Activists Form Majority of Senior Scientists for Government Climate Report

Published February 10, 2013

A majority of the senior scientists responsible for producing the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s draft report are affiliated with environmental activist groups, investigative journalist Donna Laframboise reports. Of the 13 senior scientists who put together USGCRP’s January 2013 draft report, seven have ties to activist groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the World Wildlife Fund.

Roll Call of Activists

Chair Jerry Melillo is a contributing author for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Vice Chair Gary Yohe is part of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Witness Program.
Richard Moss is a former vice president for WWF.

James Buizer is on the Board of Directors of the environmental activist group Second Nature.

Susanne Moser is a former staff scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Andrew Rosenberg is a director for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Donald Weubbles is an author for the Union of Concerned Scientists.]

Activism at Concerned Scientists 

Laframboise noted the Union of Concerned Scientists is more activist and less scientific than its name suggests.

“And then there’s the Union of Concerned Scientists. Rather than being limited to those with scientific credentials, membership in that US-based lobby group is open to anyone with a credit card,” Laframboise observed on her website, No Frakking Consensus.

“As environmental writer Mark Lynas observed recently, this is ‘one of the most ideological of all the green groups.'” Laframboise explained.

Beholden to United Nations

In addition to being heavily activist, the USGCRP panel is heavily involved with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and unlikely to pursue independent thinking. Eight of the 13 USGCRP senior scientists participate in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Inspires confidence all around, don’t you think?” Laframboise observed.

Science Distortion Found

Climate scientist Roger Pielke Jr. caught USGCRP in a serious misrepresentation of science soon after USGCRP released its draft report. 

USGCRP authors are “playing games” with the science and engaging in “extreme misrepresentation” of scientific studies to support their assertion that global warming is causing an increase in floods, Pielke observed. 

Pielke pointed to a 2011 study cited in the USGCRP draft report which divided the United States into four regions and studied flood occurrences in each region. The study concluded, “In none of the four regions defined in this study is there strong statistical evidence for flood magnitudes increasing with increasing GM [global mean] CO2.”

Despite that strong statement about the lack of evidence human carbon dioxide emissions are causing more floods, the USGCRP claimed the study supported its assertion that “certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts.”

“The [USGCRP] report clearly associates damage from floods with climate change driven by human activities,” Pielke explained.

“Given the strength of the science on this subject, the USGCRP must have gone to some effort to mischaracterize it by 180 degrees,” Pielke explained.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News. 

Internet Info:

Laframboise, D., “Authors of ‘Extreme Misrepresentation,” Jan. 19, 2013,