28 November 2007

Bush appointees do science badly

7 Decisions on Species Revised

In the course of those reviews, for example, Mitch King, then the agency's Region 6 director, said in a June memo to headquarters that while the field and regional office's scientific review concluded there is "substantial" evidence that the white-tailed prairie dog faces a risk of extinction, "the change to 'not substantial' only occurred at Ms. MacDonald's suggestion."

A Bush appointee rewriting the recommendations from scientists in the field? This should be shocking, unheard of and we should all be appalled that a political appointee would dare do such a thing. But of course we aren't. Because this has happened before in this administration, notably with global warming.

What does it mean to the animals that they were probably improperly sorted as not endangered? Well it means that the land they live on might have been given away to some human habitation. The water that they live in might have been siphoned off to water some farm or flush some toilets. What does it mean to you when you have to wait another day to see a doctor? Sucks doesn't it? That extra day can make a big difference to you.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I'm disgusted that politics gets to dictate science. Its happened here, it happened at NASA about global warming. It started with the dissolution of the Office of Technology Assessment in 1995 by Newt Gingrich and all the Republicans that came into office after the 1994 election. Since I was all of nine years old at the time of that election, I don't really remember what life was like when science was taken seriously and the conclusions of scientists were not met with purely political opposition.

Changing the data or changing the conclusions drawn from the data to fit a predetermined goal is not science. Thats why Young Earth Creationism isn't science, thats why Intelligent Design isn't science, and thats what this administration has been doing. Ignoring the science about species extinction and global warming means that big businesses get to do what they want. "Drill for oil in ANWR? Sure! Hold Detroit to emission standards? Whatever for?"

Another reason I want to like Hillary, she says she'll work to reestablish the OTA.

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