The Wages of Green Spin


Former Bush administration chief of the Council on Environmental Quality James Connaughton is now the government affairs head for an electric utility, Constellation Energy. But more than that, he is a media darling for his willingness to push the climate agenda on behalf of his company, which is hoping to profit from it — at your expense — via wealth transfers, taxes and other inefficiencies in the name of schemes that no one actually claims would detectably impact the climate.

As such, it is unreasonable to believe that the whole mess is about the climate, particularly when you toss in the rest of the admissions by Gang Green when they slip off-message. But, still, when you rob Peter (you) to pay Paul (Constellation, et al.), you can count on Paul’s enthusiastic support.

Better yet, with Mr. Connaughton the press gets to run the green cheerleading as coming from a “former Bush official.”

And so it comes to this. Today, we see ClimateWire’s story “SCIENCE: Former Bush official defends IPCC,” with the gag-inducing subhead, “Connaughton calls IPPC [sic] findings ‘fabulous.’”

The story is referring to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which has suffered under revelations that its supposedly cutting-edge, peer-reviewed science includes unsupportable twaddle cut and pasted from green group press releases, student theses, popular magazine articles and telephone interviews with alarmists who now deny their own musings.

But then there is this:

Connaughton also criticized attacks on the East Anglia scientists, whose e-mails showed some hostility toward research that questioned the link between human emissions and global warming (ClimateWire, Nov. 17, 2010).

“The left’s attack on the Bush administration for manipulating the science was as overwrought as the right’s attack on East Anglia, because it didn’t go to the science,” he said.

Except that it did. The East Anglia scientists called for records to be destroyed, said that they were “hiding the decline” in temperatures to declare a warming that wasn’t, made computer code annotations about insert[ing a] very artificial adjustment here, and so on. And this week, as I understand things, we will see some more rather disturbing evidence, affirming just how absurd that already silly effort at rationalization and denial is. For now I will simply tease the document being sent to Capitol Hill as coming from a federal inspector general who affirms what is already clear to anyone who read the self-exonerations of “ClimateGate”: the scandal was whitewashed.

Records were indeed destroyed by one principal at the request of another; the latter of whom was, to put things mildly, deceptive about this fact while the former somehow managed to go without being asked about it. Some things were apparently better left unsaid, in the eyes of those charged with looking into the matter.

Except that someone has finally gotten around to asking the obvious. And the specific reply implicates both the investigators and the investigated. Not only was ClimateGate never investigated, there appears to be a new name on the list of the complicit.

But even before this coming bombshell, we saw in the ClimateWire story that there may be no lower boundary beyond which the rent-seekers, the new tax collectors for the green welfare state, are unwilling to stoop.