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  • NOAA Spreading ‘False’ News About GOP Investigation Of Temperature Data

    Rep. Lamar Smith is furious with how National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials are “politicizing” his investigation into why government scientists manipulated global temperature data to eliminate the “hiatus” in global warming.

    “It appears federal employees at NOAA altered historical temperature data to get politically correct results and now refuse to reveal how those decisions were made,” Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    “Rather than cooperate with legitimate congressional oversight, NOAA has politicized these requests to build a false narrative that the Committee seeks to intimidate scientists,” Smith said.

    Liberal reporters are lambasting Smith’s NOAA investigation, and NOAA officials have only worked to perpetuate the media narrative that this is an attempt by Republicans to persecute climate scientists. Smith wrote in a recent letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker that NOAA “appears to be attempting to add to a narrative it knows to be false about the Committee’s oversight.”

    Smith’s staff is looking into the methodology and communications behind a June NOAA study adjusting the temperature record to eliminate the “hiatus” in global warming — a period of about 15 years with no significant warming. Smith’s looking for communications from agency scientists, policy advisers and communications officials, but NOAA has made it seem like Republicans are just targeting scientists.

    “Without any legal basis, NOAA has claimed that federal employee communications are ‘confidential,’” Smith said. “Americans are tired of this administration’s obstruction. If NOAA has nothing to hide, they should come clean about how and why these decisions were made.”

    For example, NOAA told a reporter last month that “[w]e stand behind our scientists who conduct their work in an objective manner. It is the end product of exchanges between scientists… that are key to understanding the conclusions reached.” NOAA said it wanted to protect the “confidentiality of deliberative scientific discussions.”

    Liberal reporters ran with this narrative: anti-science Republicans attacking a government scientist quietly doing his work. The liberal news site Vox said the “House science committee is worse than the Benghazi committee.”

    Vox said Smith’s investigations are “Orwellian attempts to intimidate some of the nation’s leading scientists and scientific institutions.” The article also quotes Democratic lawmakers and staffers who are critical of Smith’s investigation.

    But Smith says this is a “false” narrative, and NOAA is helping to perpetuate it and build public support for its refusal to comply with a congressional investigation. So far, NOAA has refused to provide internal communications on the science or promotion of its June study.

    “NOAA employees are well aware and have acknowledged that the Committee’s request for information and communications includes not just NOAA scientists but also NOAA policy and political staff,” Smith wrote in his letter to Pritzker.

    “It appears, however, that inclusion of political and policy employees does not fit within NOAA’s preferred narrative, one being promoted by NOAA’s defenders, that the Committee is somehow solely interested in NOAA scientists’ communications and in chilling scientific debate,” Smith added. “The agency seems to be purposefully avoiding all mention of this aspect of the Committee’s work when responding to the Committee and in its efforts to engage the media.”

    Interestingly enough, NOAA has agreed to let its employees be interviewed by House science committee staffers. The agency moved to “quickly provide dates for the Committee to interview the two scientists requested, but has to date remained unwilling, without explanation, to provide dates for the other two NOAA officials who are not scientists,” Smith said.

    For years, climate scientists have been stumped by the lack of warming in the surface temperature data. Scientists put forward dozens of explanations as to why global temperatures stopped significantly rising in the last decade or so, but NOAA scientists put an end to the debate by saying the “hiatus” in warming never existed.

    NOAA officials were quick to herald the study’s release, touting the report through a widely circulated press release and over social media networks. The study was released before President Barack Obama unveiled sweeping regulations to fight global warming. It’s release also predates an upcoming United Nations climate summit.

    NOAA did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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