Examining Climate Change

Do political considerations interfere with science when it comes to climate change? That’s the topic of the first hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Of course politics plays a role in how government deals with science. Moreover, it should. Neither realm operates in a vacuum. Science evolves, and policy must evolve with it. The pace at which policy evolves won’t often be in lockstep with the science. Sometimes, it can move faster. Most times, it must move more slowly.

To be clear, this discussion need not address whether our climate is warming. It is. It need not address whether carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has contributed to this warming. It has.

But what it must address is whether we get accurate information. And if not, is it because the Bush administration has quashed scientific inquiry or because politically correct toes are being stepped on? That’s right. I requested documents from CEQ because I wanted to learn more about allegations that administrations officials were trying to minimize the significance of climate change. I am troubled by the administration’s lackluster production of those documents.

But I’m also troubled by stories of scientists unable to publish or even finish their research because they are perceived to have the “wrong