Censoring Science

336 pages
Size: 6-1⁄4” x 9-1⁄4”
Pub Date: 12/27/2007
ISBN: 9780525950141

Improved Graph:

Owing to a mix-up during
our hasty production process,
the scales were inadvertently
dropped from the vertical
axes of the graph on page 290
of the first printing of
Censoring Science.

This and a few other minor errors were rectified in the paperback edition.

To view, download, or
print the corrected graph,
please click the image:

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Resources for Censoring Science

Since Censoring Science was written and produced at a breakneck pace, we decided early on not to include extensive references and source notes. This page is a partial attempt to fill that void.

The New York Times has collected the series of articles that reporter Andrew Revkin wrote in 2006 about censorship at NASA. Andy first broke the story on January 29. He followed it through the summer, when he learned from Jim that in February the NASA administrator’s office had quietly removed what had been the agency’s primary mission, “to understand and protect the home planet,” from its official mission statement.

Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air

A January 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding the $16 million public relations campaign to spread disinformation about global warming that has been waged over the past decade and more by oil giant ExxonMobil. According to the authors, this report “details how the oil company, like the tobacco industry in previous decades, has

• raised doubts about even the most indisputable scientific evidence

• funded an array of front organizations to create the appearance of a broad platform for a tight-knit group of vocal climate change contrarians who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings

• attempted to portray its opposition to action as a positive quest for ‘sound science’ rather than business self-interest

• used its access to the Bush administration to block federal policies and shape government communications on global warming”

The Government Accountability Project produced a similar report in March 2007, called "Redacting the Science of Climate Change". (press release, pdf)

Political Interference with Climate Change Science under the Bush Administration

In December 2007, the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a short report that summarized a sixteen month investigation into “allegations of political interference with government climate change science.” As the report states, “The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.” The report was published after I finished Censoring Science, and it portrays a few incidents that are not in the book.

The committee held two hearings on this matter, on January 30 and March 19, 2007. Transcripts and other related matter may be found here and here on the committee’s Web site. In the bizarre second hearing, Jim Hansen sat between two of the government’s most prolific alleged censors, Philip Cooney, former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and George Deutsch, former NASA public affairs officer, as the three testified together.

The manifestly false Point Paper written by George Deutsch on December 15, 2005, the day that a “shit storm” broke out at NASA headquarters after Jim Hansen released straightforward scientific data indicating that the year had just set a record for the highest average global temperature since records have been kept. As told in Censoring Science, reliable sources indicate that political appointees at NASA headquarters prevented Jim and his colleagues from posting this data on the Web – a blatant example of scientific censorship.

Paul Thacker’s
Freedom of Information Act documents.

Two sets of e-mails, detailing specific acts of censorship at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), that investigative journalist Paul Thacker obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. These documents are cited in Chapter 6 of Censoring Science.
1st set of e-mails
2nd set of e-mails

The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind

This excellent book provided the basis for some of the incidents related in Chapter 5 of Censoring Science. Of particular interest are the documents Mr. Suskind (and the subject of his book, Paul O’Neill, George W. Bush’s first Treasury Secretary) provide here about decisions that were made in the earliest days of the administration to derail any and all policies that might effectively combat global warming.