A few years ago, I remember reading and hearing reports like this, indicating that the administration had been altering EPA and other scientific reports from government sources which supported the notion of global warming. It appears that the practice might have been more widespread than initially believed. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world, recently issued a press release on the results of an investigative report which concluded that the government has instigated widespread political interference in communicating the results of government scientific research.
Why? If global climate change is as questionable as conservatives like to say, why are so many government scientists coming to conclusions which support the theory of warming? Why can’t the administration simply point to the other scientific research challenging global climate change if there isn’t a wide concensus in the scientific community on the subject? If scientific research supporting global warming is so questionable, why not scientifically challenge their data and conclusions? Can it be that the administration is resorting to cover-ups, coercion, and manipulation simply because there is no rational support for the conservative challenge to the theory of human-influenced climate change?
(In a related note, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just concluded itself that human activity has impacted the global climate. Yet another confirmation of the widespread scientific concensus on the matter).
I can’t say I’m surprised. This simply fits the pattern of this administration and of many leading conservatives. Whether it be WMDs in Iraq or global climate change, they seem to prefer to draw their conclusions first, then doctor the evidence to support those conclusions. Facts and reality? Sorry, we don’t trust those. Reality is known to have a strong liberal bias.
Effective leadership can only be exercised by an honest examination of the facts, even when—especially when—they challenge your preconceptions. The current intellectual atmosphere in our federal government is a terribly irresponsible one for a government whose policies have such a substantial influence on the entire world. By preferring to go with their preconceptions rather than information, they threaten to make ever larger disasters with which future generations will be forced to cope.