11. SCIENCE WILL BE CONSIDERED A VALID BASIS FOR MAKING SCIENTIFIC DECISIONS
The Bush administration has, in many, many ways, outlawed the use of science in determining policy — even policy specifically guided by science. The classic example is the EPA's refusal to declare global warming a danger to the public welfare, and thus require the government to mandate regulations. By law, the determination of danger is a scientific one, to be made by the scientists at the EPA. For years, the Bush administration managed to prevent its loyal EPA administrator, Stephen Johnson, from making the declaration. But finally in December 2007 — after Massachusetts forced the issue through a successful lawsuit — Johnson, an actual scientist, laid out the scientific evidence, with the finding that global warming does indeed imperil the citizenry.
According to a recent report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, however, the White House refused to open the e-mail containing the new findings, to keep them from entering the public record — thus allowing the administration to go on acting as if they didn't exist.
Johnson eventually gave in, and rewrote the new findings so that they emasculated the original letter. The administration accepted that version. The egregious episode infuriated four former Republican EPA administrators, who recently told the Inquirer that, on this whitewashing of scientific fact, Johnson should have stood up to Bush.
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