Rep. Lamar Smith: NOAA hearing article skews the facts

Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas takes issue with how the Monitor characterizes his views on climate science and for failing to include context about the House Science Committee's hearing and NOAA's budget. 

Your March 18 article on the Science Committee’s hearing to review the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s fiscal year 2017 budget is not accurate.

First, the author uses the loaded term “strict climate change denier” to describe my position.  But I have said many times that human activity likely plays some role in climate change, though it’s hard to know exactly how much given the exaggerations.

Second, the author erroneously implies that none of the Committee’s other 21 Republicans or 17 Democrats questioned NOAA’s climate change claims as I did. But she failed to mention that only a few of these members were actually present at the subcommittee hearing.

Third, the author frames NOAA’s climate change budget request as only three percent of the overall budget. But this lacks context. In a time of fiscal constraints when most spending is frozen, NOAA’s climate change research grew by more than 15 percent in just one year.

This kind of biased reporting is why a recent Gallup poll found that six in ten Americans have little or no confidence in the national media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.

This article is below The Christian Science Monitor’s usual standards of objectivity.

Americans deserve all the facts about climate change, not just a slanted view.

Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st  Congressional District of Texas and is Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

[Editor's note: The Monitor updated the article to address some of Rep. Smith's concerns.]

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