Government Accountability Project

MARCH 20, 2006
8:20 AM

CONTACT: Government Accountability Project
Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director
Phone: 202.408.0034 ext. 137, cell 202.236.3733

GAP Announces New Watchdog, “Climate Science Watch”
Organization First to Solely Focus on Manipulation of Climate Science Reporting

WASHINGTON - March 20 - The Government Accountability Project (GAP) today announced its sponsorship of a new nonprofit watchdog organization, Climate Science Watch (CSW). CSW is an educational and advocacy project dedicated to holding public officials accountable for the ways they use climate science data in policymaking. It is the first organization to solely focus on the politicization of climate change and global warming science. GAP client Rick Piltz, who blew the whistle on the Bush administration’s manipulation of scientific reporting related to global warming last June, is the founder and Executive Director of CSW.

“Climate Science Watch will investigate and call public attention to the censorship and misuse of climate-related research and assessments,” stated Piltz. “We will communicate with scientists, policymakers, the news media and the public, serving as a bridge for more effective communication between scientists and non-scientists. Public controversy, limited understanding, and misuse of climate science are not going to end in the near term. But the problem of climate change is not going to disappear, either. It must be confronted.”

The announcement of CSW comes on the heels of Piltz’s interview on last night’s 60 Minutes segment entitled “Rewriting the Science.” That segment focused on how the Bush administration is systematically downplaying, manipulating, and restricting scientific reporting about the truth of global warming.

The scientific community has reached a consensus that global warming is a very real and serious problem. Changes in the earth’s atmosphere resulting from human impact have led to the rapid melting of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, accelerated polar warming endangering such species as the polar bear, rising sea levels, higher world temperatures, and greater major storm intensity. NASA’s leading climate scientist, James Hansen, has voiced his expert conclusion that a “tipping point” for Earth, when it will be too late for humankind to effectively combat and limit these changes, is only a decade away. He believes that if major steps are not taken within this time period, we will lose our chance to contain the warming that will occur, along with its disastrous consequences.

“Climate Science Watch will support and be a resource for federal scientists who are experiencing political interference with their ability to communicate their findings on climate change,” added Piltz. “Scientific free speech is key to society’s ability to make informed decisions about matters affecting our future and survival. Those who work to move the United States toward honest discussion, the adoption of new policies, and taking action to address the challenges of global warming and climate change will find a new and valuable ally in Climate Science Watch.”

Piltz worked for ten years in senior positions in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, the federal office that coordinates government-supported research on climate and global change. Resigning in March of last year, he became a GAP client, and his story of the White House’s rewriting of climate science reports made national headlines. To support Piltz, GAP released documents showing how White House officials repeatedly edited climate reports to downplay the amount and severity of climate change, the predicted consequences, and link between the emission of greenhouse gases and the earth’s rising temperature.

Climate Science Watch can be found on the Internet at Piltz will be available throughout the day for interviews.