The Corruption of Environmental Science

Andrew Revkin of The New York Times has written what may be the definitive account of the battle over science politicization in and around the Bush administration.
October 20, 2004, 10am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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the science community is more politically mobilized than it has been in decades, outraged at what it sees as the Bush administration's disregard for and manipulation of science -- but there are juicy new details for those interested in Bushian climate-change policy. Revkin reveals that the 2001 decision to backtrack on Bush's campaign promise to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions was based on a single, tendentious Energy Department study -- one that assumed that there would be no technical advances to make compliance cheaper, and that was contradicted by several other studies. Another interesting tidbit is that NASA scientist James Hansen, one of the pioneers of climate science, has spoken publicly for the first time in criticism of Bush, joining several others inside and outside of government in accusing his administration of suppressing and distorting inconvenient facts about global warming.

"For nearly four years, and with rising intensity, scientists in and out of government have criticized the Bush administration, saying it has selected or suppressed research findings to suit preset policies, skewed advisory panels or ignored unwelcome advice, and quashed discussion within federal research agencies.Administration officials see some of the criticism as partisan, and some perhaps a function of unrealistic expectations on the part of scientists about their role in policy debates....And battles continue to erupt in government agencies over how to communicate research findings that might clash with administration policies."

Thanks to Grist Magazine

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Published on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 in The New York Times
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