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Bush Aide Changes Reports to Lessen Global Warming's Impact

This news broke in the NY Times, and was well summarized by this posting on the Moderate Voice blog...It definitely speaks to both this administration's credibility on "truth telling" as well as Bush's claim to "be a good steward." of creation.

As someone pointed out, this is almost the opposite of the pre-war intelligence, where they took researchers that said, "We're not so sure about some of this evidence for WMD" and re-wrote it and re-told it to the American people as "There can be no doubt..."

Here they are taking definitive statements about ecologic and scientific statements and a White House Environmental Staffer & former Petroleum Lobbyist is allowed to literally re-write them to make them "iffy" and "maybe yes, maybe no."


Interestingly in both cases, these same oil interests benefit from the mis-representations...

"Almost every time an environmental story like this comes out one thing becomes clear: if someone does a study of Presidential administrations starting with Teddy Roosevelt's this administration is going to be ranked as having one of the worst environmental records:

A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents...

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties," tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.

Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues.

Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training.

The documents were obtained by The New York Times from the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit legal-assistance group for government whistle-blowers."
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