I sincerely hope that the 2008 presidential election brings climate change/global warming to the forefront of US policy issues. The story below doesn’t surprise me one bit, but it does disturb me. This is no longer an issue up for debate, its an issue that needs to be addressed immediately and effectively for our future and for future generations.
From the LA Times, by Johanna Neuman And Richard Simon
January 30, 2007
WASHINGTON — The new Democratic chairman of a House panel charged today that the Bush administration tried to mislead the public about climate change “by injecting doubt into the science of global warming and minimizing the potential dangers.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said at the start of a hearing on global warming that he and the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, had repeatedly asked the White House last year for documents to show that senior officials were suppressing scientific reports within the administration about the severity of the problem.
The congressmen were trying to investigate an allegation that Phil Cooney, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality and a former lobbyist for the American petroleum industry, was quashing scientific reports that offered views on global warming that differed from those of the White House.
“The committee isn’t trying to obtain state secrets or documents that could affect our immediate national security,” Waxman said today. “We are simply seeking answers to whether the White House’s political staff is inappropriately censoring impartial government scientists.”
In testimony before the committee, the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent advocacy group, found in a survey of government scientists that 150 of them had experienced political interference over the past five years.
“Our investigations found high-quality science struggling to get out,” said the group’s senior scientist Francesca Grifo. “Nearly half of all respondents perceived or personally experienced pressure to eliminate the words ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or other similar terms from a variety of communications,” Grifo said.
Rick Piltz, a former U.S. government scientist, who said he resigned in 2005 after pressure to soften his words on global warming, wrote in prepared testimony that Cooney personally cast doubt on the consequences of climate change.
On the other side of Capitol Hill, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) chaired a hearing at which several presidential candidates — Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Barak Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) embraced new measures on global warming. Afterward, she hailed the “consensus” that Congress act soon.