Washington, DC, June 1, 2000 – A meeting today of the U.S. Global Change Research Program should raise concerns among global warming and legal experts, claimed the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Chris Horner, attorney for the Cooler Heads Coalition, pointed out that the process followed by the USGCRP in producing the National Assessment on the Impacts of Climate Change was illegitimate on the basis of rampant violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
“USGCRP announced in early May the imminent release of the National Assessment. We informed them in a May 12 letter of its disturbingly numerous violations of the law,” Horner explained, “including but not limited to no Designated Federal Officer present at some meetings, not allowing public inspection of required documents, unlawfully closing three meetings. They immediately addressed one violation we identified, announcing today’s meeting to approve a draft release.”
“But wholesale procedural violations are not the extent of their attempted skirting of the relevant law,” Horner continued. “Not only has even EPA criticized the draft Assessment as an ‘alarmist,’ non-scientific document, but it goes beyond the NACC’s statutory authority, making predictions. Worse, and at the White House’s request it pursues non-germane and unauthorized recommendations such as ‘natural resource planning options’, that is land-use and other anti-development restrictions.”
Addressing the international equivalent of the NACC, a group of European and North American climate scientists and experts participated in a review yesterday of the soon-to-be released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR), and especially the brief Summary for Policy Makers. The IPCC Summary provides much of the ammunition for groups like the USGCRP.
“The Summary distorts and misrepresents the scientific report – making the TAR mere window dressing to lend unwarranted credibility to an unscientific advocacy piece that is not really a summary at all,” commented Dr. S. Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project.
Many of the participants of yesterday’s session are scientific reviewers of the IPCC TAR and Summary for Policy Makers.
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