Watchdog accuses Biden administration of inflating climate disaster numbers

Watchdog accuses Biden administration of inflating climate disaster numbers

  • April 5, 2024

Susan Ferrechio, Washington Times

The Biden administration relied on tainted, inaccurate, misleading and self-serving data analysis to claim storms are becoming more extreme and expensive due to climate change, according to a non-partisan watchdog group.

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.

But NOAA’s data doesn’t add up or does not include enough information to explain why it inflated some costs well beyond the initial assessment made by insurers and NOAA’s own National Hurricane Center, critics said.

“It’s an influential data set that is being used to guide policy,” Protect the Public’s Trust Director Michael Chamberlain told The Washington Times. “The danger is if the data is not correct, if they’re not following the correct policy in their analysis, and if they are not driven by the scientific integrity that they’re supposed to, there’s a huge danger that it could drive that policy off course and in the wrong direction.”

Protect the Public’s Trust requested NOAA’s scientific integrity officer investigate their complaint, which cites numerous examples of questionable data and lack of scientific integrity.

Mr. Chamberlain wrote to NOAA’s scientific integrity officer, Cynthia J. Decker, and Commerce Department acting Inspector General Roderick Anderson that NOAA’s taxpayer-funded research on weather disaster costs lacks scientific integrity and needs to be investigated.

“The national conversation on climate change and disaster response should not be tainted by inaccurate, misleading and self-serving scientific analysis,” he wrote.

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