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Bush's War on Science


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Bush's War on Science

by Gov. Howard Dean M.D.

 

I write this week's column as a physician.

 

The Bush administration has declared war on science. In the Orwellian world of 21st century America, two plus two no longer equals four where public policy is concerned, and science is no exception. When a right-wing theory is contradicted by an inconvenient scientific fact, the science is not refuted; it is simply discarded or ignored.

 

Egregious examples abound. Over-the-counter morning-after contraceptive sales are banned, despite the recommendation for approval by an independent panel of the Food and Drug Administration review board. The health risks of mercury were discounted by a White House staffer who simply crossed out the word "confirmed" from a phrase describing mercury as a "confirmed public health risk." A National Cancer Institute fact sheet was doctored to suggest that abortion increases breast-cancer risk, even though the American Cancer Society concluded that the best study discounts that. Reports on the status of minority health and the importance of breast feeding are similarly watered down to appease right-wing ideologies.

 

What about global warming? After withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty, the Bush administration distanced itself from a climate report the Environmental Protection Agency wrote, because it affirmed the potential worldwide harm of global warming, the existence of which Bush had denied. The global-warming section of the 2003 EPA report on the environment was extensively rewritten, then dropped entirely.

 

Fighting HIV? Bush's initiative to help fund HIV efforts in Africa was trumpeted by the press, while the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control quietly removed information on the benefits of condoms and safe sex education from domestic HIV Web sites.

 

Presidential scientific commissions have long enjoyed relative immunity from politics. Presidents of both parties have depended on impartial, rational advice from such groups for decades. Yet under the Bush administration, there has been a concerted effort, led by Karl Rove and other political ideologues based in the White House, to stack these commissions with Republican loyalists, especially those who espouse fundamentalist views on scientific issues.

 

Recently, a scientist and a bioethics professor were dismissed from the blue-ribbon Council on Bioethics when they disagreed with the Bush administration's proposed ban on new stem-cell line development to cure a variety of diseases. In a similar vein and an unusual move, the nomination of public-health experts to a CDC lead paint advisory panel were rejected by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, and replaced with researchers with financial ties to the lead industry. The Union of Concerned Scientists, with 20 Nobel laureates and several former scientific advisers to Republican presidents, has issued its scathing Report on Scientific Integrity condemning these practices.

 

Is it any wonder that these outrages have been perpetrated on an unsuspecting public and an enfeebled press? Not when you consider that this is an administration that has put forth deliberately misleading proposals like the Healthy Forests Initiative, which removes barriers to clear-cutting, and the Clear Skies Initiative, which weakens existing safeguards on mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants dumped into the air by power plants. When the oil industry writes national energy policy and the HMOs and drug companies draft our Medicare legislation, who is looking out for truth, scientific integrity and the public interest?

 

Will it be long before a prominent panel of fundamentalist theologians, conservative columnists and a few token scientists take up the question of whether the theory of evolution should be banned from the nation's classrooms? Stay tuned. In George Bush's America, ignorance is strength.

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It was about time somebody mentioned to the people how the Bush Administration has taken the biggest environmental toll in the world.

 

Bush breaks environmental treaty after another to put no limits on the ever growing corporations in the United States. He even said in the State of the Union Adress that all further research on hydrogen powered cars was banned in the US.

 

I wonder why? Oops that right he lives off oil companies :deal

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The only time president bush mention hydrogen powered cars in the state of the union was in 2003 when he said:

"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles"

 

 

The full text is here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0030128-19.html

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The only time president bush mention hydrogen powered cars in the state of the union was in 2003 when he said:

"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles"

 

 

The full text is here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0030128-19.html

445367[/snapback]

 

That was his latest flip-flop you posted. Marlinguru is correct, but he failed to acknowledge that now it is convenient for Bush to show he is an "environmentalist". I don't think that he'll succeed at it though. You can fool me once... but.... You can fool once.. You can't be a fool. :shifty

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The only time president bush mention hydrogen powered cars in the state of the union was in 2003 when he said:

"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles"

 

 

The full text is here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0030128-19.html

445367[/snapback]

 

That was his latest flip-flop you posted. Marlinguru is correct, but he failed to acknowledge that now it is convenient for Bush to show he is an "environmentalist". I don't think that he'll succeed at it though. You can fool me once... but.... You can fool once.. You can't be a fool. :shifty

445370[/snapback]

 

 

Actually it wasnt, he never mentioned the ban on Hydrogen powered cars. If you want to say that he didnt follow through on that promise then we can talk.

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Bush Flip-Flops on Hybrid Automobiles

Bush Flip: Bush Mocked Gore's Tax Credit for Hybrid Cars

"'How many of you own hybrid electric gasoline engine vehicles? If you look under there, you'll see that's one of the criteria necessary to receive tax relief. So when he talks about targeted tax relief that's pretty darn targeted,' Bush told the Arlington Heights rally, drawing laughs." [Chicago Sun-Times, 10/29/00]

 

Bush Flop: Bush Supported Investing in Hybrid Cars

In his State of the Union speech, Bush said, "Tonight I am proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. ... Join me in this important innovation, to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy." [White House, "President Delivers 'State of the Union,'" 1/28/03]

 

Furthermore, here is Bush's outstanding Environmental record:

 

The Bush Record: Industry Runs Roughshod Over Environment

Drill everywhere! Foul the oceans! Pollute the skies! That's great if you're Big Business, but lousy if you're anybody else. Bush's policies are undoing decades of environmental protection and leaving a dirty world for our children and children's children to inherit. For the environment, a change in the White House would be a breath of fresh air.

 

Bush Is Pro-Dirty Air

President Bush has weakened the Clean Air Act at every turn. The "New Source Review" regulation of the Clear Air Act forced older coal-fired power plants and other facilities to install pollution controls when they expand or are repaired. But under President Bush, the New Source regulations have been significantly weakened, allowing power plants to more pollution into the air. Statistics released by the Clean Air Task Force noted that the 51 power plants subject to New Source Review enforcement helped to cause the premature deaths of 5,500 to 9,000 people each year, many from respiratory diseases.1

 

Under Bush, You Pay for Cleanup

Corporate polluters used to pay to clean their own messes. Now Bush is shifting the costs to you. The Superfund program was created to ensure that corporate polluters bore the brunt of the costs of cleaning up the worst environmental disasters. But under President Bush, funding cuts and a failure to collect penalties from polluters is creating a shift in costs right to the taxpayer. Superfund assets have declined to nearly zero. Now your tax dollars will pay for 80 percent of the program in 2004, and all Superfund cleanups in 2005.2

 

Public Lands to the Highest Bidder

Bush opened 9 million acres of public land to logging. In December 2003, the Bush Administration removed prohibitions on logging and mining in the forest largest national forest in the U.S., the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. The decision could "allow roads to be built through 9 million acres" of Tongass. Bush has fought to allow the oil industry to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as protected national parks, monuments, and public lands in the Rocky Mountains.3

 

Would You Like Some Mercury With That?

Bush proposed weakening mercury regulations in Clean Air Act. A proposed rule change by the Bush EPA would remove mercury emissions from Clean Air Act regulations that limit the most toxic air pollutants and shift the poison to a weaker category, despite the FDA and EPA's own recent recommendation that pregnant women and young children eat less tuna and other seafoods to avoid excessive mercury consumption. Approximately 630,000 babies are born in the United States every year to mothers who have been exposed to unsafe mercury levels.4

 

Source: Democratic National Committee :mischief

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Source: Democratic National Committee? :mischief

445414[/snapback]

 

The DNC seems not to understand what the difference between a hybrid and hydrogen is...

 

I realize they both begin with "h" though, so that's probably the source of the confusion :lol

 

Do you know the difference?

445455[/snapback]

 

One thing is for sure Mr. Tonyi, we know more than Bush. :mischief

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Source: Democratic National Committee? :mischief

445414[/snapback]

 

The DNC seems not to understand what the difference between a hybrid and hydrogen is...

 

I realize they both begin with "h" though, so that's probably the source of the confusion :lol

 

Do you know the difference?

445455[/snapback]

 

One thing is for sure Mr. Tonyi, we know more than Bush. :mischief

445478[/snapback]

 

Bush appears to know the difference. This is plain from his remarks.

 

By your lack of response, I'm forced to believe you don't. For people claiming to be so smart about enery policy I find your and the DNC inability to tell the difference disturbing.

 

You could gain a lot of credibility here by summarizing the differences. Its really only one or two terse sentences IF YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

445560[/snapback]

 

Keep your vile and uncalled comments away. I'll tell you the difference when you learn the difference between "lie" and "truth".

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Keep your vile and uncalled comments away. I'll tell you the difference when you learn the difference between "lie" and "truth".

445570[/snapback]

 

Evasive BS. Answer the question. You can't answer , because you don't know the effing difference between hybrid and hydrogen cars. Typical liberal technology ignorance.

445614[/snapback]

 

Well now that you have gone to that level... You are ignorant, arrogant, greedy and cold hearted... Like it?

 

Hybrid is an engine that uses the combination of electrical and gasoline power.

 

Hydrogen engine uses hydrogen fuel solely....

 

a**hole!

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We all know hybrid cars are a total failiure in the United States. There's barely any difference from a gas guzzling engine.

446838[/snapback]

 

how do you figure that?

446893[/snapback]

 

How do I figure that? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The electric motor was designed to operate when a car is driving at a speed of about 15-20 MPH, great for dense populated areas with lot's of traffic or if you are constantly driving in a school zone which is highly unlikely.

 

The hybrid car was perfectly designed for the dense streets of Hong Kong, Tokyo, and other metropolitan cities. But with the majority of streets and highways in the United States that go from 40 MPH up to 75MPH it pretty much renders the electrical motor obsolete because it almost never has to kick in.

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Keep your vile and uncalled comments away. I'll tell you the difference when you learn the difference between "lie" and "truth".

445570[/snapback]

 

Evasive BS. Answer the question. You can't answer , because you don't know the effing difference between hybrid and hydrogen cars. Typical liberal technology ignorance.

445614[/snapback]

 

Well now that you have gone to that level... You are ignorant, arrogant, greedy and cold hearted... Like it?

 

Hybrid is an engine that uses the combination of electrical and gasoline power.

 

Hydrogen engine uses hydrogen fuel solely....

 

a**hole!

445646[/snapback]

 

FYI - Hybrids don't always use gasoline.

 

Oh my - profanity - the last resort of the factually challenged...

445663[/snapback]

you continue to be what I said last.

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texas could power this entire nation with solar energy alone.

 

 

 

solar would be a much more viable choice if more people would use it...thus driving down the costs.

 

 

 

as it is...solar energy is a long term investment that eventually pays for itself...albeit many years down the road.

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