Who Muzzled This Climate Scientist?

By Eliza Strickland | June 3, 2008 10:29 am

james hansen climate scientist NASATwo years ago, the quiet and bookish climate scientist James Hansen kicked up a tempest. He alleged that his work on global warming at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies had been censored, and that he had been prevented from speaking to reporters by politically appointees in NASA‘s public affairs office.

Hansen has been outspoken on his belief that the consequences of global warming could be drastic, and that the United States should act as soon as possible to regulate greenhouse gases. After his accusations of censorship were aired in the press, 14 senators requested a full investigation by NASA’s inspector general. Now, the results are in.

From the fall of 2004 through 2006, the report said, NASA’s public affairs office “managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public.” It noted elsewhere that “news releases in the areas of climate change suffered from inaccuracy, factual insufficiency, and scientific dilution” [Washington Post].

The report [pdf] did not find evidence that the public affairs officials interfered with research science, instead they interfered with how research findings were explained and disseminated to the public. The inspector general also found no evidence that the political interference originated from higher ups in NASA or the executive branch. But critics of the Bush administration said there’s plenty to be outraged about.

“Global warming is the most serious environmental threat we face, but this report is more evidence that the Bush administration’s appointees have put political ideology ahead of science,” [New Jersey Senator Frank] Lautenberg said in an e-mailed statement. “Our government’s response to global warming must be based on science, and the Bush administration’s manipulation of that information violates the public trust” [The New York Times].

  • Steve Real

    The end result is:
    you’re gonna half to physicallt slap
    these politikal appointees to say the truth.

    Everytime they lie to the public
    crack them a good one
    tight int the head.

    Maybe that’ll learn them not to lie to US anymore.

  • http://www.epw.senate.gov Marc Morano

    Hansen’s claims of “censorship” do not hold up to even the lightest scrutiny. Please read this report on Hansen.


    Sampling of Key Information about NASA’s James Hansen (for full articles, see below):

    1) Proponents of man-made global warming fears that enjoy a monumental funding advantage over the skeptics. The oil money’s paltry contribution pales in comparison to the well funded alarmist industry. (LINK)

    2) Earth has COOLED since Hansen’s Dire Climate Warning in 1988 (LINK) See 1988 vs. 2008 temperature chart here:

    3) Hansen’s Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis challenged by UN Scientists and new peer-reviewed studies. (LINK) & (LINK) & (LINK)

    4) Hansen who alleged Bush administration muzzled him — did 1,400 on-the-job media interviews (LINK)

    5) Media Ignores Skeptical NASA Scientists’ Claims of Censorship (LINK) & (LINK)

    6) Hansen’s Claim that his 1988 Hottest Day testimony was the result of being ‘lucky’ is refuted – ‘We were just lucky’ (LINK)

    7) Reality Check: Senator Admits Hot Day and AC Failure during Hansen’s 1988 Testimony was ‘Stagecraft’ (LINK)

    8) An August 2007 NASA temperature data error discovery has lead to 1934 — not the previously hyped 1998 — being declared the hottest in U.S. history since records began. (LINK)

    9) Hansen Received $250,000 from partisan Heinz Foundation & Endorsed Dem. John Kerry for Pres. in 2004 (LINK)

    10) Media Darling Hansen Assailed by NASA Colleagues (LINK)

    11) Scientist Alleging Bush Censorship Helped Gore, Kerry (LINK)

    12) Hansen conceded that use of “extreme scenarios” to dramatize climate change “may have been appropriate at one time” (LINK)


    Enough said.

  • paulm

    yes they do.

    Read other official reports like the NASA auditor general’s one.
    Other official reports more reputable than the above post almost anywhere.

    Not enough said.

    Do the research and lets start doing something about global warming now.

  • Pingback: Take That, Meddling Bureaucrats! Cartoon Contest Mocks Censorship of Science | Discoblog | Discover Magazine()

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