A former Obama official has confirmed that during the Obama administrations bureaucrats in the federal government routinely misused or tampered with climate data in order to promote the theory that humans are causing global warming.
Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.
He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the NCA’s assessment was technically incorrect. “What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” he said. The U.N. published reports in 2014 essentially mirroring Koonin’s argument.
This story does not prove that human-caused global warming is not happening. What it does tell us, as have many other stories previously, is that we can no longer trust the data issued by federal government sources, and that a major housecleaning is necessary in order to make that trust possible again.
Whether Donald Trump is the president capable of doing that housecleaning remains an open question. Some of his actions suggest he is. Some suggest he is not. Overall, he appears a transitional figure who will begin that housecleaning in a relatively superficial way, but lay the groundwork for someone in the future who will push it through with much more success.