Global warming civil disobedience protest at NOAA headquarters


A pair of environmentalists, protesting what they said are attempts to suppress evidence of global warming, were arrested October 23 after spending several hours perched on a ledge at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

The Washington Post reported on October 24 (“2 Men Arrested On a Ledge at NOAA Building—Silver Spring Demonstration Staged Over Global Warming”):

After 8 a.m., the two men used an extension ladder to climb to a roughly 25-foot-high ledge at the building, in the 1300 block of East West Highway, an associate said. They carried a banner reading, “Bush: Let NOAA Tell the Truth” and brought food and drink with them. Other protesters stayed on the sidewalk below….

The two men are members of a group called the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, said Mike Tidwell, the group’s director. The group contends that NOAA officials are playing down scientists’ findings about the dangers of global warming, including its connection to extreme weather events such as hurricanes and heat waves.

“They are failing at their job,” Tidwell said. “They are suppressing scientific information because it is inconvenient data for the Bush administration’s fossil-fuel constituency.”

Especially after Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Commerce/NOAA has impeded an honest discussion of the relationship between hurricanes and global warming by selectively bringing forward the views of certain scientists while excluding or ignoring others who have published significant recent studies.  It appears that to acknowledge this relationship is seen as a political problem for the administration, a threat to create more public pressure for a stronger policy to deal with the global warming problem.

We have discussed the problem of NOAA’s public communication on hurricanes and climate change in earlier posts, including
October 10, (House Science Committee ranking member seeks answers on Commerce Dept. cover-up of hurricane report),
September 27 (Why the administration buried a NOAA scientists’ statement on hurricanes and climate),
July 6 (Hurricanes and global warming: A credibility challenge for the Climate Change Science Program),
June 4 (NOAA, global warming, and hurricanes: CSW director interview),
May 31 (Two new studies link increased hurricane intensity to global warming),
May 31 again (NOAA’s misleading internal Congressional briefing points on hurricanes and global warming),
March 29 (NOAA hiding truth about hurricanes, scientists say), and
February 16 (Jim Hansen: NOAA ‘by fiat’ put out ‘biased information’ on hurricanes).

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