Over at The Intersection, Chris Mooney has a teaser about his terrific article “An Inconvenient Assessment,” chronicling the effort by the Bush administration, in cahoots with ExxonMobil-funded climate change deniers, to undercut a vitally important climate change report. The longer article appears in this month’s issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
While the report in question, officially known as Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, was issued in 2000, it was packed with information that could have informed a national discussion on the potential impacts of climate change over the last seven years. But the report was besieged by climate change deniers and disowned by the federal government.
Mooney documents the coordinated assault on the report, with attacks coming from the outside (using the Data Quality Act) and the inside (with former oil industry executive Philip Coney holding the editing pen). By torpedoing this report, precious time has been lost:
The end result of this controversy has been that any substantial means of addressing climate change from the standpoint of vulnerability and preparedness has been indefinitely suspended in the United States, at least on the national level.
Chris Mooney tells an important story, one that is well worth reading.