Friday, November 17, 2006

Bush blocks research on global warming

Democrats Call for a Formal Investigation of Bush Political Appointees Blocking Legit Science Research on Dangers of Global Warming

Contact: Alex Formuzis (202) 224-7340
Friday, September 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In light of reports Bush Administration political appointees blocked the publication of scientific research regarding global warming and its relationship to increased intensity of hurricanes, a group of Democratic lawmakers led by United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) called on the Inspector Generals of both the Commerce Department and NASA to launch formal investigations.

“We are deeply disturbed by what appears to be repeated instances of scientists at these agencies having publication of their research and access to the media blocked, solely based upon their views and conclusions regarding the reality and impacts of global warming,” wrote the lawmakers.

Most recently, reports that political appointees at the Department of Commerce blocked the publication of legitimate scientific research that detailed the link between global warming and increased hurricane intensity and strength.

“We strongly believe that research paid for with taxpayer funds should be published, disseminated and debated, rather than suppressed because it does not support the stated positions of the administration,” the lawmakers stated in their letter. “Unfortunately, this recent incident seems to be only the latest in a growing list of actions taken by this administration to conceal legitimate and scientifically sound findings that do not fit the President’s stated ideological preferences.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that last October, political appointees at NOAA barred a staff scientist, Thomas Knutson, from speaking with reporters because he has published studies which link global warming and hurricane strength. In January, NASA prevented James E. Hansen, director of its Goddard Institute for Space Studies, from speaking to the media after he delivered a scholarly lecture in which he concluded that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in order to slow global warming.

“Global warming is a serious threat to the security and health of the entire planet. Instead of demonstrating real leadership, the Bush Administration continues to wave the ideological right wing flag as they wage their war against facts, figures and reason,” Lautenberg added.

Those Senators who signed onto the letter are Harry Reid (D-NV), Jim Jeffords (I-VT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), John F. Kerry (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

A copy of the letter is attached to this release:

September 29, 2006

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