Head of a Congressional Committee on Science Seeks to Delegitimize Climate Change Research

Picture description: Two smoke stacks let off smoke into a purple sunset sky. On the ground is a large factory made yellow by the lampposts on the facility.

"The head of a congressional committee on science has issued subpoenas to the Obama administration over a recent scientific study refuting claims that global warming had “paused” or slowed over the last decade.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and a prominent congressional skeptic on climate change, issued the subpoenas two weeks ago demanding e-mails and records from U.S. scientists who participated in the study, which undercut a popular argument used by critics who reject the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind the planet’s recent warming.

Smith’s document request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ordered the agency to turn over scientific data as well as internal “communications between or among employees” involved in the study, according to a letter Friday by the House committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.). Johnson accused Smith of “furthering a fishing expedition” by looking for ways to discredit NOAA’s study, which was published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Science."

It is a shame that Rep. Smith decided to issue this subpoena instead of taking action to end climate change. As with most things, delaying the rights of climate and environmental justice irrevocably means denial of rights for those currently under duress from climate change.

Date Published: 

Friday, October 23, 2015