Science-averse Republicans have once again blocked the establishment of a National Climate Service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, moving from denial of man-made climate change to the denial of climate itself. “I’m very concerned that NOAA has taken steps to form what amounts to a shadow climate service operation,” House science committee chair Ralph Hall (R-TX) cried in September. At a hearing in June, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) blasted the budget-neutral plan to consolidate NOAA’s existing, widely dispersed, climate capabilities under a single management structure as “propaganda services.” In the committee report submitted by appropriations chair Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) for the 2012 budget, the National Climate Service is expressly forbidden:
The National Climate Service would have allowed NOAA to meet America’s rising demand for authoritative and timely climate information. Tea Party Republicans successfully included a rider preventing its establishment in the FY 2011 continuing resolution. The reorganization would have significantly boosted the agency’s efficiency, strengthen science across NOAA, and improve delivery of vital weather and climate forecasts – at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
Nothing less than the full mobilization of the nation’s resources will allow us to survive the changing threats of our polluted climate. However, the Republican Party now has a policy of science denial. The formation of this service threatens the know-nothings who deny that the fossil fuel industry is creating a dangerous world — so they are preventing the government from protecting the American people.