Now there's evidence it's even worse than I thought: The Guardian is reporting that Governor Rick Perry's administration in Texas is actively suppressing science. A report about the environmental impact of global warming on Texas was apparently edited by officials, "... deleting references to climate change, sea-level rise and wetlands destruction."
This action smacks of scientific suppression and censorship. And before you accuse me of overreacting, the scientists involved in writing the report felt this editing was so bad that the original authors of the report asked for their names to be removed from the final version. Yegads.
This story was originally reported in the Houston Chronical, and Mother Jones has an example of the changes made. It's starting to pop up in other venues as well like Climate Progress and Climate Science Watch.
Looking it all over, the charges that science is being suppressed hold up pretty well. John Anderson is a researcher at Rice University, and author of a chapter of the report heavily redacted by the agency in question, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). His opinion is clear:
That state of denial percolated down to the leadership of the [TCEQ]. The agency chief, who was appointed by Perry, is known to doubt the science of climate change. "The current chair of the commission, Bryan Shaw, commonly talks about how human-induced climate change is a hoax," said Anderson.
Terrific. I'm not terribly surprised by this; after all, Perry nominated creationists to head up the Texas State Board of Education not just once, but three times. Putting a climate change denier in charge of an environmental commission is par for his course.
When Bush was President, science suppression was rampant when it disagreed with political ideology (which was very, very common). If Perry is elected, we can expect more of the same. I'm very glad to see Perry sinking in the polls right now, but as far as science goes, the other options aren't much better.
As I've said before, if you're a Republican and you support science, you need to make your voice heard. It's now long-since become de rigeur for GOP candidates to deny all manners of science if they want to get elected. It may not be too late. Speak up... or forever be denied your peace.
- The increasingly antiscience Republican candidates
- Republican candidates, global warming, evolution, and reality
- Next up for Congress: repeal the law of gravity