That Climate ‘Scandal’ Rep. Lamar Smith Promoted Was, Indeed, Fake News

WASHINGTON — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), an early and loyal supporter of President Donald Trump, likes to make noise about the liberal media’s coverage of climate change, often dismissing it as “fake news.” 

In February, however, this vocal denier of near-universally accepted climate science promoted a story about a climate data manipulation scandal that is about as flawed as they come. 

The British tabloid The Daily Mail was forced to run a lengthy statement acknowledging the inaccuracies of a story it claimed to be “the biggest scientific scandal since ‘Climategate.’” The publication “failed to take care over the accuracy of the article” or correct “significantly misleading statements,” according to a statement released this week from the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), a media watchdog in the United Kingdom.

The story was published in February with the headline, “Exposed: How World Leaders Were Duped Into Investing Billions Over Manipulated Global Warming Data.” In it, journalist David Rose wrote that “high-level whistleblower” John Bates, a retired scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, had revealed that the federal agency “breached its own rules on scientific integrity” when it published a “sensational but flawed report” that “exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Convinced that NOAA cooked its books, Rep. Smith pounced on the opportunity. In a press release titled, “Former NOAA Scientist Confirms Colleagues Manipulated Climate Records,” as well as a series of Twitter posts, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology accused the federal agency ― yet again ― of playing “fast and loose” with data and the Obama administration of pushing its “costly climate agenda.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has a history of attacking federal climate scientists.  (Scott J. Ferrell via Getty Images)

The 2015 study, led by NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and published in the journal Science, found that an apparent slowing trend, or hiatus, in the rate of global warming from 1998 to 2012 was the result of its own biased data. The agency corrected its analysis to account for differences between ships’ measurements and those of more accurate at-sea buoys, which increased the estimated rate of warming over the…

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