Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 3, November 2011

Texas officials censored climate change report
Read the entire article:  http://www.newscientist.com/
Condensed by Native Village

Texas: Texas officials have altered a scientific report by deleting mentions of human-induced climate change and rising sea levels.

The 2010 State of the [Galveston] Bay report was delayed for a year by disputes between two organizations:

1. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ) 
  
2. Scientists at the Houston Advanced Research Center.
SHARC is under contract provide the state with regular reports on Galveston bay.
John Anderson is an oceanographer at Rice University in Texas. He says the chapter he wrote for the report was  edited by TCEQ. The cuts reflected what he called the "denial" in Texas about the effects of global warming.

"They just simply went through and summarily struck out any reference to climate change, any reference to sea level rise, any reference to human influence -- it was edited or eliminated," Anderson said.  "That's not scientific review, that's just straightforward censorship."
 

Bryan Shaw heads the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. He says the scientific arguments that humans are causing climate change is a hoax.

Shaw was appointed by Texas governor Rick Perry, who has publicly said that science is inconclusive.
 
Three scientists involved in the paper want their names removed from the version edited by Texas.

"We feel it would impact our credibility as scientists on something where the data on sea-level rise has been censored," said Jim Lester, editor of the report.
 

Spokeswoman Andrea Morrow says TCEQ disagreed with information in the article.  "It would be irresponsible to take whatever is sent to us and publish it," she said.

Those changes, however, go against known scientific evidence.

Besides editing facts about humans and climate change, TCEQ deleted a sentence that said Galveston Bay water levels have been rising 5 times times faster than the long-term average.
 

"There's no denying the fact that sea-level rise has significantly accelerated. The scientific community is not at all divided on that issue," Anderson said.  "I don't think there is any question but that their motive is to tone this thing down as it relates to global (climate) change. It's not about the science. It's all politics."

The news organization, Mother Jones, has published the report and tracked the changes. View it here:
Texas's Deletions to the State of the Bay Report 2010

 

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