Thursday, April 06, 2006

Treat her right, treat your mother right

I admit, I have been quite suspicious of the environmental movement through much of my life. The main reason: environmentalists. I've yet to meet a more sanctimonious group (that should speak volumes, considering my Southern Baptist upbringing). The movement seems to be comprised mostly of do-gooders who prefer the company of (relatively) inanimate objects.

However ... it's time to confess my sins. I was wrong, they were right, though I'd never say it to their face. Regardless, the evidence is now too overwhelming to ignore. Though I'm not prepared to jump into Al Gore's lifeboat, the Earth's well-being is at a critical juncture. When the history of Dubya's administration is finally chronicled, no scandal will overwhelm the silencing of environmental experts. And the cover-up continues:

Employees and contractors working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with a U.S. Geological Survey scientist working at an NOAA lab, said in interviews that over the past year administration officials have chastised them for speaking on policy questions; removed references to global warming from their reports, news releases and conference Web sites; investigated news leaks; and sometimes urged them to stop speaking to the media altogether. Their accounts indicate that the ideological battle over climate-change research, which first came to light at NASA, is being fought in other federal science agencies as well.

"There has been a change in how we're expected to interact with the press," said Pieter Tans, who measures greenhouse gases linked to global warming and has worked at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder for two decades. He added that although he often "ignores the rules" the administration has instituted, when it comes to his colleagues, "some people feel intimidated -- I see that."

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