A panel of experts has strongly criticized the Bush administration's proposed research plan on the risks of global warming, saying that it "lacks most of the elements of a strategic plan" and that its goals cannot be achieved without far more money than the White House has sought for climate research.
The 17 experts, in a report issued yesterday, said that without substantial changes, the administration's plan would be unlikely to accomplish the aim laid out by President Bush in several speeches: to help decision makers and the public* determine how serious the problem is so that they can make clear choices about how to deal with it.
The president has said that more research is needed before the administration can even consider mandatory restrictions on heat-trapping greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
The expert panel, convened by the National Academy of Sciences at the administration's request, said some of the plan's proposals for new research seemed to rehash questions that had already been largely settled.
"In some areas, it's as if these people were not cognizant of the existing science," said one member, Dr. William H. Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. "Stuff that would have been cutting edge in 1980 is listed as a priority for the future."
For example, the report said, far more is already known about human activity's contribution to global warming than is suggested by the administration's plan, which, the panel said, expresses too much uncertainty about the question.
*The public have already made up their minds, with 75% of all adults recognizing the existence of global warming and 70% supporting the Kyoto agreements, according to this Harris poll. Even a 54% majority of propaganda-susceptible Republicans approve of the Kyoto agreements.
When the current administration is not selling out to organized religion, it's selling out to organized industry. To counter this rampage of organized racketeering against the desires and resources of American citizens, we should consider reconfiscating our country under RICO legislation.
With all the familiar faces from the 1980s, the revival of Star Wars, the rhetoric of empire, and now the erasure of more than two decades of environmental research, I wonder if Ralph Nader supporters have yet figured out that they successfully campaigned to reelect Ronald Reagan.