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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mrs. BIGGERT. According to the American Physical Society, science is the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories. The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of scientists who, number one, expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, and, two, abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.

Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science.

Madam Speaker, the recent emails out of the University of East Anglia on the subject of climate change call into question the scientific integrity of several of the researchers involved in developing the climate science that is being used by decisionmakers around the world. While allegations of fraud and manipulation in the scientific community are troubling in and of themselves, they are even more concerning when the data in question is being used by United Nations negotiators as the basis for a global agreement to limit greenhouse gases. Such a situation should give international and domestic negotiators pause on the eve of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen.

Recent events have uncovered evidence from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which show that researchers around the globe discussed hiding, destroying, and altering climate data that did not support their narrow global warming claims. Their emails further indicate an attempt to silence academic journalists who publish research that is at odds with their ideology, and they even refer to efforts to exclude contrary views from publication in scientific journals.

Scientific research should meet high standards of quality and should not be held hostage to the ideologies of those presenting the data. It is beyond comprehension that we would even consider implementing a carbon reduction scheme which will irrevocably alter the economy and lead to more joblessness based on these fabrications. Before we move any further, we must restore scientific integrity to the process.

Recent events really show that this has not happened. The hacked emails provide evidence that researchers suppressed science and data which did not conform to the preferred outcomes. For example, one researcher commits himself to ensuring that no nonconforming science will be mentioned in the IPCC's fourth assessment report. He writes, ``Kevin and I will keep them out somehow even if we have to redefine what peer-review literature is.''

As a senior member of the House Science and Technology Committee, I cannot stress enough how important the availability of objective scientific data is for both decisionmakers and researchers. When it comes to our economy and environment, we cannot afford to make decisions on the basis of corrupted data.

With this in mind, the President should call on the IPCC to establish a robust oversight mechanism governing its work before further climate legislation or regulatory measures are taken. Such action is necessary to prevent future infringements of public trust by scientific falsification and fraud.

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