]]]]]]]]]]]]]      ONE REALITY, TWO `TRUTHS'      [[[[[[[[[[[[[[
          Assembled and uploaded by Oleg Panczenko   (5/10/1989)
                    (Freeman 10602PANC)

Every  Tuesday, the New York Times has a `Science Times' section.
Many  consider   it  a  detailed   and  authoritative  source  of
scientific  information.  How  deserved  is  this  assessment?  I
present, in  parallel, two  articles  covering  the  same  topic.
Readers of  AtE  have a familiarity with the matters here touched
upon.  Which  presents  a truer  picture  of  things as they are?
Which is more `objective'.

  [From  The New York  Times        [From The Wall Street Journal
     9 May 1989, p. C1:1]               9 May 1989, p. A10:1]

White  House Admits  Censoring     NASA  Aide  Says  White  House
            Testimony              Made Him  Dilute Testimony  on
------------------------------           Greenhouse Effect
 Climate  Expert  says changes
involved more than policy.
      By Philip Shabecoff           By Bob Davis And Adam Wessel
Special to The New York Times      Staff  Reporters  of  The Wall
                                           Street Journal
          [731 words]                        [635 words]

   WASHINGTON,  May  8  -- The        WASHINGTON  --  A prominent
White  House  confirmed  today     NASA  scientist  told Congress
that    it     had    censored     that the administration forced
Congressional testimony on the     him to tone down his testimony
effects of global warming by a     about the greenhouse effect by
top Government  scientist, but     incorporating     ideas     he
it  insisted that  the changes     considered wrong.
reflected   policy  decisions,
not scientific conclusions.           James  Hansen,  director of
                                   NASA's  Goddard  Institute for
   Marlin Fitzwater, the White     Space Science, said the Office
House  press  secretary,  said     of   Management   and   Budget
the  Office of  Management and     insisted  he  add  a paragraph
Budget had changed conclusions     and a sentence  to his written
about   global   warming  data     testimony casting doubt on his
contained in  the testimony of     prediction that droughts would
Dr. James  T. Hansen, director     worsen  because  of  planetary
of the  space agency's Goddard     warming.      The    additions
Institute  for  Space Studies.     required by the  OMB say ``the
He said  the action  was taken     scientific    conclusions    I
because  the  ideas  presented     suggest aren't reliable, and I
were  ``not  necessarily those     don't  agree with  that,'' Mr.
of  all  scientists  who  have     Hansen said.
considered this matter.''
                                      Sen.   Albert   Gore   [D.,
   In   his   original   text,     Tenn.], chairman of the Senate
before  it  was  changed,  Dr.     science  subcommittee, accused
Hansen asserted  that computer     OMB  of  ``scientific fraud.''
projections showed that global     But   White   House  spokesman
warming  caused  by  pollution     Marlin Fitzwater  defended the
from   human   activity  would     action,  saying  ``The changes
cause upheavals in the earth's     were made to  reflect the fact
climate.     He    warned   of     that his conclusions represent
substantial    increases    in     his ideas, but not necessarily
temperature,    droughts    in     those of all scientists.''
mid-latitudes,  severe  storms
and other stresses.                   The  budget  agency reviews
                                   congressional   testimony   to
   But   his   testimony   was     make sure that it's consistent
changed     to     make    his     with   administration  policy.
conclusions seem less certain.     ``We don't  have the  right to
                                   alter    facts,     but    the
   In response to questions at     conclusion from those facts is
the   regular    White   House     something  that is  subject to
briefing  this   morning,  Mr.     coordination from  OMB,'' said
Fitzwater    said    that   an     William Diefenderfer,  who has
official  of   the  Office  of     been  nominated  to  be deputy
Management  and  Budget ``five     director of the OMB.
levels down from the top'' had
changed Dr. Hansen's testimony        The   distinction   between
to  reflect  that  ``there are     fact  and conclusion  drawn by
many  points  of  view  on the     Mr. Diefenderfer,  however, is
global warming  issue and many     hard   to   apply   to  global
of  them  conflict  with those     warming.  Even  the most basic
stated by Dr. Hansen.''            fact  --  that  the  Earth has
                                   warmed  significantly  in  the
   But  Dr.  Hansen, appearing     past century  -- is  in doubt,
today   before    the   Senate     and  scientists say  they need
Subcommittee    on    Science,     the broadest  latitude to draw
Technology  and   Space,  said     conclusions.       Atmospheric
that  the   testimony  he  had     scientists base their theories
submitted  specifically stated     about   the   future   of  the
that      the      conclusions     climate on  intricate computer
represented his own scientific     analyses  of  the  effects  of
opinion, not Government policy     fossil-fuel  burning, economic
or a scientific consensus.         growth and  nature's recycling
   He said he  had been forced
by the  budget office  to make        Mr.  Hansen  testified that
changes that  raised questions     droughts  would  increase with
about   the   reliability   of     global  warming at  middle and
scientific     evidence     on     low latitudes  because surface
expected    climate   changes.     heating   would   drive   away
Another change  imposed by the     rain-bearing clouds.  He added
budget office made  it seem as     that       this      ``overall
if there  was some  doubt that     conclusion'' probably wouldn't
human  activity   was  chiefly     change even if computer models
responsible for  the pollution     improved.
that, it is now widely agreed,
will  cause  a  global warming        But then, at  the behest of
trend.  This  would  occur  as     OMB,  Mr.   Hansen  added  the
carbon   dioxide   and   other     contradictory  sentence,  that
manmade  pollutants  trap  and     his  conclusions  ``should  be
retain heat from  the sun in a     viewed   as   estimates   from
process   similar    to   what     evolving  computer  models and
happens in a greenhouse.           not as reliable predictions.''
                                   The New York Times reported on
   ``I don't think the science     the OMB's demands yesterday.
should  be altered,''  he said
in response  to a  question by        The  controversy  has  been
Senator   Albert   Gore,   the     especially embarrassing to the
Tennessee   Democrat   who  is     White    House,    which    is
chairman of  the subcommittee.     sensitive to criticism that it
``As a  Government employee, I     is    backtracking    on    an
can  and certainly  do support     environmental           issue.
Government  policy.   My  only     President  Bush,   during  the
objection   is   changing  the     presidential campaign, pledged
science.''                         to  sponsor  a  conference  on
                                   global  warming.   But  he has
Similar Complaint Reported         yet to follow  through on that
   Another          Government
scientist testified at today's        The  publicity  has  been a
hearing that the budget office     bonanza for Sen. Gore, who has
had   tried   to   change  his     been    making    the   global
testimony on scientific issues     environment  a  top  priority.
earlier this year.                 And it puts  Mr. Hansen at the
                                   center stage  of environmental
   The scientist, Dr. Jerry D.     politics  for the  second year
Mahlman,   director   of   the     in a row.  Last summer, during
Geophysical   Fluid   Dynamics     the height of the drought, his
Laboratory  of   the  National     congressional  testimony  that
Oceanic     and    Atmospheric     he  was  ``99%''  certain that
Administration, said  that the     the planet was warming set off
changes   proposed   for   his     a  spate  of  written articles
testimony on issues related to     and television reports.
global       warming      were
``objectionable            and        Mr.     Hansen     is     a
unscientific''  and  that  the     well-respected     atmospheric
testimony   would   have  been     scientist who  first developed
``embarrassing.''                  his theories  about greenhouse
                                   warming   by    studying   the
   Dr.  Mahlman  said  that he     atmospheres of Mars and Venus.
had  refused   to  accept  the     But  he  has  a  reputation of
changes   in   his  testimony.     drawing      more      radical
``We    in    the   scientific     conclusions   from  scientific
community demand  the right to     data  than  other researchers.
be  wrong,''   he  said.   Dr.     Indeed,  Joseph  Alexander,  a
Mahlman  said he  prevailed in     National Aeronautics and Space
his  effort   to  prevent  the     Administration       assistant
budget  office  from  changing     associate   administrator  for
his  testimony.    Dr.  Hansen     space  science,  said  the OMB
said, however, that the budget     was correct to add a caveat to
office insisted on editing his     Mr. Hansen's testimony.
testimony  despite  his strong
objections.                           ``It's   a   reminder  that
                                   among    the    community   of
Gore Assails Administration        experts,    there    isn't   a
                                   monolithic    opinion,''   Mr.
   Senator   Gore   said   Dr.     Alexander said.
Hansen's testimony was changed
because the Bush                      For  his  part,  Mr. Hansen
Administration did not want to     said he had agreed to make the
take action  to cope  with the     written changes  sought by the
expected global warming trend.     OMB because  the agency agreed
   He   said   United   States     that he  could make  any point
officials   now   meeting   in     he wanted to orally.  In 1987,
Geneva  with  delegations from     Mr.   Hansen  said,   the  OMB
other  countries  were arguing     demanded  so  many  changes in
that  more  study  was  needed     congressional  testimony  that
before  beginning  work  on an     he  decided  to  testify  as a
international treaty  aimed at     private  citizen  rather  than
reducing   the    impact   and     accede.
mitigating   the   effects  of
climate change.                       Jerry      Mahlman,      an
                                   atmospheric  scientist  at the
   ``President    Bush,   only     National      Oceanic      and
months ago, told  us he was an     Atmospheric    Administration,
environmentalist,''  Mr.  Gore     said   he  also   had  similar
said. ``Yet,  in the  past few     problems  with the  OMB.  ``We
days  alone,  we've  seen  his     in   the   science   community
Administration back  away from     demand   the   right   to   be
a      critical     diplomatic     wrong,'' he said.
initiative      on      global

   Mr.      Fitzwater     said
President   Bush's  ``personal
view is that this is a serious
problem that  America needs to
show and take leadership.''

   ``But   the    science   is
something that still has to be
sorted    out,''    he   said.
``Obviously,   the   President
hasn't  made a  judgment about
scientific assessments.''

   The  White  House spokesman
said  that  Dr.  Hansen  had a
right to voice his opinion and
that no  punitive action would
be   taken  against   him  for
objecting  to the  changing of
his testimony.

   Mr. Gore said that if there
was  any  retribution  against
Dr.    Hansen,     the    Bush
Administration    would   face
``the equivalent  of World War
III'' with Congress.

                         *       *       *

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