Climate Control
September 29, 2004; Page A18

We've long been skeptics about the science behind the political campaign to regulate greenhouse gasses, so imagine our surprise to discover that some of the global warmists seem to agree.

How else to read a paragraph that was included in a recent Senate spending bill exempting climate programs from having to pass scientific scrutiny? The legislative language excuses any "research and data collection, or information analysis conducted by or for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration" (the agency charged with monitoring climate change) from the Data Quality Act, a new law that requires sound science in policymaking. This is the sole exemption in the bill.

This amounts to a political end run around the Data Quality Act, which has proven to be an obstacle to those who want to impose costly new limits on greenhouse gas emissions. More than a year ago the Competitive Enterprise Institute sued the Bush Administration for not applying the act to two shoddy climate-change reports issued in 2000 and 2002. The reports based their analyses of the impact of climate change on computer models that are incapable of providing reliable predictions. The White House ultimately settled the suit by posting a disclaimer on one of the reports.

Nobody is rushing to take credit for the proposed exemption. But our sources say it was included at the request of Democrats on the Senate subcommittee that wrote the spending bill in question, but that now the exemption is getting the attention of Chairman Judd Gregg, who says he intends to remove it. Let's hope so. Surely those who claim to believe most in climate change aren't afraid to subject their theories to even basic tests of scientific accuracy. Or are they?


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