Re: News clips of interest

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 01:50:27 EST

The fact of the ozone hole and the human causal factors have been well documented. So what is your point Janice by quoting some random websites?
When will you make a real argument I wonder?

In Christ.

Janice Matchett <> wrote: At 09:40 PM 2/6/2006, Randy Isaac wrote:
 Burgy wrote: [snip]

  3. Scientists say Bush Administration political appointees are trying tocontrol the flow of scientific information from NASA, particularly when that information counters administration policy on issues ranging from global warming to explanations about the origins of the universe.
 .....I think [1] we need to make a clear distinction between corporate employees speaking on behalf of the company and a government funded agency that is missioned to publish accurate and objective data on which policy will be based. Yes, it might be an ethics issue, but not one in which the employees are required to say only that which is approved by the administration. Rather, one in which the [2] employees have an ethical obligation to show the implications of the data, whether or not it meets anyone's pet policies. ~ Randy
 ### Re: Your two concerns:

 Google Results 1 - 10 of about 425 for nasa politicized ozone hole discovery
 Excerpts from two items:

 [1] "...NASA in recent years has seen environmental projects as potential cash cows. It has fought with other agencies--through its Mission to Planet Earth, a project to study Earth's ecology--for jurisdiction over satellites to monitor the environment.

 Typical of its tactics, in February 1992 it made screaming headlines with its announcement that a huge ozone hole could be in the process of opening over the Northern Hemisphere. In fine print the data were skimpy at best. Still, the agency got the politically correct headlines as its funding was being debated. There were few headlines months later when no ozone hole developed. ..." ~ CATO
 [2] Harmful politicization of Science by William Happer
 [Huge Snip]

 False biology prevailed for forty years in the Soviet Union because Lysenko gained dictatorial control. His type of control ­­dependent upon prison, exile, and bullet­­is not possible in democratic societies, but the control of research funding enables those in political favor to restrict research that might undermine political opinions and positions.

 For instance, when I was the Director of Energy Research of the Department of Energy in the early 1990s I was amazed that the great bulk of federal funds for environmental studies from the DOE, NASA, EPA, and other federal agencies flowed into research programs that reinforced a message of imminent doom: humanity and planet earth devastated by global warming, pestilence, famine, and flood.

 I was particularly disturbed by the ridiculous claims by then-Senator Al Gore that recent NASA studies had shown that there was an ozone hole over Kennebunkport.” I remember reacting angrily to a briefing by Mr. Gore’s political ally, Bob Watson of NASA, when he used the same words, an “ozone hole over Kennebunkport,” to brief high-level members of the Bush administration in the West Wing of the White House.

 After the election of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the fall of 1992, I was soon the only “holdover” from the previous Bush administration in the Departmentof Energy. There I worked with the new Secretary of Energy, Hazel O’Leary, to defend basic science in the Department of Energy. Although most political appointees are replaced after the White House changes hands in a presidential election, it is not unusual for those occupying scientific posts to remain for some time in a new administration. However, after a few months, Secretary O’Leary called me in to say that I was unacceptable to Al Gore and his environmental advisers, and that I would have to be replaced. She was apologetic and gracious during this discussion, and she did not elaborate on the exact reasons for Gore’s instructions.

 The modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote a poem, Things Ended,” which is worth rememberingas we contemplate our supposedly dying planet:

 "Possessed by fear and suspicion, mind agitated, eyes alarmed, we desperately invent ways out, plan how to avoid the inevitable danger that threatens us so terribly. Yet we’re mistaken, that’s not the danger ahead: the information was false (or we didn’t hear it, or didn’t get it right). Another disaster, one we never imagined, suddenly, violently, descends upon us, and finding us unprepared­­there’s no time left­­ sweeps us away." C. P. Cavafy, Collected Poems, edited by George Savidis (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992).


 Politicized science is an inevitable part of the human condition, but society must strive to control it. Although history shows that politicized science does much more damage in totalitarian societies than in democracies, even democracies are sometimes stampeded into doing very foolish and damaging things. The Kyoto Treaty, based on assertions that mankind’s generation of carbon dioxide will cause global warming, is an example of such a foolish and damaging thing.

 The effects of the Kyoto Treaty, if the treaty is enacted, are likely to be more like those of Prohibition, than Lysenko’s biology. The demonizations of rum and carbon dioxide have much in common. In 1920, the U.S. Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transport of alcoholic beverages, was intended to rid the country of the accidents, disease,and violence associated with those beverages. It didn’t.

 It began a disastrous era that helped organized crime to flourish as never before and nourished contempt for the law that has not entirely dissipated today.

 In 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, the only time in history that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been repealed. Demonization of anything is hard to combat,since it is so easy to join the supposed high ground of virtue, while scorning those who go through the painstaking effort of looking at the facts for themselves.

 This was why it was so hard to stop the bandwagon of prohibitionor Lysenko’s biology.

 The same human motives that cause other problems in our lives also drive extreme politicized science. As the examples here show, a common motive is the love of power and domination. This was clearly one of the most important motives for Lysenko. There is no surer way to build a powerful bureaucratic empire in a democracy than to promote a supposed peril and then staff up a huge organization to combat it.

 The intoxication of fame and glory is an important motive, especially for the scientists themselves. What bliss to be a sainted savior of the planet, to be the provider of agricultural abundance as communism dumps capitalism into the dustbin of history, or to be a new Prometheus, bringing the fire of cold fusion to desperate humanity!

 Greed is often a motive. The University of Utah was transfixed by the untold dollars they thought would flow to the inventors of cold fusion. The Enron Corporation, a politically correct darling of many environmental advocacy groups, was a stalwart supporter of the Kyoto Treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Enron envisaged huge profits from the trading of emission rights.

 Moreover, Enron’s holdings of natural gas, the fossil fuel that emits the least carbon dioxide per BTU of combustion energy, would also greatly increase in value as the constraints of the Kyoto Treaty began to hurt the coal industry.

 One can go down the list of deadly sins of almost any religion, and most can be found in politicized science.

 This should come as no surprise, since scientists are as fallible as anyone else in their personal lives.

 We recall that the first biblical mention of science (from “knowing” in Latin) occurs in the story of Eve’s temptation by the Serpent, “Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum; Thou shalt be as God, knowing good and evil.” Science has always been associated with good and evil, and it will always be a struggle to be sure that the good prevails." ~

 Reality 101 ~ Janice

Received on Tue Feb 7 01:52:15 2006

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