This, OTOH, is really, really, really, bad news:
Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don't support policy positions.
This is why electing Bush again was such a disaster for the country and the world.
He does not believe in science. He does not support the empirical worldview that informs science.
And really -- no kidding -- that's going to spell disaster.
Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, said the Bush administration has cut scientists out of some of the policy-making processes, particularly on environmental issues.
In previous administrations, scientists were always at the table when regulations were being developed," she said. "Science never had the last voice, but it had a voice."
Issues on global warming, for instance, that achieved a firm scientific consensus in earlier years are now being questioned by Bush policy makers. Proven, widely accepted research is being ignored or disputed, she said.
Government policy papers issued prior to the Bush years moved beyond questioning the validity of global warming science and addressed ways of confronting or dealing with climate change.
Under Bush, said Bierbaum, the questioning of the proven science has become more important than finding ways to cope with climate change.
One result of such actions, said Neal Lane of Rice University, a former director of the National Science Foundation, is that "we don't really have a policy right now to deal with what everybody agrees is a serious problem."
Among scientists, said Lane, "there is quite a consensus in place that the Earth is warming and that humans are responsible for a considerable part of that" through the burning of fossil fuels.
And the science is clear, he said, that without action to control fossil fuel use, the warming will get worse and there will be climate events that "our species has not experienced before."
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