White House Dismisses ‘Climategate’ Because ‘Most People’ Believe in Global Warming
November 30, 2009The White House is dismissing the "climategate" controversy that has arisen over the leak of email communications among top climate-change scientists that some skeptics say cast doubt on the legitimacy of the science behind the theory that human activity is causing global warming.
Obama will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Dec. 9. The conference in Copenhagen comes soon after the emails released by a computer hacker has led one Republican U.S. senator to call for an investigtation.
Some global warming skeptics have referred to the e-mails--from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit in England--as “climategate.”
But White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed the controversy on Monday, saying that most people don’t dispute global warming.
“In the order of several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening,” Gibbs said. “I don’t think that any of that is, quite frankly among most people, in dispute.”
Leading global-warming skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wants an investigation into the content of the e-mails. He has asked all government agencies to retain e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
“It appears that, in an attempt to conceal the manipulation of climate data, information disclosure laws may have been violated,” Inhofe said in a statement last week. “I certainly don't condone the manner in which these emails were released; however, now that they are in the public domain, lawmakers have an obligation to determine the extent to which the so-called ‘consensus' of global warming, formed with billions of taxpayer dollars, was contrived in the biased minds of the world's leading climate scientists.”
One of the e-mails said, “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone.” It was written by Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU)
The texts of some of the 3,000 e-mails were posted by the Wall Street Journal last week.
Another e-mail suggested that scientists “hide the decline” in the earth’s temperatures.
Obama will announce plans in Copenhagen that include reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, according to the White House.
“In light of the President’s goal to reduce emissions 83 percent by 2050, the expected pathway set forth in this pending legislation would entail a 30 percent reduction below 2005 levels in 2025 and a 42 percent reduction below 2005 in 2030,” a White House release last week said.