Creepy journalist of the day: John Broder

September 25, 2009

Check out John Broder’s  ‘hit’ piece on EPA economist Alan Carlin in today’s New York Times. Our comments in bold.

Behind the Furor Over a Climate Change Skeptic
By JOHN M. BRODER

WASHINGTON — Alan Carlin, a 72-year-old analyst and economist, had labored in obscurity in a little-known office at the Environmental Protection Agency since the Nixon administration. [As far as Broder is concerned, Carlin may just as well not even exist.]

In June, however, he became a sudden celebrity with the surfacing of a few e-mail messages that seemed [Seemed = Didn't really happen] to show that his contrarian [Contrarian = crazy] views on global warming had been suppressed by his superiors because they were inconvenient to the Obama administration’s climate change policy. Conservative commentators and Congressional Republicans said [Said = Lied] he had been muzzled because he did not toe the liberal line.

But a closer look at his case and a broader [ Closer and Broader = The facts Broder likes] set of internal E.P.A. documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act paint a more complicated picture. [Complicated = Susceptible to fact-twisting]

It is true that Dr. Carlin’s supervisor refused to accept his comments on a proposed E.P.A. finding, since adopted, that greenhouse gases endangered health and the environment, and that he did so in a dismissive way. [And that's all there really is to this story.]

But the newly obtained documents show that Dr. Carlin’s highly skeptical views on global warming, [Skepticism = Clinical insanity] which have been known for more than a decade within the small unit [Small = Obscure and insignificant] where he works, have been repeatedly challenged by scientists inside and outside the E.P.A. [And haven't those "outside" scientists been challenged by others?]; that he holds a doctorate in economics, not in atmospheric science or climatology [What's Al Gore's Ph.D in? Oh yeah, he doesn't have one.]; that he has never been assigned to work on climate change [That's proof that Carlin doesn't know anything.]; and that his comments on the endangerment finding were a product of rushed and at times shoddy scholarship, [Keep in mind that we're talking about an agency that set an arbitrary deadline to declare plant food and human exhalation a hazard to the public welfare.], the EPA’s as he acknowledged Thursday in an interview. [If Carlin indeed used the word "shoddy" to describe his work, I'm sure that it was in an entirely different context than Broder's use.]

Dr. Carlin remains on the job and free to talk to the news media, [Because the Obama administration is merciful] and since the furor his comments on the finding have been posted on the E.P.A.’s Web site [Posting = Ignoring]. Further, his supervisor, Al McGartland, also a career employee of the agency, received a reprimand in July for the way he had handled Dr. Carlin. [Clearly, in Broder's view, McGartland should have been made a Hero of the Soviet Union while the aged crank should have been Gulag-ed.]

Dr. McGartland, also an economist, declined to comment on the matter. But top officials of the agency said his decision not to forward Dr. Carlin’s comments to the E.P.A. office that would be writing the final report had been his own and not directed by anyone higher up in the agency. [If economist Carlin is not qualified to submit comments, why would economist McGartland be qualified to reject them?]

Adora Andy, the agency’s chief spokeswoman, called the accusation that Dr. Carlin had been muzzled for political reasons “ridiculous.” [Not sure why Broder would include Andy's unqualified comment here since it is clearly contradicted later in the article by McGartland's actions.]

“There was no predetermined position on endangerment, and Dr. Carlin’s work was not suppressed,” Ms. Andy said in an e-mail response to questions. “This administration has always welcomed varying scientific points of view, and we received much of it over this process.” [Both statements are false. The endangerment finding was always part of their strategy for coercing Congress and business into CO2 regulation. The Carlin affair debunks the second statement.]

Dr. Carlin said he was concerned less about how he had been treated than about what he described as the agency’s unwillingness to hear the arguments [Arguments = Rantings] of climate change skeptics. He said there was an obvious “imbalance” between the billions of dollars the government had spent building a case for dangerous climate change and the lack of attention to a handful of skeptics [Skeptics = Lunatics] like him.

The affair began in March as the E.P.A. was rushing [It's OK for the EPA to rush, but not Carlin?] to document the scientific justification for its proposed finding that emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases endangered public health and the environment. The finding was largely an updated version of a similar report, prepared last year under the Bush administration, that came to the same conclusion. But the Bush administration never acted on the research or issued an actual finding. [More Broder sleight-of-hand. Left-leaning, pro-alarmism senior EPA staff reached their conclusion under the Bush administration and, surprise, they haven't changed their minds, but now work for a sympatico President.]

The agency’s officials were acting in March under severe time constraints to prepare the finding for the E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, who was planning to issue it in mid-April, fulfilling a presidential campaign pledge by Barack Obama. [These time constraints are arbitrary and self-imposed.] The finding set the stage for the government to regulate greenhouse gases for the first time, an initiative that will resonate through the economy for decades. [Interesting how Broder says that the finding "will resonate." But, in fact, this is only a proposed rule. Or is he acknowledging that the fix is in? I thought the EPA spokeswoman said the agency was open to all points of view.]

Dr. Carlin, long known as a skeptic on global warming, was not invited to submit comments on the document. But he was determined that his views be heard. [Skeptics = Bad people. Determination = Boorishness.]

He rushed [OK for EPA, but no one else?] out a 93-page report that cited a variety of sources in raising questions about global warming and the usefulness of government action to combat it. In an accompanying e-mail message to superiors, he said the belief in global warming was “more religion than science” and warned that regulating carbon dioxide would be “the worst mistake that E.P.A. has ever made.”

Agency officials and outside experts who reviewed his report as a result of the outcry over the episode have said they found it wanting in a number of ways. It included unverified information from blog posts, they found, quoted selectively from journal articles, failed to acknowledge contradictory information and may have borrowed passages verbatim from the blog of a well-known climate change doubter. [Sounds like anonymous and ad hominem attacks to me. Is this journalism, John?]

In the interview Thursday, Dr. Carlin admitted that his report had been poorly sourced and written. [Broder implies that Carlin admitted his arguments were wrong. But Carlin is more likley referring to form, rather than to substance.] He blamed the tight deadline.

“There are numerous problems with it,” he said. “I wouldn’t dream of sending it to a journal in its current form. It is totally unacceptable for that type of thing. But it was either do it in four and a half days or don’t do it. I had to take some shortcuts.”

According to e-mail messages that were among the documents obtained this week under the Freedom of Information Act, Dr. McGartland had earlier tried to discourage Dr. Carlin from filing comments on the proposed finding and told him that whatever he submitted was not likely to affect the final report, implying that the decision had already been made. [McGartland to Carlin: "Our mind is made up. Don't confuse us with the facts."] After receiving Dr. Carlin’s comments, Dr. McGartland told him that he would not forward them to the office preparing the final report. [McGartland = McBureaucrat of the Year?]

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round,” he wrote on March 17. “The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.” [McGartland to Carlin: "It's too late to be right."]

A few minutes later, he instructed Dr. Carlin to “move on to other issues and subjects.” He also told Dr. Carlin not to discuss climate change with anyone outside his immediate office. [Does Komrade McGartland know that we live in America?]

The e-mail messages most embarrassing to the E.P.A. came to light in late June, when someone sympathetic to Dr. Carlin leaked them to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative group [Conservative = Crackpot] that regularly produces [Produces= Fabricates] studies critical of research that advances a case for climate change and government actions to address it. The institute distributed the material widely, and a number of conservative commentators and Republican lawmakers seized [Seized = Made a mountain out of molehill] on it as an example of what they called Democratic suppression of science. [Everyone knows only Republicans suppress science.]

Dr. McGartland was “counseled” by his superior “to assure that professional differences are expressed in appropriate and considered ways,” according to one of the newly released documents. [Expressed = Suppressed]

Dr. Carlin said he and Dr. McGartland had not spoken to each other since June. [The silent treatment doesn't sound like workplace retribution to me. I'm sure all EPA employees are now eager to be candid about their views.]

3 Responses to “Creepy journalist of the day: John Broder”

  1. pseudosciencebuster Says:

    As Slick Willie would say, I “feel your pain” scarletknight72. I worked in environmental science and research grant management for 12 years for a state agency and a university after receiving a masters degree in Environmental Science. I have seen some principal investigators prostitute their research in pursuit of grant and contract dollars, and others wither away when they refused to tailor results to the sponsors’ liking. I can easily imagine how this targeted program of obfuscation has distorted outcomes and suppressed legitimate counter-evidence.

  2. dublds Says:

    Best quote EVER:

    “There was no predetermined position on endangerment”

    Really? Then what was the purpose of LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE? Or here’s one? Why from the outset was this referred to as an ENDANGERMENT FINDING, instead of just a FINDING.

    Gotta love the fact that your tax dollars pay the salaries of lying sacks of shit like this. And then they turn around and play YOU for the idiot with statements like this.

    When the skeptics finally cut the head off the Global Warming snake, we need to make sure we chop the body up into little bits too. People like this should not get off scott free, just because we got the big offenders. Every person that feeds from the public teat, then turns around and shits on the public plate needs to get what they desrve. The only ‘environment’ this broad should be ‘protecting’ is one that is 8ft by 8ft with steel bars and concrete walls…


  3. Having spent 21 years in State environmental protection, I have been there. Basically any comments that do not take an extreme environmentalist point of view are blown off. Took early retirement as the job was a waist of my time and abilities.


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