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Climate Researchers Feeling Heat From White House

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-up-there-and-talk-science-boy dept.

635

Jeff K writes "Facts and science collide with tribal loyalties, the Washington Post reports: 'Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.'"

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635 comments

o rly? (0, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075933)

ya rly!

yum (-1, Offtopic)

ShadowXOmega (808299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075943)

I smell lots of insightful comments beyond here :P

Your skin is not melting (4, Insightful)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075947)

Is this really a shocker? Bush has had a policy of denying global warming is a result of humans, the fact he is giving the NOAA extra money for research rather than prevention is quite interesting, global warming is something that is happening.

I remember years ago when the offical stance was there is no such thing as global warming, this has evolved to, there is no proof of global warming, to okay it exists but it isn't our fault, somehow I get the feeling the intention now is to attempt to prove it isn't caused by the biggest donators to the Bush administration.

When the whitehouse and the pentagon started to open up and declassify documents all those years ago, it was a good thing it felt like finally they are opening up, now things are going back to feeling more like the cold war, a policy of secrecy, spying (although internally now rather than on a foreign element), lies, and gagging the people with important information.

So as you feel your skin cancer forming and watch the ice caps come washing over us, just remember it isn't because of mankind, President Bush says so.

Re:Your skin is not melting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076024)

More FUD by the far-left wackjobs.

Re:Your skin is not melting (5, Funny)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076086)

More FUD by the far-left wackjobs.

Actually more middleleft, but if you prefer to remain blinded to the reality perhaps the extra UV rays will aid your efforts.

Defend America: +1, Informatiive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076127)


Al-Qaeda Operations [whitehhouse.org] , how may I direct your call [huffingtonpost.com] ?

Cheers,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

Re:Your skin is not melting (2, Insightful)

BungoMan85 (681447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076147)

And I'm sure BushCheneyCo (tm) and his big cabal of corrupt campaign contributors aren't responsible for previous warming (and cooling) periods either... They say they aren't, so that means they really must be cause anyone who says their not all dirty profit driven corporate beholden liars is either bought out by them or is so dumb they've been duped by BushCheneyCo (tm) and his big cabal of corrupt campaign contributors.

At the risk of destroying the effectiveness of my post I'd like to clarify that that was sarcasm.

Re:Your skin is not melting (0, Flamebait)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076195)

your post was ruined the second you tried to defend two oil barons by claiming they weren't looking out for the oil industry.

Re:Your skin is not melting (1)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076223)

Reality check, I am not saying that the current President is responsible for global warming, what I am saying is their supporters (oil and energy producers) do not want to accept any responsibility for it, this would cost them huge amounts of money to help fix a problem they helped cause.

I am in no way blaming the current administration for global warming, I do accuse them of covering up and protecting the people that have contributed to it though, if the oil companies had to pay out to help clean up their mess that would be less money for other things, such as I don't know, contributing to presidental campaigns perhaps?

Re:Your skin is not melting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076159)

I know this will probably be modded Flamebait. It is all about minimalizing the threat that corporations will have to shell out some of their profits to deal with environmental issues. After all, why worry about it now when our grandchildren can worry about it? Corporate greed is going to wash the human race off the face of the earth one day. But it's all about who has the most chips in the end, right? Right? But don't worry, Jesus saves.

Re:Your skin is not melting (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076170)

...the fact he is giving the NOAA extra money for research rather than prevention is quite interesting, global warming is something that is happening.

Until we repair the oceans and bring them back to life, we're not going to prevent anything. Now, as for Bush, he's only doing what he was voted into office to do... to make us all rich through "Reaganomics". Don't blame Bush. He was voted in knowing full well what his intentions were from the get go. If he can fatten our wallets, he's a hero. The voters are corrupt, and he's just reflecting that.

Re:Your skin is not melting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076188)

-Is the world getting warmer??.... Absolutely....

-Is it a process that has been going on over 15,000 years now. NOTE: Even this is not in dispute. We did just come out of an ice age, by the way....

-Do we have very much control over this process. Other than destroying > 95% of the worlds population, then NO! Burning "clean" fuels will not do crap when you have > 6 Billion people consuming. It is not an issue of clean, but rather scale.

The world is changing. It has been allot warmer even a million years ago. Get used to it!! If I hear another person talk about "mother earth being sick", I think Im going to hurl. There is this perception with people that everything is perfect until we do something to mess it up. Well, this theory might work in sunday school, but is just a big fat lie!

Re:Your skin is not melting (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076228)

Of course! It's no different than the ID vs. Evolution nonsense. They keep moving the goalposts everytime new information is gathered and presented.

The recent posting [slashdot.org] about a new fossil link between water creatures moving onto land is the classic example (as is archaeopteryx). Such a creature was predicted both in the evolutionary path as well as the geologic path. And the prediction was confirmed by the discovery.

But the IDers will now say (and this was discussed ad nauseum in the postings) "Well what about the creature that came before or after it? Where are those fossils?"

So off the paleontologists go and find those fossils and the IDers repeat the same questions. Same thing here. The evidence for global warming continues to be found and expanded upon and every time the data is presented someone chimes in "But man can't affect the Earth! We're too small in the grand scheme of things."

In 1815 Mt Tamboras eruption caused the year without a summer. It spewed out roughly 40 million tons of gases and ash from April through June. In one year man produces orders of magnitude more pollutants through the burning of fossil fuels than was done in those two months. Apparently it's ok for a volcano to influence the worlds climate but when man throws out, on a continuing basis, enormous quantities of pollutants every year, well that can't have an effect on the climate.

It's time to get over ourselves. We are, to an extent, influencing global warming which may or may not be a natural phenomenon. These are facts which cannot be disputed. But as the parent poster said, as you watch the ice caps come washing over us, just remember it isn't because of mankind, President Bush says so.

The really sad part is that if prevention or at least mitigation would take place it would provide a needed boost to employment in this country. Think of all the companies who would need to expand or be created to produce the pollution control products for factories and power plants. Think of all the people who be needed to service those products.

If nothing else, think of the influx of taxes that the Republicans could use to create a bigger, more intrusive government. Think of the children and all that porn that could be banished from the interweb! Won't someone think of the children!

Re:Your skin is not melting (4, Interesting)

bobwoodard (92257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076252)

Is this really a shocker? Bush has had a policy of denying global warming is a result of humans, the fact he is giving the NOAA extra money for research rather than prevention is quite interesting, global warming is something that is happening.



From the article: "Although Bush and his top advisers have said that Earth is warming and human activity has contributed to this, they have questioned some predictions and caution that mandatory limits on carbon dioxide could damage the nation's economy."

It doesn't sound like there's any denying going on, but rather a question regarding the impact?

Cautiously Submitting a Non-Biased Article (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076267)

It's easy to fault Bush and to make him sound like a two year old. Oftentimes, it just requires you to copy and paste something he said.

But I would like to point out that there is a good article regarding this matter [factcheck.org] and it happens to take a look at it without political bias (if you believe that's possible).

Essentially what I'm asking you is, "Would a Democratic president be doing anything differently?" That's hard to decide--both sides are all talk and no action on this subject.

Maybe they should arrest all those nasty storms (4, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075951)

"Although Bush and his top advisers have said that Earth is warming and human activity has contributed to this, they have questioned some predictions and caution that mandatory limits on carbon dioxide could damage the nation's economy."

Of course, the cost of doing nothing is much lower in the long run.

Re:Maybe they should arrest all those nasty storms (1)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076244)

I wonder what the statute of limitations is on ruining the environment.

do they care? (5, Insightful)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075952)

It doesn't appear that US citizens even care about global warming. Maybe work on this first, or is the Federal goverment responsible for public morals?

Re:do they care? (4, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076022)

US Citizens follow the media. If the media doesn't report on it, the average US citizen doesn't have a clue. Getting global warming topic into class rooms and into the media is the key to getting Americans active.

-Rick

Re:do they care? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076053)

Except that is happening,. global warming is a pretty big topic, the public simply doesnt care. to quote lord of war. "why worry about something that can kill you in 10 years, when there are so many things that can kill you now" That is the public attitude, and lack of information has nothing to do with it.

Re:do they care? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076162)

Actually, this is part of a covert war on Holland, Venice and Tuvalu. Dirty bastards!

Re:do they care? (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076028)

The only people really communicating with the public now are those who deny global warming. Take Michael Crichton as an example, his novel State of Fear [amazon.com] was a best-seller and even has a fancy bibliography at the end to make it look convincing. The side that would seek to inform the public is, regrettably, a bunch of eggheads doing good research without the talent to communicate it.

Re:do they care? (4, Informative)

artlogic (819675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076044)

It doesn't appear that US citizens even care about global warming. Maybe work on this first, or is the Federal goverment responsible for public morals?

Actually, according to http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/0 4/1154214 [slashdot.org] :

"A recent poll published in the Chicago Sun-Times now shows that 'An overwhelming majority of Americans think they can help reduce global warming and are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed, a new poll shows. After years of controversy, 71 percent of Americans now say they think global warming is real."

I'd say the public's morals are just about right, and it's time for the government to take notice and change its backward policies.

Re:do they care? (-1, Troll)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076100)

Wish in one hand and shit in the other, which hand is full?
Asshole Americans could cut their fuel consuption in half by shitcanning their SUVs but they don't. Americans are notorius for playing lip service to good ideas and then doing the opposite.

Re:do they care? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076186)

Yes, politicians could do something about this and they could really get something done. However, this is not how modern politics works. These days, the idea is to pick a wedge issue that is unlikely to ever be solved, and campaign on that.

On the surface, global warming would seem to be an ideal issue for this, since it's not likely to be solved for a while, but it's also not divisive enough. You can't really play on peoples' religious fervor on any side of the issue: the Bible doesn't say a whole lot about it. Plus, since the effects of global warming aren't likely to be felt for decades at least, it's hard to drum up enough urgency to fill up an election cycle.

The best wedge issues are the ones that play on religion or immediate personal safety. You can get a lot of traction out of issues like terrorism, gay marriage, or immigration, but it's a lot harder to campaign on global warming.

Re:do they care? (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076240)

I'd say the public's morals are just about right, and it's time for the government to take notice and change its backward policies.
Until the public start bank-rolling politicians to the same extent that oil companies do, I don't really think that's going to happen.

Votes are nice and everything, but unmarked non-sequential banknotes are forever.

Re:do they care? (3, Informative)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076061)

do you and the idiot moderator even read this site [slashdot.org] ?

Re:do they care? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076169)

you asshole this proves my point.
They know about the problem (and the little rant about bush is bullshit) and wont dont jack shit to change it. You don't need the goverment to tell you that a SUV is a waste of money and a waste of resources.

Re:do they care? (0, Flamebait)

plopez (54068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076062)

Hard to say. The Supreme Court appointed him President the first time around and he almost lost the second election despite trotting out the terrorists and the gays. Not exactly a mandate.

I would say, based on my experience, most people are concerned. Those who do not seem to be are the corporate types who pay the electioneering expenses and the knee jerk reactionary whackos, along with a few apocalyptic Christians who believe they are helping the Second Coming by destroying the planet faster.

Just my $.02

Re:do they care? (2, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076072)

They don't care because they think it's not serious, or not happening at all. I'd say that informing citizens about upcoming disaster is a government responsibility.

Re:do they care? (1)

joschm0 (858723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076093)

It doesn't appear that US citizens even care about global warming. Maybe work on this first, or is the Federal goverment responsible for public morals?

Actually it's Republicans who don't care. Democrats do care.

Re:do they care? (1)

j-cloth (862412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076121)

No they aren't responsible for giving the public morals, but they are responsible for helping focus research and (for this government especially) controlling the information that flows to the public. The citizens make their moral decisions based on the information given to them and if the research money isn't there and if the pressure is there to adjust the way that the results of the research that is done are presented, then the government can affect what people consider to be important. And it's laughable, especially with this administration to even suggest that the govenment has no say in public morals. The ran on a platform of "christian family values." How much more involved in public morals can they get? (see: rights, reproductive)

Yes, they care (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076150)

A few years ago I'd have agreed with you that Americans either didn't know about global warming and/or didn't care. But recently I am definitely sensing a trend that most Americans both know and care. But they (and I) feel that there's little we can do about it. We are stuck with a leader who is adamant about doing nothing (which is but one of the myriad reasons he now has a 30% approval rating), and global warming by its very nature is something that needs to be addressed globally; it can't be tackled by individuals. For example, if I start driving a hybrid, that's such a drop in the bucket that I might as well have kept my old car; we need Federally-mandated mileage standards and emissions standards for any effect to be realized at all.

So we Americans are tending to feel that we're sliding down a slippery slope but we don't have much in the way of braking mechanisms available to us. It's not apathy, it's helplessness.

-Kurt

Re:do they care? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076173)

I think we do not believe it exists. Every argument that it is a real phenomenon that is out of control, comes packaged with some pseudo-religious viewpoint about how we should live life.

It could be real, but the message isn't getting heard through the bullshit.

Not just Americans. (4, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075964)

The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.'"

You only have to read a slashdot story on Climate Change (and the amount of time posters call it "global warming" to know that the vast majority of people all over the world are not getting the full story on climate change.

I'm more worried about the current administration's failure to legislate forced change to energy (particularly oil & gas) consumption, then I am about the American public's lack of awareness of the facts.

Re:Not just Americans. (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076008)

I'm more worried about the current administration's failure to legislate forced change to energy (particularly oil & gas) consumption, then I am about the American public's lack of awareness of the facts.

And what would be the result? Cheaper oil for China. Sounds like economic poison to me.

Re:Not just Americans. (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076171)

And what would be the result? Cheaper oil for China. Sounds like economic poison to me.

I started to formulate a response, about how China is diversifying its energy sources, and the US needing to do the same to compete, rather then be stuck, dependant on a rapidly diminishing coal & oil supply.

Then I noticed your handle (and a quick perusal of your comment history confirmed you're a troll) and decided not to bother.

Re:Not just Americans. (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076182)

I would rather be poor and alive than rich and dead.

Re:Not just Americans. (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076272)

Yeah and the Saudis are going to put that barrel of oil that didn't get burned in America back in the ground. You will be both poor and dead.

Another government conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15075966)

Right...Bush is strong-arming the scientists to not say what they've been saying for 20+ years.

Gov Money (1, Insightful)

TheKAVH (196883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075969)

I guess this is the price you pay for taking money from the government for your research. Perhaps the government shouldn't be doling out the money. Maybe the government shouldn't be given that power. The power of the US Government comes mostly not from the armed forces but the money it takes in and gives out.

Re:Gov Money (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076033)

Sure, the situation would be much better if climate research would be financed by private companies like, say, oil companies?

Re:Gov Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076115)

Sure, the situation would be much better if climate research would be financed by private companies like, say, oil companies?

Score:5, Fucking Scary

In other news ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15075972)

SCO is on a fishing expedition [slashdot.org] .

Its nice to know someone has balls (4, Insightful)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075980)

"There has been a change in how we're expected to interact with the press," said Pieter Tans, who measures greenhouse gases linked to global warming and has worked at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder for two decades. He added that although he often "ignores the rules" the administration has instituted, when it comes to his colleagues, "some people feel intimidated -- I see that."

I think I like this Pieter Tans guy. I think there needs to be more scientists^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H people like him, who don't allow their convictions to be challenged by the administration.

Re:Its nice to know someone has balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076029)

ctrl-h's are lame. Use a strikethrough.

Re:Its nice to know someone has balls (2, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076277)

If you Google about for him, you get some interesting stuff [gcrio.org] :
DR. WATSON: A question for Pieter Tans. What if we don't want carbon dioxide to increase to more than one thousand parts per million? For example, what if we want to keep CO2 from exceeding 450, what is the implication for burning all the fossil fuels?

DR. TANS: It would be Draconian. I showed the real long term effect of it. If we want to keep CO2 below 450 ppm permanently, I guess we would have to stop just about today, almost.
And another interesting thing here [gcrio.org] :
What do we see? At least during '92 and '93, there is tremendous uptake of CO2 at mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere by plants. The uptake is about half as large as the total combustion of fossil fuels. So this is fortunate, this is good news. People in the oil and coal industry might love it. But like I said, we don't know if this is going to last. Biologists are generally very skeptical that this will keep happening for decades. In fact, we know that in 1994, terrestrial uptake at the mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere was much smaller than during '92 and '93. So we know that it varies a lot from year to year. It just so happened that when we got our isotopic analysis on line, there were two big years of terrestrial uptake.
Just reading through what he's said, he seems like a straight-shooter. Sometimes he says things that the oil industry might hate, some things they might love. Ah, science!

Of course ... (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15075998)

... the RIAA and MPAA got the White House to hide the fact that global warming is caused by a lack of pirates ...

I am shocked! (1, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076013)

Bush administration not caring about reality and the people living in it... who'da thunk it?

Ignorance will not be bliss ... (1)

Lanhdanan (676256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076019)

Americans will only start caring when they lose some coastal cities. The sad thing is, that global warming is a relatively slow effect, it doesnt give the big bang that a hurricane or earthquake does ... so it slowly creeps in and over time will do much more damage that what most quick natural disasters could do, and the effects will be permanent. The entire time ignorance will be the key to keeping the population in the dark about the threats to their lovely house with a coastal view. But as usual, the loss of life have been given a price, cause afterall, it would be more expensive to do something about it than to sit there and wait for it to happen.

Re:Ignorance will not be bliss ... (5, Insightful)

codegen (103601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076092)

Americans will only start caring when they lose some coastal cities.

You mean like new Orleans?

Re:Ignorance will not be bliss ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076114)

America already lost New Orleans, hit by a category 4 storm. The prevalence of category 4 and 5 storms has doubled over the last 30 years, most likely empowered by warmer oceans (a big part of the *globe*). I'm not going to believe in global warming though until we lose Galveston and Houston.

Re:Ignorance will not be bliss ... (1)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076139)

Unfortunately, I think you're correct. As the sea level rises inch by inch, people will cry for levees and sea walls to protect their cities. These will get bigger($) and bigger($$$) and eventually even the biggest won't work any more. What's even more unfortunate is that even then, people STILL won't get the point and move to higher ground (see: New Orleans).

Bush says that we can't support Kyoto for fear of damaging our economy, but when the sea levels rise via global warming, the resultant economic damage will be orders of magnitude higher.

Re:Ignorance will not be bliss ... (1)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076230)

We already have, and it did not seem to do much to raise awareness for more than two months.

There is no Global Warming! (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076020)

Come on guys, your scientific research is all flawed. There is no such thing as global warming! You need to go back, and do some more studies.

Why do you keep saying that the clima....*GLUB* *GLUB* *WHOOSH* *FLUSH* *GURGLE* *BUBBLE* *pop*

Re:There is no Global Warming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076099)

Do we need to put safety labels on toilet bowls now?!

Seems familiar (3, Insightful)

ucaledek (887701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076025)

Not to draw TOO many parallels, but remember when Galileo et al gave scientific findings that the governing powers didn't like? One of the causes, I feel from experiences with research, for the acceleration of scientific discovery is the change from a few centuries ago when science was done at the behest of the wealthy/powerful for status. As science was removed from the political, innovation and creativity flourished. This seems a bad sign of a growing politicization of scientific research, which is what kept things so slow for so long.

Re:Seems familiar (1)

Znrch (966486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076107)

Yup. Nowadays, politicians will bend science at their leisure to tell their constituents what they want to hear, or to sound "all-knowing" in some respect. The more political it becomes, the more likely we are to see scientific research subsumed to some political goal.

Re:Seems familiar (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076116)

Don't be unfair. Sure, the Church exiled Galileo, demanded he publicly recant his heretical theories, banned all his works, and made him live out his final years in house arrest, but at least they apologized for it. Sure, it was a slow apology taking about three centuries, but still.

I'm sure the government of Waterworld in 2350 or so will look back on us vaguely apologetically while recycling their own urine into drinking water.

Semi-familiar (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076119)

Not to draw TOO many parallels, but remember when Galileo et al gave scientific findings that the governing powers didn't like?

Yes, but he was dealing with a bunch of midaeval religious fanatics.

As science was removed from the political, innovation and creativity flourished.

Science has always been political; probably always will be. Perhaps you mean "as the supression of politically unacceptable experimental results decreased".

Re:Semi-familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076227)

Not to draw TOO many parallels, but remember when Galileo et al gave scientific findings that the governing powers didn't like?

Yes, but he was dealing with a bunch of midaeval religious fanatics.

And this differs from the Bush administration how? ;)

Re:Semi-familiar (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076318)

And this differs from the Bush administration how? ;)

Good question. If there are no further questions, this press conference is now finished.

Re:Semi-familiar (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076266)

Yes, but he was dealing with a bunch of midaeval religious fanatics.
Yeah, as opposed to modern day religious fanatics. Most of whom are Bush supporters.

Yup, evangelicals love Bush.

World. Ending. (1, Insightful)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076030)

It seems like what they are complaining about is that the Bush administration doesn't want people who work for them to talk to the media and espescially don't want them to field questions on public policy.

In effect, a non-issue. Most of you already know you shouldn't go to the media and make comments about the job your boss is doing, or make comments about what they should do instead. I really don't think it's out of the ordinary for Bush to put a collar on his subordinates.

Re:World. Ending. (0)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076123)

But then the anti bush slashdot sheeps wouldnt have anything to bitch about. Like when that Sony guy got fired, for talking to the media, same thing. But if Bush was CEO of Sony there would have been calls for a formal investigation.

This is government, not business (3, Informative)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076131)

In effect, a non-issue. Most of you already know you shouldn't go to the media and make comments about the job your boss is doing, or make comments about what they should do instead.

No, it *is* an issue. My tax dollars are at work funding government scientists. What's the fucking point of paying these scientists to do research if they can't talk about the results of their work with the public? We have a long tradition of federally-funded scientists being generally insulated from politics, because in the past both major parties have recognized the value of unbiased scientific research.

The Bush Administration has been muzzling the results of government-sponsored research for several years now, and this is a very troubling development. Representative democracies (yes, even republics, for those of you who will latch onto the semantics) need some areas of government to be devoid of partisanship.

If you're wondering about Hansen's reference to Nazi Germany and the USSR, read Hitler's Scientists [amazon.com] to see how science can be co-opted for political ends.

Re:This is government, not business (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076161)

Godwin'd already!

Re:World. Ending. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076187)

They're not working for the Bush administration, they're working for the US citizens.

Re:World. Ending. (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076190)

Invalid analogy. This is not a private-sector job. Government workers are supposed to answer to the people, not themselves.

Re:World. Ending. (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076237)

Of course that's the way it works in theory.

However, youll find that going above your boss' head is not the best way to get ahead, in public sector or private sector. Public sector has always been about politics, rather than who is "right"

Re:World. Ending. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076200)

Most of you already know you shouldn't go to the media and make comments about the job your boss is doing, or make comments about what they should do instead. I really don't think it's out of the ordinary for Bush to put a collar on his subordinates.

Well... There is that feedom of speach and press thing.

And although that may not apply to private businesses, you could hardly call the Whitehouse a private business (at least I would hope not).

Wrong. (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076210)

When you work in the public sector, the public is your boss, and they should be your number one priority.

Don't blame Bush! (2, Insightful)

Josh teh Jenius (940261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076032)

Bush is evil, yes, yes, but stop blaming him for Global Warming.

You want the truth? This is *my* fault. In fact, just yesterday I noticed the bathroom light was on, and I figured "oh well, not worth getting up" and left it on.

Anyone under the age of 30, intelligent enough to use a computer, who intentionally reproduced despite the COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD STATE OF AFFAIRS, should be very, very ashamed of themselves. Anyone attempting to "play dumb" or "blame politics", doubly so.

Re:Don't blame Bush! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076103)

Bush apparently in his 6 years in office has caused the end of an Ice Age 10,000 years ago and the increased activity from the SUN. And the warming of Mars. And people laughed at the right when they claimed God chose Bush for this time in human history. The claims being made would almost prove that Bush was more than a mere mortal. Climate research is full of politically charged people on BOTH sides of the spectrum and most "science" coming out of this is used to make political statements. This is to the detriment of REAL science. Perhaps these politically motivated researchers are UPSET that we the people (represented by DC) want the whole story not just part of the story or certain data sets that try to pin blame on humans for Global Warming.

Re:Don't blame Bush! (2, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076130)

Anyone under the age of 30, intelligent enough to use a computer, who intentionally reproduced despite the COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD STATE OF AFFAIRS, should be very, very ashamed of themselves.

The thing about us nerds, though, is that we usually have a strong belief in the power of Man to improve his lot through technological innovation. There's no reason that you can't fit more people on Earth, we just have to take the initiative towards a more environmentally friendly use of technology. If you like science-fiction, as most of us here do, the story collection Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias [amazon.com] , edited by Kim Stanely Robinson, has various glimpses of such a future.

Besides, the birthrate in the West has fallen quite low and in many countries (Italy, Spain) is below the replacement rate. Most population growth is being fueled in the Third World, and people there lack the education to understand the consequences of their actions. There's the oft prediction that once their income level rises to Western standards, they will cease to have so many children.

DUP...oh wait, nevermind. (2, Insightful)

NoData (9132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076055)

I thought that this was a dupe [slashdot.org] , but then I realized it's the same tactics, different agency. Just our lovely administration "staying the course" on being "good stewards" of the environment.

Re:DUP...oh wait, nevermind. (0)

deanj (519759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076106)

You're right...staying the same course Clinton had for the previous 8 years.

I love how for those 8 years it wasn't a problem, and then in true "Day After Tomorrow" speed global warming has sped up so fast! Give me a damn break, if that's really happening, there's nothing that could have been down in the last 20 years that would have stopped it. It's not like something like this can turn on a dime.

Wake hell up people. During the last ice age, when things started warming up again, was it because of humans and global warming? No. It's the natural cycle of the planet.

Quit trying to let people turn this to some sort of political advantage and use your freakin' brains.

The other climate change Bush doesn't see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076063)

Wait 'til the elections. Voters are waking up to the idea that a president should have a certain amount of forsight to deal with the deficit, health care, foreign relations, the environment... Maybe vacations, spin, and cronyism don't work once the electorate begins to be informed.

Impeach! (0, Flamebait)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076065)

I mean, if the White House, and by extension, Bush, are concealing research that the US public paid for, why can't you just fucking fire him.... he is in effect, lying to you.

Ok, this is not a realistic viewpoint. It's rather naeive. But it's how I would feel if he was running my country.

Re:Impeach! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076177)

It also sounds like the talk of a terrorist faction wanting to overthrow the elected government.

See that van outside ?

In the thirties, (1)

Mgns (934567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076070)

scientists from all over the world fled to the US from totalitarien oppressive regimes, in which true and unbiased research was made difficult and or illegal. Maybe it's time your best and bravest come to us?

Uhh, FYI it goes both ways (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076075)

In all fairness, nobody talks about how government orgs like the EPA allocate funds for climate reasearch with heavy biases in favor of research that tends to promote the necissity of a larger EPA. But then when it goes the other way around, people scream bloody murder.

Get the government money out of the freakin cliamte research studies to begin with, and they might actually become credible.

Re:Uhh, FYI it goes both ways (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076262)

Get the government money out of the freakin cliamte research studies to begin with, and they might actually become credible.


Yeah, let coorporations pay for climate research studies, that'll make them a lot more credible!

Throw out the coin. (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076078)

This story has a "both sides of the coin" situation to me, and one HUGE reason why I absolutely despise government financing and control of research. To say the Bush Administration is the problem is to ignore the reality of government -- it is seemingly all powerful, very corrupt, very easily manipulated if you have the cash, and never thinking about its citizens as individuals, just as voting groups.

Clinton was no better, no matter what the Progressives might say. This is the reason guys like this run for office -- to change the climate of thinking in the US and in the World. When it comes to public opinion, you may win on occasion when the big guys pick your side, you may lose on occasion. But when it comes to reality, you'll always lose -- the politicians will never do things the way you want them to, and they usually have hidden reasons for doing what they do.

If this doesn't help prove the case for withdrawing federal funding of research (and arts and dozens of other areas) to better allow researchers to publicize evidence for their beliefs, I can't think of what will.

There is no federal mandate for financing science or art or anythink of the sort, and the reason for it was so that the science and the art wouldn't be corrupted by opinion or political control.

They certainly don't act like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076081)

For a bunch of muzzled scientists, they certainly don't sound [suntimes.com] like it.

I especially like this quote:

"The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change," Hansen wrote in 1998. He later admitted devising "extreme scenarios" about global warming to get the attention of "decision-makers."

Well (-1)

extra the woos (601736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076082)

I know it was global cooling a couple decades ago, global warming now...etc...

The scary thing is people try to use this "well we aren't sure what is really going on, if it's natural, if it's us, etc" to say that we shouldn't care.

The fact that we don't KNOW exactly how we are impacting the environment is bad. However, the kyoto thing was just written up to be an economic attack against the U.S.

People also need to realize that using energy is not necessarily bad, it's the pollution that is bad. If those SUVs get terrible mileage, it's not necessarily bad if they don't pollute. Your little 4-banger from the early 80's may get great mileage but it pollutes a lot worse than a modern SUV.

Re:Well (5, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076146)

People also need to realize that using energy is not necessarily bad, it's the pollution that is bad. If those SUVs get terrible mileage, it's not necessarily bad if they don't pollute. Your little 4-banger from the early 80's may get great mileage but it pollutes a lot worse than a modern SUV.

The pollution in question is carbon dioxide. One litre of petrol will produce the same amount of carbon dioxide when burned, regardless of the engine in which the burning takes place. Hence, as far as global warming is concerned, the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle is all-important.

Of course, there are other pollutants in car exhausts, against which measures the new-but-inefficient car may perform better, but that's a separate issue.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076264)

Erm, how does this work?

If an SUV gets 14mpg and a banger gets 50mpg, an SUV consumes more petrol - regardless of the make-up of the combustion by-products! Define 'pollution' - is it just the visible yukky ick or is it the sum total of what pours out of the exhaust pipe - I think the latter and the SUV will pump way more out of that than something smaller, even if it is a bit smokey.

Pollution is not just about the visible, grimey crap that we see, it is about stuff that we put into our environment that is not supposed to be there.

The More i hear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15076085)

The more i hear about these kind of issues i wonder why some people here in Europe still see The USA as a free country, it seems like a dictatorship, freedom of speach is more limited than most other countries. As you cannot tell people things that the Administration tell you not to say.

I believe myself that America is being led by narrow minded people, who want to restrict fredom of speech and freewill. And its those people who are letting the country down.
Most people here in Europe who i know dont like Bush and his mates. They believe they are only interested in money, and nothing else.

The american people need to be enlightened .. but i doubt that can happen with so many restrictions.
Your probably stuck with this dictator !

Re:The More i hear (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076129)

Hey, if they don't want federal funding, they are free to abandon it and be unfettered by restrictions on who they talk to.

It's "freedom of speech", not "freedom from consequences". If you go into work and talk shit about your boss, you can't whine about freedom of speech when you get fired

Politics aside... (2, Insightful)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076088)

Really, politics aside, all I hear about lately is Global Warming. Ever since Gore had his big push when The Day After Tomorrow came out, it seems like its all i ever hear anymore. Time and Newsweek just gave Global Warming their covers recently... I just don't see how theres information out there that isn't getting to me. At least information i could understand, I don't need up to the minute global-current charts.

Re:Politics aside... (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076176)

all I hear about lately is Global Warming

Maybe because global warming is a REAL problem that needs to be addressed and not ignored.

Offtopic (2, Interesting)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076144)

Some time after the fall of the Soviet Union, I had the pleasure of travelling on a Yugoslavian passenger ship. One of the crew was the designated Political Officer - strangest thing - he was just there to make sure the crew didn't say the wrong thing to the western tourists. He was really nice bloke, and well able to throw back a pint but it just seemed a little strange.

Obviously, this is just an 'interesting' travel anecdote - and has nothing to with anything here.

There is no such thing as global warming! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076152)

If you get drowned, you just weren't praying hard enough and the Dear Lord decided you need some flood to cleanse you.

You'd think New Orleans would've worked as a wake-up call, to show Bush that there IS actually some problem with the weather, and how we affect it. But I guess we should hope for some flood in his basement for a change to see some change in politics. Some people don't give a rat's bottom until it goes after their own rear.

Re:There is no such thing as global warming! (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076259)

I thought the new orleans flood was due to the government not wanting to spend the money the us army core of engineers said they needed to keep the levies in good working order and that is why they failed (instead they built a bridge to nowhere).

Or is the media lying to me again ?

Canada following suit (3, Informative)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076191)

The new Harper government in Ottawa has cut funding [www.cbc.ca] to groups studying climate change. That has to be as chilling as gagging scientists.

We have Super Computers working On it right now! (2, Funny)

davonshire (94424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076216)

Don't worry everyone.

The scientists have 65536 Pentium 4 processors working on the problem right now, each consuming 400W of power, all to model the earth and it's atmosphere in an effort to fortell the climate changes that are underway.

10 40Ton Air conditioners are cooling the computer room where all this computing is going on. Safely venting the heat to the cool night sky.

It won't be long before we can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that global warming is happening.

We just need a few more coal powered power plants brought online to level the power grid as we work to bring on stage 2 of our processor array.

That will actually model the grass on the Minnesota plains so we can judge their cooling effect... etc etc.

Thank goodness for computers and Science.

But researchers aren't forthright (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076236)

Rarely does an "environmentalist" asterisk or footnote ANY claim with:

"These findings are carefully researched but only subjective ... it is not proven that global warming is a natural pattern of nature or a human population problem."

Anyone else going deaf? (0, Troll)

toupsie (88295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15076313)

'Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming.

My God these "scientists" are pathetic. If you believe that the public needs to know and you want to stick it to "the man" (i.e., evil Rethuglicans and Chimpy McHaliburton), stick a freaking web page up on the internet so the whole world will know that my gas guzzling SUV is causing the baby Jesus to cry from Global Warming. Hell, you can start one these new fangled things called a "Blog" for free. Nothing is stopping you. And if Chimpy McHaliburton does come down on you, you will end up getting rich from the book and movie deals that will be cut. Plus either Ted Danson or Meryl Streep will play you on the big screen.

Let's get real. It's not that "the man" is holding them down that is ticking these folks off, it's that no one is listening to them. I am practically going deaf from all the noise I hear about Global Warming and how man not the Sun is causing it. First Amendment doesn't require me to listen to you.

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