Monday, January 24, 2005

Leave No Scientist Behind—Just Deep-Six Their Work

"At a global conference on disasters, the US delegation upholds our reputation as superstitious Luddites and knowledge-hating yahoos:
“The U.S. delegation to (the World Conference on Disaster Reduction) wants to purge a U.N. action plan of its references to climate change as a potential cause of future natural calamities…
It's well known that there's controversy" about the consequences of climate change, deputy U.S. delegation head Mark Lagon told reporters Wednesday. "It's our desire that this controversy not distract this conference."…
In its preamble, the "framework for action" drafted for adoption at the Kobe conference on Saturday says climate change is one factor pointing toward "a future where disasters could increasingly threaten the world's economy, and its population." …
The U.S. delegation, supported by Australia and Canada, has called for all references to climate change to be deleted from the main document. The move is opposed by the 25-nation European Union – a strong supporter of the Kyoto Protocol – and by poorer nations potentially imperiled by the intensified storms, rising ocean waters and other effects of climate change.”
Nice job, Mark. Graduate of the Ari Fleischer School of the Physical Sciences, I see. Not much has changed since the Union of Concerned Scientists threw down the gauntlet to the Bushco admin, charging them with distorting and suppressing scientific evidence in any way that furthers their political agenda. And before that, Henry Waxman and his Committee on Government Reform brought the same concerns to light in their 2003 report "Politics and Science in the Bush Administration", an in-depth piece that is still the best single source of unearthed administration disinformation and manipulation on abstinence-only sex ed, condom use, and that perennial favorite, global warming. Don't like the effects of gravity? Well, surely someone somewhere can be found to point out the theological defects in the theory, and maybe that will make those agelines disappear.

And now the good citizens of Dover , too, will be mixing a little theology with the science their kids learn. I posted on this issue back in November, and as I suspected it would be, the move was bullied through.

Science in the Bush entire school of knowledge and its practitioners being readied for redundancy or co-optation, depending on how friendly they are to those in power.

Update: Those atheists at Pew Charitable Trust keep flogging that global warming dead horse. When will they learn we just don't give a shit.

Update 2: And while we're on the subject of twisting science, The Progress report notes that the FDA has once again shown itself for the partisan, idealogue-driven tool that it is:

"STEM CELL – PUTTING ALL THE EGGS IN ONE BASKET: In 2001, when President Bush imposed a far-reaching ban on stem cell research, he rested the hopes of millions upon just 60 stem cell lines that supposedly had "great promise that could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures." After only "20 of those lines proved usable", researchers have revealed that all the stem cell lines approved for federally funded research are tainted. Far from providing any disease alleviation, they could potentially "provoke an immune system attack that would wipe out their ability to deliver cures." Scientists, whose hands are already bound by the administration's ideology-based policy toward stem cell research, could be forced to wait at least another year for these stem cells to be recovered, if they can even be salvaged."
See the original report here for the links embedded in the story.

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