Climate Decade in Review - Post 35: Bush Administration Links Emissions With Atmospheric Buildup (Later Recants)

On May 28, 2002, the State Department issued its Third US Climate Action Report (mostly written by EPA), as required by the UNFCCC. The report clearly linked the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere with human emissions, documented potential impacts and--all in all--gave a relatively balanced assessment of the current understanding of climate change. This despite the fact that Phillip Cooney, who had recently joined Bush's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), did his best to water down the language. His effort failed, and the New York Times published a story about the report.

Cooney turned to the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute for help to undo the damage he had done. The head of CEI, Myron Ebell, replied, "I want to help you cool things down, but after consulting with the team, I think that what we can do is limited until there is an official statement from the administration repudiating the report."

Voila! On June 4, President Bush made his famous remark that the report was "put out by the bureaucracy."

(For lots more on this and other aspects of the Bush effort to delay action on global warming, click here.)

This is one in the series of "Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.

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