With regard to its climate change advocacy, the Obama administration published misleading data for public consumption.
That is the apparent conclusion of Dr. Steven E. Koonin, who served as undersecretary for science in the U.S. Department of Energy from 2009 to 2011.
Koonin told the Wall Street Journal in a brief interview (see clip embedded below) that "What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analyses, was, I'd would say, misleading, sometimes just wrong, but much more often misleading."
If the MIT Ph.D. is correct, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were putting out what some might describe as fake news that both Congress and the news media relied on for climate change data in the context of policymaking and public opinion formation, respectively.
Koonin noted that the Obama administration had a specific point of view about climate change and wasn't shy about promoting that agenda. He also noted that when he was coming up, the prevailing ethos was to follow the data, wherever that data led, irrespective of politics.
By way of one example, the scientist suggested that bureaucrats buried a nugget in fine print of the 2014 National Climate Assessment that hurricane activity had actually been decreasing for decades prior to 1980 before it supposedly started increasing post-1980.
The theoretical physicist is currently the director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University as well as teaching in the NYU's school of engineering.
Dr. Koonin has also proposed a so-called red team/blue team exercise to improve climate science and perhaps reach consensus or areas of agreement. Under his proposal calling for full transparency, experts on the red team would critique a published scientific report and then a blue team would step in to provide a rebutal to the critique, followed by a public hearing.
"Congress or the executive branch should convene a climate science Red/Blue exercise as a step toward resolving, or at least illuminating, differing perceptions of climate science....The outcome of a Red/Blue exercise for climate science is not preordained, which makes such a process all the more valuable," he explained in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed published the day before the March for Science.