The New York Times reported this week that a senior employee at the Department of the Interior (DOI) is pressuring scientists to include inaccurate information about climate change in agency reports. So far at least nine different reports have been affected in what may be violations of the department’s scientific integrity policy. And this isn’t the first time that DOI’s science and technology policy analyst Indur M. Goklany has interfered with scientific reports. In 2018 he was linked to attempts to add a pro-warming slant based on his own flawed hypotheses to a USGS report on the impact of climate change on Montana’s shrinking glaciers.
According to emails obtained by the Energy and Policy Institute under public-record laws, Goklany repeatedly called for changes in reports from the Bureau of Reclamation—a federal agency assigned to manage water resources within DOI—to emphasize statistically unlikely outcomes of climate models. He also made edits that suggest increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial. Neither position is supported by the broad scientific consensus concerning global warming.
Goklany’s climate change denying edits are so well known within the department that they have earned the nickname of “Gok’s uncertainty language.”