EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently generated considerable heat from Democrats over his position that manmade carbon dioxide is not the primary contributor to global warming. I conducted my own climate change research at EPA, while overseeing a global warming project headed by President Clinton’s Associate Director for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. In 1999, we published a paper in Nature indicating certain EPA policies could actually exacerbate some of the adverse health effects of climate change.
ORD Assistant Administrator Norine Noonan ordered that my laboratory director be removed, and I was terminated for publishing two articles in Nature critical of EPA’s policies. It’s important to understand that the current consensus on global warming is grounded in suppressing any research suggesting that manmade CO2 is not the primary contributor.
It’s important to understand that the current consensus on global warming is grounded in suppressing any research suggesting that manmade CO2 is not the primary contributor.
Individual scientists who discard unwanted results and only publish data supporting their conclusions are guilty of research misconduct. If caught, their work is retracted and their careers are ended. This same standard, however, is never applied to federal agencies that selectively fund scientists who support their policies, and silence their own researchers who don’t toe the line.
Scientists caught selectively publishing data must withdraw their whole study, and not just a particular table or graph where they omitted unwanted, but valid, data. The same should be true of EPA’s whole body of scientific literature created to support its policy on global warming by funding like-minded scientists and repressing unsupportive data. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry took exactly the opposite approach—saying scientists who question this position should be charged with malpractice.
In 2015, I was invited to address the issue of growing public skepticism over the scientific literature at a meeting of the Royal Society of London. I talked about how prevalent data fabrication at EPA and other federal agencies has become. Marc Edwards at Virginia Tech, for example, has testified to Congress about data fabrication by EPA and the CDC to cover up high levels of lead in drinking water in Washington DC and Flint Michigan.
At EPA, I had the same reservations as Administrator Pruitt about manmade CO2 being the primary contributor to global warming. Many scientists agree that, when global warming occurs, oceans begin to heat up before the atmosphere warms. That being the case, how can it even be possible that manmade CO2 in the atmosphere is driving global warming? Just warming the oceans in and of itself could produce far more natural CO2 than comes from human activity.
While I’m convinced that global warming is occurring, I’m not comfortable concluding that it’s driven by trace gases in the atmosphere until we have some understanding of what’s going on with heat transfer from the earth’s core to the bottoms of the oceans.
David Lewis, Ph.D., is the Research Director for the Focus for Health Foundation in Watchung, NJ, and CEO of Saxon Road Church, Inc. in Watkinsville.