(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch today announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia asking the court to compel the U.S. Department of Commerce to turn over all records of communications between a pair of federal scientists who heavily influenced the Obama administration’s climate change policy and its backing of the Paris Agreement (Judicial Watch v. Department of Commerce (No. 1:17-cv-00541)).
The suit was filed after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), a component of the Department of Commerce, failed to respond to a February 6 FOIA request seeking
- All records of communications between NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren.
- The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.
Karl, who until last year was director of the NOAA section that produces climate data, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), was the lead author of a landmark paper that was reported to have heavily influenced the Paris Agreement.
Holdren, a former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and long-time proponent of strong measures to curb emissions.
According to The Daily Mail, a whistleblower accused Thomas Karl of bypassing normal procedures to produce a scientific paper promoting climate alarmism:
A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. …
But the whistleblower, Dr. John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.
It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr. Bates devised.
His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.
In an exclusive interview, Dr. Bates accused the lead author of the paper, Thomas Karl, who was until last year director of the NOAA section that produces climate data – the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – of ‘insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation … in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy’.
(President Donald Trump vowed to scrap the Clean Power Plan and withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement.)
“This new lawsuit could result in the release of emails that will help Americans understand how Obama administration officials may have mishandled scientific data to advance the political agenda of global warming alarmism,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Separately, Judicial Watch is suing for records of communications from NOAA officials regarding methodology for collecting and interpreting data used in climate models to justify the controversial findings in the “Pausebuster” study. The data documents had also been withheld from Congress. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Commerce (No 1:15-cv-02088)).
Judicial Watch previously investigated alleged data manipulation by global warming advocates in the Obama administration. In 2010, Judicial Watch obtained internal documents from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) related to a controversy that erupted in 2007 when Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre exposed an error in NASA’s handling of raw temperature data from 2000-2006 that exaggerated the reported rise in temperature readings in the United States. According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.