Monday, June 2, 2008

A Very Inconvenient Truth

NASA's Office of Inspector General has just released a report into actions by political appointees in the agency to hush up climate change science and especially one of its scientists, Dr. James Hansen. The report says

  • that during the fall of 2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public,

  • that the Office's actions were inconsistent with the mandate and intent of NASA’s controlling legislation,

  • that relations between NASA’s climate change science community and the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs had somehow deteriorated into acrimony, non-transparency, and fear that science was being politicized—attributes that are wholly inconsistent with effective and efficient Government, and

  • that at least one climate change news release, “Aura Sheds New Light on Pollution,” was intentionally delayed by NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs until after the election.

Good public decision-making depends on the best available information, however inconvenient. Instead, time after time, the Bush administration has run its permanent campaign in which all information must either be spun to suit the administration's policies or be suppressed. It's a shameful record of deceit.