Pitting Politics Against Science Is A No-Win Situation

5 April 2011

Joint Release

Read Executive Director Christine McEntee’s post on the hearing on The Hill’s Congress Blog.

WASHINGTON—In response to criticisms during today’s House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Michael J. McPhaden, president:

“Despite the fact that there is overwhelming agreement across disciplines within the scientific community that climate change exists and that human activity is the primary driver, what was clear during today’s hearing is that the political debate on the subject is far from over. That echoes what we have seen in many of the proposals for FY11 budget cuts, which will, among other things, limit access to data and information, including leveraging international knowledge and research.”

“This is particularly concerning, given the impact climate science, and its influence on extreme weather events, can have on global competitiveness, national security, and public health and safety. Allowing political pressure to squelch scientific research will not make climate change and its impacts go away. It will, however, damage the objective knowledge base we need to inform good decisions that protect and enhance the public good.”

The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 60,000 members representing over 148 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. It is accessible on the Web at www.agu.org.

Joan Buhrman: 202-777-7509, [email protected]