Climate studies cannot be free from oversight

Controversial studies that are heavily funded by federal taxes are being used by eco-activists to prod the U.S. Congress into taking a more aggressive stance to combat global warming. This could end up costing U.S. taxpayers and consumers tens of billions of dollars annually, says H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow with the National Centre for Policy Analysis.

Consider the case of Representative Joe Barton (Republican, Texas), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is seeking to exercise congressional oversight and ensure the validity of the data used by scientists who concluded that the 20th century was the warmest of the last two millennia.

Barton has requested the sources of funding for their research, but the University of Virginia's Michael Mann has adamantly refused. Far from being a witch-hunt, this request for full disclosure promotes scientific integrity, says Burnett:

  • Mann's research has come under serious criticism, but it continues to be promoted by the United Nations and global warming enthusiasts such as the Pew Centre on Climate Change as a prime reason for imposing draconian curbs on America's energy consumption.

  • The Pew Centre and its eco-activist allies spend upwards of $300 million annually promoting global warming as the major cause of whatever bad weather happens to be on the horizon.

  • Since the legislation they are pushing would short-shrift the U.S. economy – and working Americans – tens of billions of dollars each year, Barton is doing a public service by trying to determine if their claims rest on a foundation of sound science.

    The validity of research funded by taxpayers and used to promote legislation that affects their prosperity should always be reviewed by elected representatives. Barton is doing exactly what he should be doing for America's taxpayers, who, after all, will have to pick up the tab for bad public policy, says Burnett.

    Source: H. Sterling Burnett, Climate Studies Cannot Be Free from Oversight, Investor's Business Daily, August 2, 2005.

    For more on Global Warming: Science:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 09 August 2005
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