As climate report downplays human impact, scientists struggle to speak freely

The U.N.’s new climate report will apparently lower the estimate of human impact on global warming by 25 percent. Skeptics may salivate, but as a top U.K. scientist says, “The bottom line is that the climate is still warming while our greenhouse-gas emissions have accelerated, so we are storing up problems for ourselves in the future.” Hate it when scientists say stuff like that? Try muzzling! U.S. investigators continue to unearth claims of Bush administration censorship of climate researchers. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration senior scientist Pieter Tans says his supervisor told him not to utter the word “Kyoto” and barred him from using the phrase “climate change” in lecture titles at a carbon dioxide conference. While the boss equivocates, Tans remains unmoved by the fear of being demoted to chief swab licker. “Whatever the consequences are, I will tell [investigators] what my experiences have been,” he says. “Whether anyone likes it or not, I don’t care.”