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Sensenbrenner to Tell Copenhagen: No Climate Laws Until 'Scientific Fascism' Ends

Rep. Sensenbrenner

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., at a news conference in Washington last year.AP

The ranking Republican on the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming said Tuesday he is going to attend the Copenhagen conference on climate change to inform world leaders that despite any promises made by President Obama, no new laws will be passed in the United States until the "scientific fascism" ends.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., also wrote to Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on Monday to demand that researchers who authored e-mails and documents that demonstrate climate change data were manipulated should not be allowed to participate in the latest report written by the U.N. panel.

"I call it 'scientific fascism,'" Sensenbrenner said during a press conference with fellow climate change skeptics. "The U.N. should throw a red flag. .... They relied on these scientists unjustifiably in my opinion."

Sensenbrenner wrote that "these bad actors" limited peer-reviewed studies used by the IPCC, which is leading the Copenhagen conference on climate change.

"Their behavior has caused grave damage to the public trust in climate science in general, and to the IPCC, in particular," Sensenbrenner wrote. "They should not be allowed to do so in the future. I therefore request that you and the co-chairs of each of the three IPCC working groups ensure that none of the individuals involved in these nefarious e-mail exchanges participate as contributors, reviewers, or in any other capacity in the preparation of" the next IPCC report.

Sensenbrenner is just the latest lawmaker to jump into the fray over "Climate-gate," a growing scandal over the release of thousands of e-mails written by global-warming scientists that show an effort to manipulate data and prevent publication of opposition research. More than 1,000 e-mails and 2,000 other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain were released just weeks ahead of the Copenhagen conference.

In his letter to Pachauri, Sensenbrenner noted an e-mail from Pennsylvania State University researcher Michael Mann that proposes warding other scientists off of "Climate Research" journal because it published scientific studies counter to the conclusions of the IPCC's contributors.

"The e-mails, however, demonstrate that a cabal of supposed 'cream-of-the-crop' climate scientists were indeed successful in getting editors of journals that had published contrarian views fired and that they conspired to boycott journals that did not bend to their wishes -- therefore ensuring that such views would not be adequately represented in IPCC Assessment Reports," Sensenbrenner wrote.

But supporters of putting curbs on fossil fuel emissions say that despite the questionable nature of the e-mails, they don't undermine the science, and point to the latest data from the very agencies wrapped up in the scandal.

"Global warming deniers are trying to say this is all a trick, but the truth of the matter is that our world is getting hotter, faster," said Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a co-author of legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Markey cited data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which concluded that this decade had an average global surface temperature about 1 degree fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

Data from NOAA as well as NASA and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia are used by the World Meteorological Organization, the U.N.'s weather agency. Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the WMO, announced at Copenhagen on Tuesday that 2000-2009 "is very likely to be the warmest on record, warmer than the 1990s, than the 1980s and so on."

"There is a mountain of evidence proving global warming is a fact, but the defenders of the fossil fuel status quo are using a molehill of a scandal to distract the world. The deniers will not win, because they are wrong," Markey said.

Obama is headed to Copenhagen next week for the end of the conference. After the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a scientific finding on the danger of carbon dioxide, several Republicans say they fear Obama will make pledges at the conference that will try to bypass congressional approval.