For instance, the front page of the June 8th, 2005 New York Times carried a piece by science writer Andrew Revkin that revealed edits to a government global warming reports that were made by White House Council on Environmental Quality chief of staff and former American Petroleum Institute employee Philip Cooney. An example of one such change that had Revkin concerned was “Mr. Cooney amplified the sense of uncertainty by adding the word ‘extremely’ to this sentence: ‘The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult.’ ”
Such trivialities led science and policy expert Roger Pielke Jr., to write on his weblog that the Revkin piece amounted to “Manufactured Controversy.” For instance, Pielke Jr. points out that one of the documents cited by Revkin as being altered by Cooney, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Strategic Plan, later went on to be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the National Research Council. The NRC then endorsed its scientific content and recommend that it be implemented “with urgency.” Apparently Cooney’s edits weren’t found to be too objectionable by the NRC.
Not satisfied to let the Times have the monopoly on manufacturing controversy, 10 days later, on June 17th, 2005, the Washington Post ran a front page article by staff writer Juliet Eilperin who claimed to have uncovered further evidence that the U. S. government was editing “scientific or policy documents to accord with its position that mandatory carbon dioxide cuts are unnecessary.” This time the guilty parties were U. S. negotiators who were involved in drafting some climate change verbiage to be discussed at the upcoming G-8 meeting. It seems that the negotiators had the audacity to be actively participating in preparing issues to be discussed at next month’s G-8 meeting (undoubtedly just like their counterparts from the other participating countries). The U.S. negotiators convinced the document preparers to replace language such as