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Letter To The Honorable, John Rockefeller, Chairman, Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee


Location: Washington, DC

Isakson Urges Investigation of Climate Research to Ensure Tax Dollars Are Not Being Used to Manipulate Data

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today joined with five of his Republican colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in a letter to Committee Chairman John Rockefeller, D-W.V., expressing support for a bipartisan investigation of climate research.

Isakson signed onto the letter after emails between some of the world's leading climate scientists were made public and showed scientific data may have been deliberately suppressed to boost one side of the debate.

"These emails show a troubling pattern regarding scientific research of climate change," Isakson said. "A bipartisan investigation will help ensure that American tax dollars are not being used to manipulate scientific data for a political agenda."

In November, computer hackers entered a server at the University of East Anglia in Britain and stole data from its Climatic Research Unit. The hackers posted nearly 1,000 pieces of correspondence and 3,000 documents on the Internet.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Chairman Rockefeller:

When you assumed the chairmanship of this committee you announced an aggressive oversight agenda for the committee. When announcing the new rules for the committee you stated, "This Committee must and will bring in to Congressional and public view important information about how well the laws and programs under our jurisdiction work, and we stand ready to address manipulation or neglect by either the Executive Branch or outside parties as needed." The recent disclosure of the manipulation of scientific evidence by climate researchers is exactly the kind of important information that needs to be brought to light.

The emails and documents recently disclosed paint an alarming picture of the state of climate research. In the emails that have been disclosed we've seen evidence of manipulation, efforts to avoid freedom of information act requests, abuse of the peer review process and a research process that is driven more by a political agenda than a quest for the truth.

Some examples include:

This email from Mr. Kenneth Trenberth from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (which receives tens of millions in federal funding from the agencies under our jurisdiction):

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."

Or this email from Dr. Phil Jones - who was recently suspended from his post at the University of East Anglia - to three academic researchers in the U.S. (all of whom were receiving federal funds):

"PS: I'm getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don't any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!"

Or this email from Dr. Andrew Manning to Dr. Phil Jones that highlights the climate research industry that has grown up around cap and trade:

"Hi Phil, is this another witch hunt (like Mann et al.)? How should I respond to the below? (I'm in the process of trying to persuade Siemens Corp. (a company with half a million employees in 190 countries!) to donate me a little cash to do some CO2 measurments here in the UK - looking promising, so the last thing I need is news articles calling into question (again) observed temperature increases"

Or this email from Phil Jones to Penn State Professor Michael Mann (who receives and oversees millions of dollars in federal climate research funding) regarding the inclusion of research critical of the influence of humans on climate:

"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report, Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Our concern is that these emails only show a small picture of possible scientific fraud. A number of federal and independent scientists receiving federal funds are included in the emails and documents. There is clearly more information that federal researchers and researchers receiving federal funds could provide to the committee.

The American people deserve to know that federal scientific funding is not being used to distort science to reach a political end. The public is only privy to the emails that whistle blowers have disclosed and this Committee needs to provide confirmation that American taxpayer dollars are not being misused.

We urge you to open an official bipartisan investigation utilizing all the tools at the committee's disposal to get to the truth in this matter. Without it, Congress will be making serious policy decisions with misleading and faulty scientific data.

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