(On December 31, 2009, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute with the documents I requested from them with an FOIA in August 2007. My request asked NASA to release their internal discussions regarding a series of errors in their claims of warming U.S. temperatures caught by Steve McIntyre. NASA had stonewalled my request for more than two years.)
In August 2007, I submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), headed by long-time Gore advisor James Hansen and his right-hand man Gavin Schmidt (co-founder of the climate alarmist website RealClimate.org).
I did this because Canadian businessman Steve McIntyre — a man with professional experience investigating suspect statistical claims in the mining industry and elsewhere, including his exposure of the now-infamous “Hockey Stick” — noticed something unusual with NASA’s claims of an ever-warming first decade of this century. NASA appeared to have inflated its U.S.temperatures beginning in the year 2000. My FOIA request asked NASA about their internal discussions regarding whether and how to correct the temperature error caught by McIntyre.
NASA stonewalled my request for more than two years, until Climategate prompted me to offer notice of intent to sue if NASA did not comply immediately. On New Year’s Eve, NASA finally provided CEI with the documents I requested in August 2007.
When I was almost finished reviewing the FOIA documents, I noticed that Al Gore’s Current news network was reporting that NASA had simultaneously published the documents. No press release had been issued — which NASA has also eschewed when correcting their cooked temperatures (after being caught). Yet in general, not issuing a press release on anything global warming-related is quite unlike NASA.
It was a tactic. What better way to take the sting out of revelations you hid for two years than to simply publish them at the same time — in non-searchable form, naturally — without a press release? And then have your allies dismiss the explosive data? “That’s old news … move on already!”
Indeed, for this and for reasons more specific to the “green” media, no one has yet written a story on the documents which achieved so much attention (and prompted so much green fury) less than a month prior. But there is no way to credibly claim “old news!” to avoid a discussion of these revelations — the emails include noteworthy admissions explaining NASA’s reticence to let the public see what the public is paying for.
Our litigation, which we plan to file when NASA, as we expect given their record of behavior, deny our appeal in this case, will expose more of these practices, in detail.