Thursday, October 25, 2007

The White House Thinks Global Warming Is Good for You

Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sat down in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday. But before she did, the White House cut more than half of her written testimony, as the New York Times reported:
The White House made deep cuts in written testimony given to a Senate committee this week by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on health risks posed by global warming, but the director agreed yesterday with administration officials who said the cuts were part of a normal review process and not aimed at minimizing the issue.
Not that the story's all that new. Last year I wrote about a 24 year old political operative who insisted on editing the public words of senior NASA scientist James Hansen.
And for those who think these might just be isolated incidents of political meddling in our scientific discourse, two non-profit organizations found 453 similar incidents in a survey of scientists released earlier this year:
WASHINGTON—An investigative report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) has uncovered new evidence of widespread political interference in federal climate science.
UCS distributed surveys to 1,600 climate scientists, asking for information about the state of federal climate research. The scientists who responded reported experiencing at least 435 occurrences of political interference in their work over the past five years. Nearly half of all respondents (46 percent) perceived or personally experienced pressure to eliminate the words "climate change," "global warming," or other similar terms from a variety of communications.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino tried to show that is too up on the latest on global warming:
Q: And one more. You mentioned that there are health benefits to climate change. Could you describe some of those?
Ms. PERINO: Sure. In some cases, there are look, this is an issue where I'm sure lots of people would love to ridicule me whan I say this...
Then perhaps Ms. Perino, you shouldn't. But she did.
...I’m sure lots of people would love to ridicule me when I say this, but it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals.
Why pick on Dana Perino? For one, she's speaking for the most powerful person on the planet about one of the planet's most urgent issues. Shouldn't we expect people in such positions of power to know what they're talking about, or at least take the subject seriously? Or am I just feeling cranky tonight?


Blogger David said...

It is about time someone noticed that global warming is good not bad. Many of our leading scientists have been pointing this out for years.

12:11 AM, October 26, 2007  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

There is the pesky problem of rising sea levels. Besides swamping our beloved seacoast, rising sea levels could put significant portions of Wilmington underwater, as I pointed out last year:

The Google Maps image show flooding in some of Wilmington's oldest neighborhoods, the Port of Wilmington, I-95, I-495, the Amtrak Station, the Port of Wilmington and the city's wastewater treatment plant, which serves most of New Castle County.

9:31 AM, October 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flooded neighborhoods, I think, would make great fishing locations. Just imagine the crabs that could grow there.........

We might need the extra protein. For after just a 1.5 Centigrade increase, most of our current crops will not be able to grow in the United States.......

12:21 PM, October 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kavips...DO NOT consume anything caught in the Brandywine or Christia Rivers....the 'city fathers' are still permitting 'sanitary (poop,etc)sewers (and rain incident sewers) to dump into these rivers.

We may get needed protein and mercury (for one) poisoning...this does not address the other toxins floating down the rivers.

Boy, oh boy those folks buying those high end riverfront condos and row houses have a shock coming if it floods up to, and past, the port.

11:46 AM, October 28, 2007  

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