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Attacks On Science From The Bush
Administration Continue Post-Election
from a speech in February 2007 in Hawaii by Michael Hadfield)
Lest anyone think that the Congressional electoral victories of the
Democrats last November have changed anything, let me point out these
post-election events, all drawn from the popular press since November
Despite Bush’s acknowledgment - finally - that
human activities are playing a role in global climate change, the
following examples belie this acceptance.
I. A survey of 1,600 government scientists conducted by the Union
of Concerned Scientists found that 46% had been warned against using
terms like “global warming” in speeches or reports. These
scientists came from SEVEN government agencies, from NASA to the
II. The U. S. government vetoed all attempts to set restrictions
greenhouse gases or takn any kind of significant action, at the
November global-warming conference in Africa.
III. In the face of near universal acceptance that our reliance on
fossil fuels for power generation and vehicular transport is a major
contributor to climate change, as well as recognition that
non-polluting, renewable energy sources are a key to the solution, the
Bush administration proposed last week to eliminate the Department of
Energy’s department on geothermal energy. And this comes despite
the recognition that many western states (especially Utah, Nevada and
California) have vast untapped potential for geothermal electricity
production. A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology predicts that geothermal could provide electricity for up to
100 million homes within 50 years, with only a reasonable research
investment! The Bush administration prefers, instead, to promote
nuclear energy development - falsely claiming that it is “non-polluting
IV. Bush’s Energy Secretary, Samuel Bodman, is the former CEO of
the Cabot Corporation, a company that was the 4th largest source of
toxic emission in Texas in 1997. Last Friday, Bodman responded to
the latest global climate change report was that “the Bush
administration would continue to oppose mandatory reduction in
greenhouse gases - because “mandatory caps on CO2 emissions could
financially ruin some of the energy companies responsible for air
V. Within the last two weeks a colleague of mine who serves on
the U.S. Task Force for the 2008 International Year of the Reef found
himself overruled by the Department of State’s representative when he
proposed recommending that consideration of the impacts of global
warming on ocean acidity and the extinction of reefs, despite the
certain knowledge that this would have a devastating impact on Pacific
Island nations. The State Dept. representative said something to
the effect of, “We don’t want to raise issues that could be
controversial.” Controversial to whom?
Family planning and
I. After the November elections, Bush appointed Eric Keroack, an
anti-birth control, anti-abortion, and anti-science doctor as head of a
key government body responsible for family planning.
IT IS CLEAR THAT BUSH NOT ONLY HAS BEEN PLANTING FOXES IN HIS HEN
HOUSES, HE ACTUALLY APPOINTS FOXES TO GUARD THOSE HEN HOUSES.
II. Since the November elections, the Bush administration has
restated its position that it will not provide funds to any
organization, national or international, the promotes anything other
than so-called “abstinence-only” approaches to birth control.
This extends to issues like condoms for AIDS prevention and HPV
III. In January, the executive board of the World Health
Organization adopted a strategy on gender, women and health that calls
for enhancing the organization’s capacity for analyzing gender
differences in health services and outcomes and integrating gender
considerations into all areas of work. BUT, the U.S. delegation
opposed this endorsement, leading to a final wording that significantly
reduced the significance of the resolution.
Knowing that the democratic majority in the senate is too small to
override a veto, Bush continues to state that he will again veto any
attempt to legislate governmental support for stem-cell research.
Other environmental issues:
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that oil drilling in the
Alaska National Wildlife Reserve will have devastating effects on the
native species, the Bush administration continues to push for this.
The Bush administration has been tireless in their efforts to re-open
offshore oil exploration on the Pacific and Gulf coasts.
The Bush administration continues to promote logging of old-growth
forests and post-fire areas.
The Bush administration is known to be antagonistic to the U.S.
Endangered Species Act and to continue to work to defeat or weaken it.
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