Democracy Now!, July 7th
Republican Congressmember Investigates Climate Scientists
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating three professors whose work suggests that the earth's climate is warmer now than at any time in many centuries and that increasing levels of greenhouse gases from burning fossils fuels are largely to blame. In letters to the three scientists last week, Congressmember Joe Barton of Texas demanded detailed documentation about the hundreds of studies on which they were an author or co-author. Barton also sent a letter to the director of the National Science Foundation that requests information about the work of the three professors, as well as a list of all grants and awards in the area of climate and paleoclimate science, which number 2,700 in the past 10 years. The investigation focuses on studies by Michael Mann, an assistant professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia; Raymond Bradley, a professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and Malcolm Hughes, a professor in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research of the University of Arizona. Congressmember Barton worked in the oil-and-gas industry before being elected to Congress in 1984. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he has consistently ranked as one of the top five recipients of campaign contributions from that industry over the past decade.