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Science, Religion and Politics in the Bush Administration
Religion and Politics Trump Science in the Bush Administration
More than any other modern president, George Bush has allowed fundamentalist religious views and big money politics to trump science in his administration.
Policies on such issues as embryonic stem cell research, birth control, FDA drug approvals, foreign aid and school curriculums have been heavily influenced by fundamentalist Christian supporters. Policies on energy, global warming and the environment have been influenced by the oil, mining and other industries which have contributed heavily to his political campaigns. Bush has repeatedly allowed religion and politics to trump science and the public interest in his administration's policies.
For example, the article linked below documents the exodus of top scientists to Singapore who are lured by government money and freedome to do stem cell research.
10-14 SCIENCE IGNORED AGAIN
"The Bush administration loves to talk about the virtues of 'sound science,' by which it usually means science that butresses its own political agenda. But when some truly independent science comes along to threaten that agenda, the administration often ignores or minimizes it. The latest example involves the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to reject the recommendations of experts inside than outside the government who had urged a significant tightening of federal standards regulating the amount of soot in the air.
" At issue were so-called fine particles, tiny specks of soot that are less than one-thirtieth the diameter of a human hair. They penetrate deep into the lungs and circulatory system and have been implicated in tens of thousands of deaths annually from both respiratory and coronary disease. The E.P.A. obliged under the Clean Air Act to set new exposure levels every five years, tightened the daily standard. But it left unchanged the annual standard which affects chronic exposure and which the medical community regards as more important.
"In so doing, the agency rejected the recommendation of its own staff scientists and even that of its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council, a 22-member group of outside experts that had recommended a significant tightening of the standards. Stephen Johnson, the agency administrator, claimed there was 'insufficient evidence' linking health problems to long-term exposure. He added that 'wherever the science gave us a clear picture, we took clear action,' noting that 'there was not complete agreement on the standard.'
"One wonders how much evidence Mr. Johnson requires, and how 'complete' an agreement' must be before he takes action. A 20-2 vote in favor of stronger standards seems fairly convincing to us; from mainstream groups like the American Medical Association.
"The environmental and medical communitites suspect that the administration's main motive was to save the power companies and other industrial sources of pollution about $1.9 billion in new investment that the more protective annual standard would have required. But here, too, the administration appears to have ignored expert advice. Last Friday, the agency released an economic analysis showing that in exchange for $1.9 billion in new costs, the stronger annual standareds could save as many as 24,000 thousand (sic) lives and as much as $50 billion annually in health care and other costs to society. Studies like these always offer a range of possible outcomes, but even at the lower end--2,200 lives and $4.3 billion in money saved--the cost-benefit rations are very favorable....."
[The NYTimes editorial of10-14-06 is linked below.]
Comment: THIS IS BUT THE LATEST EXAMPLE WHERE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ALLOWED BIG MONEY POLITICS OR RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM TO TRUMP SCIENCE AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST. TOO BAD GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T READ NEWSPAPERS. HE MAY NOT EVEN BE AWARE OF THIS LATEST TRAVESTY.
1-16-09 Bush's War on Science is Over--Science Won!
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The " war on science" is over. Or at least it is in the sense that I originally meant the phrase: We're at the close of the Bush administration's years of attacks on the integrity of scientific information—its biased editing of technical documents, m
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Pittsburgy Post Gazette Op-ed.