1. On July 17th, 2008, NOAA published the Climate Change Science Program’s draft Unified Synthesis Product on Climate Change Impacts in the United States and released a Federal Register notice request for public review, soliciting comments until August 14th.
2. Much squawking in the denialosphere erupted, with plenty of noise from some of the usual suspects. One point, made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that actually seems to have some merit was that the synthesis relied upon other reports, some not yet available to the public, so that truly thorough commenting might not be possible. Of course the proposed remedy for this was predictably shrill- they demanded that the draft Synthesis be withdrawn entirely.
3. NOAA declined to withdraw the draft but according to the Chamber of Commerce seems to have compromised by agreeing to issue a second Federal Register notice soliciting comments once the last report relied upon by the Synthesis is made public- in short, they are for all intents and purposes extending the commenting period to accommodate those that wish to review all of the underlying materials.
4. This translates into a great deal of back slapping and self-congratulation, as Planet Gore and Watts Up With That? [Watts has since changed his page, see update] claim victory, falsely stating that NOAA is going to “pull the plug on”, “shelve”, etc. the Synthesis, replete with “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”-type references to the Lord’s work that is fundamentally misunderstanding mainstream science, statistics, and the difference between climate and weather.
The CCSP draft Synthesis is still freely available to download, and I haven’t seen anything from NOAA/NCDC about this either way. Am I missing something here, or have they just collectively lost their minds?
[UPDATE: It looks like someone finally clued Watts in and he has downgraded his claim from “pulled” to “put on hold”, which still isn’t technically correct. His explanation for his earlier claim doesn’t sound particularly convincing either: My thought for that word was “pull from the planned schedule”, but that was the wrong word to use. Right. Except no context of scheduling accompanied his earlier characterization.]
[LATE UPDATES: Planet Gore repeats the false claim, saying that NOAA has “put the brakes on” its CCSP report, citing Greenwire. Greenwire actually says almost exactly the same thing I did, that NOAA is “extend[ing] the comment period”, not shelving, pulling the plug on, or otherwise withdrawing its report, as initially claimed by Watts and Planet Gore.
Nature’s Climate Feedback has also picked up the story, claiming that “the US Climate Change Science Program will revise and reissue its latest report following widespread criticism and a mountain of comments during the official review period.” Well, sort of. The report was going to be revised and “reissued” in response to comments regardless of the propaganda efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and CEI- that is the point of soliciting comments on a draft report after all… Strange way for Climate Feedback to frame the situation.]