NOTE TO U.S. MEDIA: Please don’t fall for this Administration’s final climate trick — don’t ignore these important studies.
Normally, when an administration wants to bury bad news — such as a government report it doesn’t like — the story gets released Friday afternoon. That ensures minimal media coverage. For news it really doesn’t like, the Friday of a three-day weekend is ideal.
So what subject matter is so abhorrent it would motivate the Bush administration to release multiple reports simultaneously the Friday before the four-day weekend that culminates in their loss of power, when they can be certain the media will be focused on other matters?
Answer: The impact of human-caused global warming on Americans — arguably the single most taboo subject in the entire Bush administration. For 8 years they have avoided their statutory obligation to detail the impacts of climate change on this country. And they have systematically muzzled government climate scientists from discussing those impacts with the public or the media (see “Climate Science Muzzling Meets the House“).
It was easier to find people in the Bush administration to talk about torture or warrantless wiretaps, than it was to get someone to speak on (or off) the record or on the likely impact of Bush’s policy of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions on Americans.
On Friday January 16, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program actually released four major Synthesis and Assessment reports. You may remember the last report the CCSP released — US Geological Survey stunner: Sea-level rise in 2100 will likely “substantially exceed” IPCC projections, SW faces “permanent drying” by 2050. I was told by scientists knowledgeable about the CCSP process that all of the major impact reports were slowed down in the review process to make sure they came out after the election.
So what are the reports the Bushies have tried to bury? From the CCSP website: