Climate change skeptics at the Heartland Institute slammed the New York Times as "fake news" Wednesday after the newspaper reported this week that President Trump was looking to suppress a new federal report on global warming despite the report being publicly available.
"The New York Times' front-page story on the National Climate Assessment represents fake news in collaboration with the deep state," said Fred Palmer, senior fellow at the conservative think tank.
Isaac Orr, a researcher for the group, added that the story's claim that government scientists leaked a draft of the National Climate Assessment "for fear of the report being suppressed by the Trump administration demonstrates how politicized the debate over human influences on global temperatures has become."
Orr added that the news acount is "particularly noteworthy because it is simply not true," explaining that "two of the authors of the report have noted on Twitter that a draft of the report has been readily available online since January."
The National Climate Assessment, a report by 13 federal agencies and a panel of climate scientists, reaffirmed that climate change is occurring and caused by human activity. It is required by Congress every four years.
The Heartland Institute has been at the forefront of challenging the majority of scientists and the United Nations, who say the Earth's temperature is rising because of the greenhouse gases emitted by burning fossil fuels.
The group has been tapped by the Trump administration to help set up a "red team" to challenge climate assumptions against an opposing blue team. The Washington Examiner first reported that the administration had tapped the organization by asking it to provide a list of scientists to form the red team.
The New York Times issued a correction Wednesday that noted that the report had been readily available on the website for months. The newspaper also had erred in saying that it was the first to publish the draft of the report.
Others joined Heartland to attack the report in a joint statement with the group. "Here we go again. The New York Times hyping a rehash of frightening climate change claims by Obama administration holdover activist government scientists," said Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, a website that challenges climate science.
"The new report is once again pre-determined science," he said. "The Trump administration should reject this new climate report and consider a national commission on climate change with scientists not affiliated with environmental activist groups."
Palmer and Orr went after the science of the report's conclusions. "The first paragraph of the story gives the game away, claiming there has been a massive warming in the United States since 1980," Palmer said. "In fact there has been little if any warming based on satellite readings, corroborated 100 percent by weather balloon readings."
"The New York Times/deep state global warming hysteria is 100 percent the result of predictions from flawed, flux-adjusted computer models," Palmer said.
"None of us would live our lives that way, yet the deep state would have us govern our lives that way – with them in charge of our daily lives based on their fake science and flawed computer models."