The scientific revisionism coming out of the Bush Administration over global warming is shocking and astonishing to me. As the New York Times reported on Saturday, and The Observer followed up on Sunday (and the Washington Post began last Friday), the White House has succeeded in altering the statement due to come out of the G8 summit in Scotland next month. Among other alterations is the simple statement “Our world is warming.” There are few scientific facts in the global warming debate that are as widely established as this–even staunch skeptics stopped arguing this point about a decade ago. Simple thermometer readings show it, like these from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The melting of glaciers, the shifting of species, the simplest of climate models–all provide evidence. The warming of the Earth is beyond dispute. That this administration would insist on its deletion is an example of how desperate and untenable and craven their position has become.
If Blair and the rest of the G8 let the Bush Administration get away with this–and the summit at Gleneagles isn’t until July 6-8–merely for the sake of a commonly agreed-upon summit document…then I think the era of G8 significance will have come to a close.