Watchdog Group Challenges Biden Administration & NOAA over Massaging Climate Disaster Data

2024-04-08 16:00:19

A non-partisan watchdog group asserts that a key agency monitoring weather disaster outcomes for the Biden administration used misleading and self-serving data analysis to claim storms are becoming more extreme and expensive due to climate change.

Protect the Public’s Trust cited a new study that combed through data used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for its climate and disaster tracking project and found it inflated damages and made inexplicable data calculations that did not factor in obvious contributions to disaster costs, such as an increase in development in coastal regions and other areas vulnerable to hurricanes, flooding or wildfires.

Most recently, NOAA ballooned the cost of damages from Hurricane Idalia, an August 2023 storm that impacted the southeastern part of the United States.

While insured losses from wind damage and flooding totaled $310 million through mid-November of 2023, NOAA estimated the storm caused losses of $3.6 billion, or 12 times the damage covered by insurance.

Idalia’s steep costs were included in NOAA’s Billion Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters tracking project, which has been used by the Biden administration to push its climate change agenda by saying weather events are becoming much more severe and costly, to the tune of billions of dollars in damages each year.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed the complaint with the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as NOAA operates under its auspices.

The group’s report focuses on the “Billions Project” dataset. The information obtained through this program is focused on natural disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages going back to 1980.

PPT’s complaint alleges that NOAA does not adequately disclose its sources and methods for compiling the BDD [billion dollars disaster] dataset, adds and removes BDD events from the dataset without providing its rationale for doing so and produces cost estimates that are sometimes significantly different than those generated by more conventional accounting procedures.

While NOAA states that it develops its BDD data from more than a dozen sources, the agency does not disclose those sources for specific events or show how it calculates loss estimates from those sources, PPT’s complaint alleges.

…Further, the complaint alleges that BDD events are quietly added and removed from the dataset without explanation, citing Roger Pielke Jr., a former academic who believes climate change to be a real threat but opposes politicized science. In a forthcoming paper analyzing the merits of BDD statistics, Pielke compared the dataset in late 2022 to the dataset in the middle of 2023 and found that ten new BDD events were added to the list and 3 were subtracted without explanation.

Apart from the issues with methodology alleged by PPT in its complaint, the use of BDD events as a proxy for climate change’s intensity is inherently misleading because economic data does not reflect changes in meteorological conditions, Pielke has previously explained to the DCNF.

According to PPT’s analysis, The “Billions Project” cost estimates deviate dramatically from the standard accounting practices for disaster loss estimates, and its loss estimates for hurricanes are substantially and inexplicably higher than the estimates from another NOAA entity, the National Hurricane Center.

“The American public has every right to expect, even demand, that the scientific research funded by their tax dollars is conducted under the most rigorous standards of integrity, transparency, and quality,” said PPT director Michael Chamberlain.

“This is especially true when that research is used to underpin decisions that affect nearly every aspect of their lives – from the cars they drive, to the foods they eat, to how those foods are prepared. Despite the fact the Billions Project is being used to affect precisely these types of decisions, the principles of scientific integrity, transparency, and quality appear to be severely lacking in its work.

If the federal government ever hopes to reclaim even a sliver of the trust it has lost in recent years, ensuring that these sorts of projects live up to their ideals is imperative.”

Hand billions of dollars to one entity of the Administrative State to study a problem and allow their “experts” to extract all the information that supports their narrative and hide, distort, or manipulate the data that doesn’t. Use the press to get the Administrative State message out, and silence anyone who challenge the approve set of facts as a conspiracy theorist.

Then the bureaucrats spend billions to solve a non-existent problem and expand the Administrative State further. This week, Team Biden doled out $20 billion dollars in “environmental justice” goodies.

…Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will announce selections for $20 billion in awards to stand up a national financing network that will fund tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This investment is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a first-of-its-kind and national-scale $27 billion program funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to combat the climate crisis by catalyzing public and private capital for projects that slash harmful climate pollution, improve air quality, lower energy costs, and create good-paying jobs.

Unfortunately, after 4 years of #FakeScience related to covid, the public now seems to be wise to the fact Big Government is the sole source of the #ClimateCrisis.

The PPT complaint is one of many recent developments that underscore why trust in both science and journalism is collapsing.


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Watchdog Group Challenges Biden Administration & NOAA over Massaging Climate Disaster Data


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