Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate scientists are coming out of the woodwork to seize their share of the anticipated Democrat Congress climate funding binge.
In 1993 my agency warned of climate change. In 1995 it was abolished
Thu 27 Dec 2018 22.31 AEDT
The US Office of Technology Assessment should be revived – in 2019 the world will need its expertise more than ever
The OTA was a non-partisan agency governed by a technology assessment board which consisted of of equal numbers of senators and representatives and equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Its assessments strove for objectivity and comprehensiveness, and were considered state-of-the-art documents by many. The OTA provided Congress, at its request, with the information and options it needed for the issues with which it was grappling, but it was careful never to tell Congress what it should do. The methodology that OTA used was widely admired and imitated in the parliamentary units that many European countries established following OTA’s lead.
In the early 1990s there was still Congressional interest in taking action on climate change, which most of the scientific community already understood would become a major problem if not addressed. Thus, in October 1993, the OTA published a two-volume, 700-page report, Preparing for an Uncertain Climate, at the request of three Congressional committees. I was a principal author. The report identified more than 100 options to help coastal areas, water resource systems, agriculture, wetlands, forests, and federally protected natural areas adapt to climate change. Not only that, but the OTA had also proposed – in its comprehensive 1991 assessment, Changing by Degrees – steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that would help the US avoid climate change.
The OTA seems to have been involved in a lot of research other than climate change. The Wikipedia description of the Office of Technology Assessment makes me think of The Shop, author Stephen King’s fictional U.S. Department of Scientific Intelligence, whose amoral zeal to fulfil their mission objectives features in some of Stephen King’s horror stories.