scientist touted by CBS News' "60 Minutes" as arguably the
"world's leading researcher on global warming" and spotlighted
as a victim of the Bush administration's censorship on the
issue, publicly endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president and
received a $250,000 grant from the charitable foundation headed
by Kerry's wife.
Scientist Alleging Bush Censorship Helped Gore, Kerry
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
March 23, 2006
(CNSNews.com) -- The scientist touted by CBS News' "60
Minutes" as arguably the "world's leading researcher on global
warming" and spotlighted as a victim of the Bush
administration's censorship on the issue, publicly endorsed
Democrat John Kerry for president and received a $250,000 grant
from the charitable foundation headed by Kerry's wife.
Scientist James Hansen has also admitted that he contributed
to two recent Democratic presidential campaigns. Furthermore, he
acted as a consultant in February to former Vice President Al
Gore's slide show presentations on "global warming," which Gore
presented around the country.
But Scott Pelley, the "60 Minutes" reporter who profiled
Hansen and detailed his accusations of censorship on the March
19, edition of the newsmagazine, made no mention of Hansen's
links to Kerry and Gore and none to the fact that Kerry's wife
-- Teresa Heinz Kerry -- had been one of Hansen's benefactors.
Pelley's "Rewriting the Science" segment focused on Hansen's
allegations that the Bush administration was preventing his
views from becoming publicized because it did not like his
conclusions. Hansen's complaints were first publicized in
"In my more than three decades in the government, I've never
witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to
communicate with the public," Hansen told Pelley.
But Hansen had made similar claims of another Republican
White House allegedly censoring his views. In 1989, Hansen
claimed that President Bush's father -- then-President George H.
W. Bush -- was censoring his climate research. Kerry and about a
dozen other senators eventually co-signed a letter written by
Gore, who was also a senator at the time, demanding an
explanation for the alleged censorship.
'Apocalyptic predictions' and political alliances
Hansen has previously acknowledged that he supported the
"emphasis on extreme scenarios" regarding climate change models
in order to drive the public's attention to the issue, but
Pelley's "60 Minutes" report made no mention of that admission.
"Not only are [Hansen's] apocalyptic predictions not coming
true, but more and more countries are beginning to realize that
they will destroy their economies just under Kyoto 1, to prevent
about 0.1 degrees of warming," Paul Driessen, the author of
Eco-Imperialism: Green Power -- Black Death, told Cybercast
"Hansen's rants might still garner headlines in the
Washington Post and New York Times, and raves from CBS --
especially if you believe every beetle infestation, forest fire,
cold snap, hot flash, dry spell, flood, frog death and malaria
outbreak is due to global warming -- but they're complete
hogwash," Driessen said.
In endorsing Kerry's presidential bid late in the 2004
campaign, Hansen conceded that it could harm his reputation.
"Dr. Hansen, 63, acknowledged that he imperiled his credibility
and perhaps his job by criticizing Mr. Bush's policies in the
final days of a tight presidential campaign." according to the
Oct. 26, 2004, edition of the New York Times.
Hansen said in his October 26, 2004 speech, "John Kerry has a
far better grasp than President Bush on the important issues
that we face."
Three years earlier, Hansen had accepted the $250,000 Heinz
Award granted by the foundation run by Kerry's wife Teresa. But
the same day Hansen publicly endorsed Sen. John Kerry's
presidential candidacy in 2004, the New York Times quoted Hansen
as saying that the grant from the Heinz Foundation had had "no
impact on my evaluation of the climate problem or on my
But George C. Deutsch, who served as a spokesman for NASA
until resigning in February, said he quickly learned that "Dr.
Hansen and his supporters have a very partisan agenda and ties
reaching to the top of the Democratic Party." Deutsch resigned
his post earlier this year following a controversy surrounding a
false resume claim that he graduated from Texas A&M University.
Deutsch also denied that the Bush administration was clamping
down on scientific views that did not support its preferred
"There is no pressure or mandate from the Bush administration
or elsewhere, to alter or water down scientific data at NASA,
period," Deutsch said, according to a Feb. 11, article in the
Washington Post. Instead, he said, there existed a "culture war"
at the federal agency.
"Anyone perceived to be a Republican, a Bush supporter or a
Christian is singled out and labeled a threat to their views. I
encourage anyone interested in this story to consider the other
side, to consider Dr. Hansen' s true motivations and to consider
the dangerous implications of only hearing out one side of the
global warming debate," Deutsch added.
Hansen fired back at Deutsch's assertions in an online
statement published in February, calling Deutsch's claims
"I can be accurately described as moderately conservative,"
Hansen wrote, while acknowledging that he had endorsed Kerry for
president in 2004 "because he recognized global warming
Hansen stated that he had great respect for former Vice
President Al Gore, noting that he met with Gore in January 2006
and ended up consulting Gore on his climate change slide show
"I have great respect for Vice President Gore and his
dedication to communicating the importance of global warming. He
has a better understanding of the science of global warming than
any politician I have met, and I urge citizens to pay attention
to his presentation, which I understand will come out in the
form of a movie," Hansen wrote.
Hansen wrote that his only two political contributions were
to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and to either the
2000 Al Gore presidential run or the Kerry 2004 campaign. "I
don't remember which," Hansen stated.
Hansen, described by Pelley in the "60 Minutes" report as an
"independent," also reportedly refused to go along the Clinton
administration on the issue of "global warming." The Clinton
administration "wanted to hear that warming was worse than it
was," Pelley reported.
Justifying climate alarmism
In the March 2004 issue of Scientific American, Hansen
appeared to be justifying the past use of climate models to
scare the public into believing the "global warming" problem was
"Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at
one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively
unaware of the global warming issue," Hansen wrote in 2004.
"Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective
climate-forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic
under current conditions."
Patrick J. Michaels, the author of several books on climate
change, including the recently published "Shattered Consensus:
The True State of Global Warming," declared that Hansen has
"advocated the use of exaggeration and propaganda as political
tools in the debate over global warming."
Michaels, who leveled his charges in a Feb. 21 commentary
entitled "Hansen's Hot Hype," wrote that "Hansen thought the
public should be subjected to nightmare scenarios regardless of
the scientific likelihood of catastrophe, simply in order to
gain people's attention."
Michaels, who believes claims of catastrophic, human-caused
"global warming" are scientifically unfounded, is a
climatologist at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow
at the Cato Institute.
Michaels has previously credited Hansen with taking a more
moderate stance toward climate change. "The irony is that, in
recent years, Hansen's positions on global warming have come
increasingly in line with those of the administration he claims
is censoring him," Michaels said.
Several attempts to contact Hansen for comment were not
returned. Telephone calls to Bill Owens and Catherine Herrick,
the two CBS News employees who produced Pelley's "60 Minutes"
segment, were referred to the network media affairs office.
"60 Minutes" spokesman Kevin Tedesco defended the segment,
telling Cybercast News Service that "it was a fair and
A call to reporter Scott Pelley was not returned by press
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