- Politics and Social Issues
Global Warming--Bush Appointees Weakened Government Climate Change Reports
Philip A. Cooney, Fox in the Bush Hen House
White House Aide Wielded a Heavy Editing Pencil on Science Reports
The NY Times reported another of many instances where big money politics trumped science in the Bush administration. Testimony before a House committee revealed that a Bush White House aide, Philip A. Cooney who was previously an oil industry lobbyist, emasculated government climate reports on global warming.
Mr. Cooney, who has no scientific background, said he had based his editing of the government science reports on what he had seen in good faith as the "most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge."
Cooney was hired by Exxon Mobil after resigning in 2005 following reports in the NY Times on his editing activities.
Testimony before the House committee on Monday, 3-19, also included sworn statements from George Deutsch who moved from the Bush re-election campaign to public affairs at NASA. there he warned career press officers to exert more control over James E. Hansen, the top climate expert at the space agency.
Testifying at the hearing, Dr. Hansen said editing like that done by Mr. Cooney and efforts to limit scientists' access to the news media and the public amounted to censorship and muddled the public debate over a pressing environmental issue.
"If public affairs officers are left under the control of political appointees," he said, "It seems to me that inherently they become offices of propaganda."
Deutsch, age 24, resigned from his job at NASA after it was discovered that he had lied on the resume he submitted to the government. His only apparent qualification for the appointment by Bush was his work on Bush's re-election campaign. He did not have a B.A. from Texas A&M in journalism as claimed on his resume.
Here is Andrew Revkin's and Matthew L. Wald's report from the 3-20-07 NY Times: