In the latest revelation about how the Bush Administration sought to downplay, sideline and otherwise obscure research and action on global warming, the Los Angeles Times and other papers report that Vice President Dick Cheney's office allegedly edited congressional testimony by the top Environmental Protection Agency official.
The goal: Play down the risk, and avoid regulation that would reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
The charge comes from Jason K. Burnett, a former EPA official. So supporters of the Vice President might suggest this is sour grapes from a scorned employee who has since contributed to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. But Burnett is only the latest in a string of EPA employees to leave the administration in disgust and then speak out about how science had been misused or ignored, particularly when it comes to global warming.
Testimony by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also was allegedly edited by the White House to downplay risks that scientists had confirmed.
As the weight of evidence for human-induced global warming grows heavier and the so-called climate science skeptics grow increasingly marginalized, they have one key adherent, it seems, in the Vice President's office.
The revelation comes on the heels of President Bush's agreement with other leaders of the Group of Eight that the world ought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050. (The agreement doesn't hold the rich G8 nations to a higher standard than developing nations, and a second agreement announced, among the world's top 16 polluters, failed to match that specificity when they said "deep" cuts were needed.)
It's hard to see the G8 agreement, which is all mouth and no teeth, as a genuine effort in light of the Bush Administration's record of squelching action on global warming domestically.
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