President’s advisers distorted his record on climate change

From Ian Hart, director of communications, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
In the opinion piece “President Bush consistently has addressed climate change issues” (April 24), Bush advisers John Marburger III and James Connaughton reproduce much of their Feb. 7 White House open letter on climate change.
Unfortunately, in the nearly three months since that letter was released, it has been proven to cherry-pick data and misquote the president.

They write in the column, “According to the International Energy Agency, from 2000 to 2004, as our population increased and our economy grew by nearly 10 percent, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions increased by only 1.7 percent. By comparison, during the same period, European Union carbon dioxide emissions grew by 5 percent, with lower economic growth.”

On March 12, Pacific Institute President and MacArthur Fellow Peter Gleick released an analysis explaining why this is a deceiving case of cherry-picking data. He writes, “Between 2000 and 2001, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions temporarily declined because of the modest recession, and the dramatic drop in air traffic and travel following the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Thus, the only way to support a statement that the U.S. is “doing a better job of reducing emissions” is by choosing a starting date of 2000.

Furthermore, the authors quote the president from June 11, 2001 in an attempt to show a consistent message. However, by playing loose with ellipses they distort the president’s quote. …

Deceptive use of science and the historical record leads government into bad policies, and steers us away from real solutions. In an attempt to argue in favor of consistency of the president’s climate message, Marburger and Connaughton only continue to muddle the scientific understanding of climate change. Muddling the facts, it seems, is the one consistency that this administration knows.

~From Ian Hart, director of communications, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
Oakland, Calif.

After the fire, burning mad

As a husband and father who has made the Hill my family’s home, I’m convinced by the sincerity of Mayor Fenty’s stated commitment in quickly renovating Eastern Market — the soul of Capitol Hill. The complete and rapid restoration of the Market is a vital necessity for our community’s health. With that being understood, I feel I must add my anguished opinion to others that the city, through the ineptitude of the Office of Property Management, has been criminally negligent in their responsibilities. This negligence has been decades in the making, well documented in your publication, and reached a crisis point in the hiring of Stuart Smith as a manager. I believe the mayor’s office now has the financial responsibility and moral obligation to address the criminality of the OPM’s malfeasance. Please do the right thing — clean out the OPM and restore our soul.

~From Andrew Daly, Washington, D.C.