, which I sent the day the editorial was published.  I copy it below.  But they did print a letter from Associate Professor Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University, one of the figures at the center of the Climategate scandal.  I am tempted to repeat Mary McCarthy’s remark about Lillian Hellman (“Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the“), but will restrain myself.

Mann’s effrontery knows no limits.  In his letter, he advises readers to go to to get the straight dope on the scandal.  RealClimate is a a global warming alarmist propaganda effort run by Mann and several of the others implicated in Climategate.  Going to Real Climate is like going to Nixon’s White House Press Office to get clear about Watergate.

Here’s the e-mail of my unpublished letter:

From: Myron Ebell
Sent: Wed Nov 25 15:40:28 2009
Subject: Letter in response to editorial article, “Climate of denial,” page A18, 25th November

25th November 2009

The Letters Editor
The Washington Post
Via e-mail

Sir or Madam,

Your editorial article “Climate of denial” is remarkably ill-informed and tendentious. The article begins by claiming that, “A hacker stole and released….” Do you have any evidence it was a computer hacker rather than a public-spirited whistleblower from within the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England who finally grew so disgusted by the ongoing scientific fraud that he made the documents public?

Second, after tsk-tsking at a few of the e-mails and rebuking the scientists involved in the scandal for not responding to the scandal effectively, the article then proceeds to claim that the vast scientific edifice supporting global warming alarmism is unshaken. This is outrageous. The scientists implicated are at the center of producing the U. N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Reports and are regularly referred to as some of the world’s top climate scientists. Have you looked at some of the three thousand files or just a few of the juicier e-mails? Here is just one comment in one of the files from the scientist working on one of the temperature datasets:

“What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no )’supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)…So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late. ” (From the “Harry Read Me” file, which may be found at

Dozens of similar comments have already been noted in the files. How does the Post know that similar corruption is not to be found in other major research supporting the so-called scientific consensus? After all, a number of the scientists implicated are at other institutions, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in NYC, and several U. S. universities.

There is certainly a climate of denial, and it includes the Post editorial page. Instead of joining the effort to stonewall this scandal, the Post should be leading the way and demanding that full civil and criminal investigations be undertaken of the scientists implicated. Or have you forgotten your role in Watergate?

Yours faithfully,
Myron Ebell.

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