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Holdren Grilled Over E-Mail Controversy

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Emily Vaughan
National Journal
Thursday, December 3, 2009

In a hearing that was part sparring match and part high school science lesson, two of the Obama administration’s climate change experts, John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, testified today before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming about the validity of man-made climate change.

From the start, Republicans focused the conversation on the controversial hacked e-mails from East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit in England, in which a number of scientists made remarks about limiting the dissemination of work by climate change skeptics. The research center provides data for much of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s conclusions. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, was among the scientists involved in the e-mails.


“When the science itself it politicized it becomes impossible to make objective scientific decisions,” said ranking member James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. He used his opening statements to quote from several of the e-mails, and said they “read more like scientific fascism than scientific process.”

Holdren modified his testimony to address those concerns, arguing several times throughout the more than two-hour hearing that the controversy would not affect the scientific consensus about human-induced climate change. “This particular case, the data set in question and the way it was interpreted and presented by these particular scientists, constitutes a small part of the data and analysis,” Holdren said.

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This article was posted: Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

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