Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bush's Bad Science

If you've been paying attention, you know that the Bush administration has been playing fast and loose with science.

But I'm not sure people fully grasp the implications.

Examples of bad science include:

• In 2002, the US Geological Survey submitted the results of a 12- year study, concluding that oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would adversely affect the habitat of the wildlife of the region (duh). Interior Secretary Gail Norton ordered a reassessment and -- coincidentally -- got the desired result in one week: arctic wildlife just love oil rigs. See http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=6431

• Also in 2002, the Pentagon terminated the contract of the "Jason" panel – an advisory group composed of forty to fifty elite scientists. John Marburger, Bush's science advisor, described the group as "working scientists – top-notch people who are experts in their fields". One member suggested that the termination Jason followed from an attempt by the Bush administration "to place political appointees to [the] scientific panel." (NY TIMES, 3/23/02).

• Critics of Bush's "National Missile Defense System" faced retaliation by the Bush administration. By way of example, the dissent of Dr. Theodore Postal of MIT cost him federal research grants, along with threats of research cutbacks to MIT. In addition, Dr. Nira Schwartz, a scientist and computer expert, was fired by the defense contractor, TRW, immediately after determining that the design of the defense missiles (i.e., "kill vehicles") was fatally flawed. In early march, the General Accounting Office confirmed her findings. See http://www.salon.com/news/col/huff/2002/03/14/trw/index_np.html.

So can we agree that the Bush administration -- directly and through its allies -- has put enormous pressure on scientists and engineers to give results which favor industry?

Okay, now how about cooked intelligence? Can we agree that the Bush administration faked the whole Iraq WMD thing, and is now faking intelligence about Iranian weapons capabilities?

Okay, then ... why is it so hard to believe that the Bush administration pressured NIST into reaching certain conclusions about the collapse of the World Trade Centers? NIST, the agency charged with figuring out why the WTC buildings collapsed on 9/11, refused to model the collapses themselves (huh?), and is delaying on reaching a conclusion about why World Trade Center building 7 -- which was not hit by a plane -- collapsed on 9/11. See http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/nist/index.html, http://911review.com/articles/griffin/nyc1.html and http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html

Postscript: This is NOT a liberal versus conservative issue. There are good conservative scientists and good liberal scientists.

This is an issue of science versus politics. Can't we agree that politics wins under the current administration?





3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant commentary, George Washington. Fuzzy Science indeed shrouds the lies of this administration in ways that will suit them - Yes, including the mysterious collapse of the 3 skyscrapers at the World Trade Center (building 7 in particular, which had only a small fire and was not hit by any plane).

Bush & Co use their doctored brand of Fuzzy Science to cover up a multitude of their sins and lies. And this, mind you, is coming from an ex-supporter of the President who finally woke up to the lies.

12:29 PM  
Blogger bb said...

Sympathetically and less-than-authoritatively, I question the global warming example. From what I can see, we don't know enough yet whether the world is indeed warming up, and if it is, to be able to say that humans are causing it as opposed to natural phenomena.

9/11 is very different, and warrants careful scrutiny.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous David B. Benson said...

bb --- try www.realclimate.org The globe is indeed warming up and indeed this is being caused by human activities.

1:50 PM  

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