Obama Administration has moved responsibility for the IPCC from the Department of Commerce to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the private fiefdom of science Czar John Holdren
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One of the problems revealed by the release of hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia - the so-called Climategate - was that a cabal of climate researchers were actively working to circumvent the freedom of information laws in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. Determined not to surrender their private correspondence, in 2008 CRU director Phil Jones at one point instructed his correspondents (Michael Mann and Eugene Wahl) to delete incriminating e-mails that could potentially be forced from their hands via FOI requests.
Jones wanted to hide the fact that Keith Briffa had used information from a paper not yet published in his chapter (chapter 6) of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Biffa had used this to to overcome objections by an expert reviewer - Steve McIntyre - and two years later McIntyre figured out that he had been scammed, that Briffa had plagiarized a paper that was not yet published. That paper was co-authored by Caspar Amman and Eugene Wahl. When McIntyre filed an FOI request Jones stepped into the act, helping to cover for Briffa and Wahl by instructing the parties in the loop to destroy the evidence.
Freedom of information laws have become a bane to Alarmist climate scientists
Freedom of information laws have become a bane to Alarmist climate scientists, since they have been used to force them to show their work, and to uncover hidden agendas. How can a planetary hoax be perpetrated - one involving literally billions of dollars - without the ability to speak freely? Conspiracies (even “soft” conspiracies designed to promote a certain point of view) require secure communications.
And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, with the undoubted complicity of Obama Science Czar John Holdren, has devised a way.
Christopher Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed an FOI Act request demanding more information on e-mails that have been treated as “protected” by employees of NOAA and other taxpayer funded establishments. It seems the IPCC has been instructing participants working with the IPCC to refuse to divulge e-mails. The argument is that they are essentially employees of the IPCC and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requirements, even though they are working for the U.S. government and using taxpayer funded e-mail accounts.
According to the FOI request, the following was on the IPCCwebsite:
“Lead Author Meetings are important steps towards the preparation and finalization of the assessment documents. They are therefore considered to be specific closed fora for predecisional discussions. As such, these discussions remain confidential and related documents including emails and preliminary versions of text or figures are not public; they should not be cited, quoted or distributed.
In order to enhance communication among the chapter authors between the meetings, chapter-specific internet fora will be available which are only accessible to the members of the chapter teams and confidentiality is protected by user-specific [sic] passwords. Additional information on the chapter forum, as well as other electronic resources provided by the TSU in support of the writing process, will be presented during the First Lead Author Meeting.”
2 https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/guidancepaper/WG1_GuidanceNote_Confidentiality.pdf docum,ent viewed and captured on October 12, 2011. We cite this as an example of a practice apparently now running throughout all IPCC Working Groups including WGIII on which
So the IPCC demands it’s lead authors maintain confidentiality.
According to the national security archives, the Freedom of Information Act meets the following definition:
“The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law ensuring public access to U.S. government records. FOIA carries a presumption of disclosure; the burden is on the government - not the public - to substantiate why information may not be released. Upon written request, agencies of the United States government are required to disclose those records, unless they can be lawfully withheld from disclosure under one of nine specific exemptions in the FOIA. This right of access is ultimately enforceable in federal court.”
Yet there is an effort here to maintain confidentiality. Any rational person would agree that a paid staffer at NOAA is under this provision.
And this has been happening for some time; Republican Senator James Inhofe requested a review of a NOAA whitewash of the Climategate scandal, and Inspector General for the Department of Commerce issued this report.
Despite being generally favorable to NOAA (is that a surprise from an internal oversight) the evidence was damning:
“The Co-Chair of the IPCC AR4 WG1, who was the only NOAA scientist informed of any of the aforementioned FOIA requests, told us that she did not conduct a “comprehensive search” for and forward potentially responsive documents for agency processing. This was based, in part, on her understanding that her IPCC-related work product was the property of the IPCC, due to the confidentiality provisions contained in many of the documents. In addition, she reportedly received verbal guidance from her supervisor and a NOAA OGC attorney that the IPCC-related documents she had created and/or obtained while on “detail” assignment to the IPCC did not constitute NOAA records.
FOIA includes provisions as to what constitutes an “agency record.” Under FOIA, an agency must exert sufficient control over the requested documents to render them “agency records” such as would be subject to disclosure. To qualify as agency records, documents must be created or obtained by the agency and under its control at the time the FOIA request is made.23 The Co-Chair informed us that the IPCC process was governed by an implicit policy of confidentiality with respect to, for example, the pre-decisional correspondences of its members. WeexaminedIPCC-relatedrecordsinthepossession ofNOAAemployees, some of which contained the directive “Do Not Cite or Quote,” and others of which had “Confidential. Do Not Cite or Quote.” However, none of the NOAA employees with whom we spoke who participated in the IPCC AR4 recalled explicit IPCC policies or procedures pertaining to the confidentiality of the material produced as part of the assessment process. Absent such an unambiguous directive, in our view, the IPCC did not demonstrate a clear intent to retain control over the records created or obtained by NOAA employees.24
Further, the Co-Chair told us that she had been detailed from NOAA to the IPCC from 2002 to 2007. As such, she said that upon her receipt of one of the four FOIA requests, she had consulted with her supervisor as well as a NOAA OGC attorney, to determine how she should respond to the request. The Co-Chair said that based on these exchanges, it was her understanding that any IPCC-related documents in her possession did not constitute “agency records” and, accordingly, she did not conduct a “comprehensive search” for responsive records. We spoke with her supervisor who said that he had also consulted with a NOAA OGC attorney on the matter and that he, too, understood that the Co-Chair’s IPCC-related documents were not NOAA records”
So, this Co-Chair claims she was instructed by Administration attorneys to refuse to address the request. Of course, these same attorneys are now in full denial mode;
“We interviewed the two NOAA OGC attorneys whom the Co-Chair and her supervisor referenced during their interviews with us to determine what, if any, advice the attorneys provided to these individuals. Both attorneys specifically told us that they had not advised the Co-Chair or her supervisor on this matter at the time NOAA received the FOIA requests referenced herein. One attorney said that he never spoke to the Co-Chair about that issue, while the second attorney told us that he was consulted only after NOAA had already responded to the FOIA requesters that it had no responsive documents.
This second attorney maintained that the Co-Chair had called him within the past year or two, after NOAA responded to the 2007 FOIA requests, to confirm that the advice the Co-Chair said she received from him was still applicable. This attorney again maintained that he had not provided any such guidance. The attorney told us that at that point, he researched the matter and, based on his read of a precedent court case that he thought might be on point, Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Energy, 412 F.3d 125 (D.C. Cir. 2005), he responded to the Co-Chair that the advice she said she had received earlier appeared reasonable. However, this attorney noted that he had been led to believe by the Co-Chair that she was officially detailed to the IPCC and, further, that a search for responsive documents had been conducted, but no such documents were found. This attorney also told us that even now, NOAA OGC does not have an official position as to whether IPCC-related records constitute NOAA records for the purposes official.”
And the IG report makes it clear that, no, this is not a form of moonlighting:
“We examined the precedent case referenced by one of the NOAA OGC attorneys, Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t oven Energy, and found that unlike in this case, the Co-Chair, as well as other NOAA employees who participated in the AR4, performed much of their IPCC-related work at NOAA offices and/or using NOAA equipment, received their pay from NOAA, and, in their own words, continued to work on other NOAA matters and remained subject to the supervision of other NOAA employees. In addition, all of the NOAA employees we questioned on this topic, with the exception of the Co-Chair, considered their IPCC-related work to be an official NOAA”
It was work performed under the auspices of NOAA, with NOAA financing, using NOAA facilities - how can it be considered anything else? Yet the attorneys advised this Co-Chair to refuse the FOIA request.
There is every reason to believe this is a concerted plan by the Obama Administration and other global warming alarmists to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act.
And the Obama Administration has moved responsibility for the IPCC from the Department of Commerce to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the private fiefdom of science Czar John Holdren. Holdren, you may remember, is the man who advocated putting chemicals in public water facilities to sterilize the populace and thus reduce population pressures. Holdren advocated forced abortions. Holdren advocated a two child policy similar to China’s. Holdren
Christopher Horner and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are demanding answers. And so should we!
Hat tip to Ron De Haan.