The unusual public tiff between two powerful GOP lawmakers highlights the sharp divide that drives the nation's climate change debate. [Joe Barton], along with President Bush and many other House Republicans, opposes mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and questions the science underlying such efforts. [Sherwood L. Boehlert], who backs limits on carbon dioxide pollution, said he fears such attacks could chill future scientific inquiry.
In a sharply worded letter sent last week, Boehlert called Barton's probe into the findings of Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes a "misguided and illegitimate investigation." Mann will direct the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University as of next month, Bradley is a geosciences professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Hughes is a professor at the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.
Barton, however, said he plans to proceed with the probe. He also dismissed a July 1 protest by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), a senior Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who wrote Barton that some might interpret the probe "as a transparent effort to bully and harass climate change experts who have reached conclusions with which you disagree."
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.