Friday, February 02, 2007

Scientific Independence

More examples of White House interference in Science are beginning to appear now that the Democrats are in charge of congress. In particular it appears that the WH has been changing the wording of reports and ordering scientists not to use the words global warming in their talks or papers. For the full story click here. The White House's response, that it is only trying to provide balance to the debate is utter nonsense, there is no debate amongst anyone who has looked at the issue seriously, global warming is happening and it is being caused by humans. The only people who seem to disagree all seem to be in the paid employment of Exxon or some other oil company, like the quote says "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon him not understanding it".

Also potentially worrying is that the New York Times reported last week the WH is planning to place appointed officials in US government institutions to "supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries". What this actually means is that political appointees are going to decide policy in organisations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, so you will get another round of Bush appointing industry insiders to watch over their own industries. Just wait for the dirtier skies, polluted water and soaring profits for energy companies as all of the last two decades of legislation are undone. It amazes me that a President held in contempt by a majority of his population, whose ideas have been dramatically rejected in a recent election, can still have the balls to go about another huge power grab.