The public is largely unaware of the intense debates within climate science. At a recent national laboratory meeting, I observed more than 100 active government and university researchers challenge one another as they strove to separate human impacts from the climate’s natural variability. At issue were not nuances but fundamental aspects of our understanding, such as the apparent—and unexpected—slowing of global sea-level rise over the past two decades. Summaries of scientific assessments meant to inform decision makers, such as the United Nations’ Summary for Policymakers, largely fail to capture this vibrant and developing science.
Just what is the purpose of a taxpayer funded agency designed to serve the public’s interest keeping its data and methods secret? Worse yet, this secret data must have been used to influence the Supreme Court’s recent costly decision to label CO2 a pollutant.