The next episode of the PBS “America’s Investigative Reports” program, titled “Science Fiction,” will feature investigative science reporter Paul Thacker, who has published significant stories on global warming deniers and censorship of climate science.  Paul published a good interview with CSW director Rick Piltz in June 2005 in Environmental Science & Technology, a publication for which he worked as Associate Editor until recently forced out of his position.  The program airs in the Washington, DC, area on Friday, November 10 and Monday, November 13.   

“Blowing the whistle on climate change: Interview with Rick Piltz”
by Paul D. Thacker
Environmental Science & Technology online
Policy News
June 22, 2005
Thacker wrote:  “Before publishing this interview, ES&T contacted multiple government officials familiar with Piltz’s work. Although they did not agree with all his conclusions, they confirmed that his points are valid.”

Production of Thirteen/WNET New York in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting.
“Each of AIR’s weekly, documentary-style half-hour episodes chronicles powerful, groundbreaking recent journalistic investigations, featuring the committed reporters and editors who have produced them.  Whether originating in print, on television, radio or the Internet, these are the stories that have shaken communities, held the powerful accountable and tried to make a difference in the functioning of America’s democracy.”

Episode 111: “Science Fiction”
In the Washington, DC, metro area:
Airs on WETA-TV, Washington, DC, Friday November 10, 2006, 9:30-10:00 p.m.
Airs on MPT (Maryland Public Television) Monday November 13, 2006, 5:30-6:00 p.m.
See air time for your area.
Description from PBS:

“When scientific studies are released, most laypeople take the word of the “experts” for granted and assume that the supporting data is legitimate. But [science reporter Paul Thacker] discovered evidence that suggests there is an entire industry built around spinning science for the purpose of confusing the public while benefiting Big Business….

Thacker looked into the background of Steve Milloy, publisher of the Web site, which challenges mainstream science findings on global warming and other issues, and identified ties to both the oil and tobacco industries.

“After publishing his findings on Milloy, Thacker investigated cases in which seemingly grassroots organizations promoted industry arguments on environmental issues….

Thacker’s investigative reporting [for the publication Environmental Science & Technology], he says, didn’t please some of the people he worked for, and he soon found his career on the line. He says a board member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which publishes ES&T, objected to a story he wrote about the Weinberg Group, an international scientific and regulatory consulting firm which specializes in, among other things, “product defense.” …

Several months later, Thacker unearthed evidence that the White House had tried to prevent scientists from speaking out about the link between climate change and the increasing strength of hurricanes. He says ES&T refused to allow him to follow the story, so he found a home for it at Then, he says, he was fired from ES&T….

See our entries on November 2 (“NASA and Commerce Dept. Inspectors General investigating climate science censorship”) and earlier on this subject.

Climate-controlled White House
The administration claims it wasn’t telling scientists what to say about climate change; e-mails obtained by Salon prove otherwise.
By Paul D. Thacker
September 19, 2006

Pundit for Hire
Smoked Out
by Paul D. Thacker
The New Republic (by subscription)
Post date 01.26.06 | Issue date 02.06.06