GAP Begins Next Phase of Rick Piltz’s Climate Science Watch Program: Climate Science & Policy Watch
(WASHINGTON) – On August 25th, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) proudly announced the launch of the next phase of climate science champion and whistleblower Rick Piltz’s Climate Science Watch (CSW) program: Climate Science & Policy Watch (CSPW). CSW was originally developed and spearheaded by Piltz, who joined GAP when he resigned after 10 years in the U.S. Global Change Research Program Coordination Office to blow the whistle on the George W. Bush White House for political interference with the integrity of climate change communication. GAP then launched CSW in 2005 as a public interest education and advocacy project dedicated to holding public officials accountable for using climate research with integrity in dealing with the challenge of global climate disruption.
Piltz sadly passed away on October 18, 2014 after losing his heroic battle with cancer. As GAP re-launches the newly-expanded climate science program, Karen Metchis, Rick’s wife, commented:
“Among Rick’s last wishes was his hope that his fight for the integrity of science against the climate deniers would continue. He recognized the need to protect our children’s future from those who would sacrifice it for short term gain by denying the coming calamities if climate change goes unaddressed. It is gratifying to me to see Rick’s work continue. He always believed that GAP’s mission helping others reveal the truth fills an essential role.”
Climate Science & Policy Watch Interim Director Michael Termini worked closely with Piltz at GAP for almost eight years in the strategic development and implementation of CSW as Deputy Director of GAP’s Corporate Accountability and Development programs. Aware of the strategic needs of the program and Piltz’ vision for the expanded CSPW, Termini said:
“Rick was crystal clear about his expanded vision and where the effort needed to go, given the high-ground he and his team had achieved over the years with Climate Science Watch. After months of preparation by a team of contributors, composed of experts and colleagues Rick had mentored and worked with, today’s launch is the first step in realizing that vision. Following his precise guidance, it is my privilege to lead the charge Rick sounded.”
Although the fossil-fuel industry is now less able to obscure scientific findings than it was under the Bush Administration, its pressure remains within federal agencies and some state governments responsible for climate science research and policy. By challenging similar efforts to compromise these climate policies, GAP believes we are helping to confront a global crisis. This next phase of GAP’s expanded CSPW will assess the implementation of the current administration’s stated support for a comprehensive climate policy and critique its apparent contradictory, behind-the-scenes actions in support of accelerated fossil fuel development. While continuing to use the well-known CSW website as the primary vehicle for our commentary, documentation, and reform advocacy, GAP’s program will implement the top-down policy approach Piltz worked toward, while working from the bottom-up to highlight our need to phase-out fossil energy sources as Piltz warned and address the consequences of human-induced climate change.
“In my view, at great personal risk, Rick exposed the George W. Bush Administration because it was necessary and because it was right. I personally see these words [below] as Rick’s call to action and have them framed in our office to remind us of the mission every day,” Termini continued. “I believe it is a call for each of us to play our role in doing all we can in this fight that affects each of us in ways that stagger the imagination. Rick taught us by his example that together, we have the tools, the expertise and the power to confront the climate science denial machine and fossil-fuel interests and turn this thing around for the sake of “real people in real places” as Rick often reminded us, for our children and our children’s children.”
On April 4, 2006, upon accepting the 2006 Ridenhour Award for Truth-telling, Rick Piltz stated:
“You have to have the leadership listen to what federal climate scientists are saying, and embrace it and accept it and promote it and act on it.…But it’s really for the rest of us to take the responsibility to hold public officials accountable to enable society to get the global warming problem dealt with effectively. And that’s something I think that we all have a role in. I’ll leave you with that thought.”
CONTACT: Sarah Damian, GAP Communications Manager
Phone: (202) 457-0034 Ext. 130
The Government Accountability Project
The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington