(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.
The Current “defense”
Al Gore’s web network ran a rather silly blog post to minimize the NASA release, titled: “It’s ClimateGate 2.0 ( … Not)”. The post invites further scrutiny — now unfolding through the legal process — by anxiously stating:
Clearly there was no metaphorical “smoking gun” in the emails, because the CEI didn’t crow about a likely Climategate 2.0 following the emails’ release.
Deliberate procession is alien to the global warming alarmist. We’ve thoroughly examined the emails, and we’re crowing now.
The Current post takes pains to portray Canadian businessman Steve McIntyre as the bad guy, rather than the deliberate professional he has been in uncovering inappropriate behavior. Revealingly, the Current TV author tips his hat to inspiration provided by Howard University’s Joshua Halpern (who hides as the source of his often vitriolic missives behind the name “EliRabbett”). The author of the Current post selects innocent passages from the NASA emails and presents them as somehow being representative proof that the hundreds of pages are benign. And this does not appear to be because he simply failed to encounter the damning information — rather, he clearly implies that he has read all of the emails.
Yet the Current TV author says something that is, at least in part, the truth:
Put simply, the emails show the GISS scientists acting professionally and in an open and transparent manner with reporters and McIntyre himself.
Yes, when dealing with McIntyre directly they were professional — though this followed internal, often nasty deliberations revealing a desire to deflect his legitimate inquiries. When dealing with the media they were quite unprofessional, showing either evasiveness (dodging very specific questions from reporters from New York to Brazil) or a too-cozy relationship with reporters friendly to their cause (as noted here).
Regarding any implication that these emails reveal these scientists acting professionally outside of their direct dealings with McIntyre, I see no need to further rebut this point by drawing additional attention to the alarmists’ preferred approach of focusing on ad hominem attacks and name-calling, of which there is plenty in the revealed pages. Because that is not the primary story the emails expose, though directing attention to such behavior was the preferred tactic to distract from Climategate, the original.
But why change the subject to the prurient when the subject itself is so fascinating?
Check with PJM in coming weeks for our update and specifics when we announce the litigation against NASA and one other taxpayer-funded climate office refusing the taxpayer access to that for which the taxpayer paid 100%. We will reveal numerous tactics which NASA and others used to hide public information from the public, protecting their highly lucrative franchise of global warming alarmism.