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An Inconvenient Voice: Dr. Alan Carlin

Ever hear of Alan Carlin? Probably not, and that is the way the Obama Administration wants to keep it. Dr. Carlin is an Environmental Protection Agency veteran who recently wrote a damaging report, warning that the science behind climate change was questionable at best, and that we shouldn't pass laws that will hurt American families and hobble the nation's economy based on incomplete information. Despite its promise to put science above politics, the Administration has suppressed Carlin's report, banned him from writing or speaking about climate change, told him to forget about attending any meetings that addressed his main job function-climate change-and gave him a new assignment: updating a grants database. One supposes that, by dedicating its distinguished scientists to data-entry tasks, Obama's EPA is able to free up true-believing interns to do its research.

Until recently, Dr. Carlin's assignment was to research climate change issues for the agency. As part of this responsibility, he prepared a 98-page report earlier this year questioning the need for the agency to regulate CO2. His main argument-buttressed by citation after citation of peer-reviewed science-was that the agency's earlier argument for regulating was based on incomplete science that ignored much more recent (and contrary) studies.

EPA responded by burying the report. As for Dr. Carlin himself, he was put under a strict gag order by superiors. They forbade him from writing, speaking or e-mailing about global warming to anyone outside his group at EPA. Now that his comment has been leaked (available here), the truth can come out.

We spoke to an embattled Dr. Carlin on the phone today, and, though he does fear losing his job because of his opinion, he has the strength of his beliefs. He told us that in 40 years of working for the government, he can't remember any other time such pressure has been put on him. But you can hear in his voice that Dr. Carlin, who got his undergraduate degree in physics from CalTech and his PhD in economics from MIT, is not easily silenced.

"I've been involved in public policy since 1966 or 1967," he said. "There's never been anything exactly like this. I am now under a gag order."

As for travel, "it's been made abundantly clear that I was not to attend anything to do with climate change." When he did attend a conference in Washington that was open to the public, he was reprimanded by a superior who told Dr. Carlin that he had "shown poor judgment" in daring to ask a question.

He does maintain a good sense of humor. He told us he had just been interviewed on radio and that the reporter had said "we hear you've been fired" to which he responded, "I haven't heard that myself, but your information may be better than mine."

That Dr. Carlin's fate should befall any civil servant is frightening. It is doubly frightening when the person is a respected scientist who is simply trying to do his job when it is needed most. At the same time EPA is looking to regulate CO2 as a health hazard, Congress is considering an even more intrusive climate change bill based on many of the same erroneous and out-dated assumptions identified in Carlin's report.

House leadership ramrodded the Waxman-Markey bill through on Friday, with virtually no meaningful debate allowed. The Heritage Foundation estimates the legislation will inflict massive damage to a U.S. economy already on the ropes. It passed with only a seven vote margin. One wonders if it would have survived, if countervailing voices like Dr. Carlin had been allowed to be heard.

The EPA gag order-made clear in the emails between Dr. Carlin and his superior (available here), also demonstrates that President Obama's promise to put truth above politics has now been forgotten.

You can read the comment that your government did not want you to see, all 98 pages of it, here.  In the executive summary, on page V, he clearly refers to the supposed relationship between carbon dioxide and "greenhouse gases."

As of the best information I currently have, the GHG/CO2 hypothesis as to the cause of global warming, which this Draft TSD supports, is currently an invalid hypothesis from a scientific viewpoint because it fails a number of critical comparisons with available observable data. Any one of these failings should be enough to invalidate the hypothesis; the breadth of these failings leaves no other possible conclusion based on current data.

If this comment was proven to be suppressed, it could force the EPA to dismiss the entire comment review period and start over.

Dr. Carlin's problems are far from unique. He is one of many who pay the price of Al Gore's insistence that "the science is settled" on climate change, that we should no longer debate the issue. The media has happily gone along with this suppression. News reports present the questionable relationship between carbon dioxide and climate change as absolute fact. Skeptics are derided as "deniers" and are treated in the same way Galileo was by the Inquisition for suggesting the Earth revolved around the Sun. Today in President Obama's America, a modern-day Galileo has been told to shut up and go away.

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