“This is the endlessly delayed process; all of these things were at least one and a half years overdue—in some cases more,” said Rick Piltz, director of the watchdog group Climate Science Watch. “It really undermined the credibility of the federal climate change science program under the Bush administration.”
See our January 19 post: “A grand finale (?) for climate program under Bush: Last 5 of 21 reports approved at 11th hour”
The completion and publication on the last working day of the Bush administration of the remaining five of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Productsthe centerpiece climate science reports of the US Climate Change Science Programis on one hand, laudable, but on the other hand, raises serious questions about the lack of transparency and accountability in what must have been a frenetic process to get them finalized and approved.
Greenwire reported in its #1 story on January 29 (by subscription):
CLIMATE: In its final days, Bush admin released long-awaited studies (01/29/2009)
Robin Bravender, E&E reporter
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program posted the final five of 21 climate change Synthesis and Assessment Products on Jan. 16, the final business day for the Bush administration before President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The reports cover topics including the effects of climate change on sea-level rise, in the Arctic and at high latitudes, and the thresholds of global warming in ecosystems.
Critics blasted the Bush administration for the reports’ delayed release, saying President George W. Bush’s White House deliberately tried to minimize the role the reports would play in climate policy by slowing their release and minimizing media scrutiny.
“This is the endlessly delayed process; all of these things were at least one and a half years overdue—in some cases more,” said Rick Piltz, director of the watchdog group Climate Science Watch and a former U.S. Climate Change Science Program official. “It really undermined the credibility of the federal climate change science program under the Bush administration.”