The e-mails revealed evidence that scientists with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been manipulating data to prove their theories of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW). Senator James Inhofe (R – Okla.) announced on November 24 that he will launch an investigation into the matter, sending letters to the scientists involved and to federal agencies warning them to "retain [related] documents."
"The stakes in this controversy are significant, as it appears that the basis of federal programs, pending EPA rulemakings, and cap-and-trade legislation was contrived and fabricated," Inhofe said in a press release. "Lawmakers have an obligation to determine the extent to which the so-called 'consensus' of global warming, formed with billions of taxpayer dollars, was contrived in the biased minds of the world's leading climate scientists." Senator Inhofe serves as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. For years he has fought climate change alarmists based on his belief that the threat of AGW is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Prior to the Climategate scandal, he recently released a committee report entitled More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims – Scientists Continue to Debunk "Consensus" in 2008 & 2009.
Senator David Vitter (R-La.) is another outspoken critic of AGW research and its effect on cap-and-trade legislation. Vitter's legislative staffer for environmental issues, Bryan Zumwalt, reportedly sent an e-mail on November 23 in which he called Climategate "the greatest act of scientific fraud in history." Zumwalt lamented over the large amount of grant money received through the years by the researchers involved in the scandal and their fraudulent influence on U.S. climate policy. "The e-mails and other released data also appear to implicate professors at some of the U.S.'s premier universities in a coordinated effort to achieve the IPCC agenda as well as to garner government grants."
On the House side, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said investigators are studying the Climategate documents with particular attention to those involving White House Science Adviser John Holdren, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Holdren participated in some of the e-mails and has based many of his policy-making decisions on research published by his fellow IPCC scientists implicated in the scandal.
Skeptics are not the only Climategate critics. George Monbiot, a leading AGW proponent, is calling for the resignation of one of the scientists at the center of the controversial e-mails, Phil Jones. Jones’ research has greatly influenced recent IPCC reports upon which much climate change legislation is based, including the cap-and-trade bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June and another measure now before the Senate. Writing for The Guardian, Monbiot calls Climategate a "major blow" and admits the situation could "scarcely be more damaging" to environmentalists' agenda. Monbiot also points out, despite the major media's downplaying the situation, "pretending the climate email leak isn't a crisis won't make it go away."
Photo: Senator James Inholfe