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The War on Science

You may have heard rightwing pundits such as columnist David Limbaugh, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Todd Starnes of Fox News tell you (with no real evidence, but with lots of emotional rhetoric) about the war that’s being waged against Christianity.

The Christians are absolutley safe. The Justice Department isn’t going to investigate the claims made by priests during sermons. The FCC isn’t going to regulate church sermons and force priests to be truthful and accurate. The United States Congress isn’t going to order the U.S. Treasury to take the words “In God We Trust” off of our money, and religious programming such as “The 700 Club” will not be taken off American television. Christians make up more than 75 percent of the U.S. population and they run all three branches of the U.S. government. They also control the American mainstream media and comprise most of the U.S. armed forces and law enforcement agencies. With such power and wealth and influence at their command, who in America could possibly wage war against them?

However, while many of you are focused on the fabricated “war on Christianity”, there is a very REAL war going on against science and scientists in America. Unlike David Limbaugh, Rick Perry and Todd Starnes of Fox news, I will sumbit real evidence that this war is being waged.

My first piece of evidence is from the administration of George W. Bush. When Bush was in office, he engaged in a policy of censorship against scientists. Here are some examples:

1. In 2003, the White House gutted the climate-change section of a report by the EPA. First they deleted references to studies showing that global warming is caused by manmade emissions. Then they added a reference to a study, partly funded by the American Petroleum Institute that suggested that temperatures are not rising. Eventually the agency decided to drop the section altogether.

2. After Thomas Knutson at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a paper in 2004 linking rising emissions with more intense tropical cyclones, he was blocked by his superiors from speaking to the media. He agreed to one request to appear on MSNBC, but a public affairs officer at NOAA rang the station and said that Knutson was "too tired" to conduct the interview. The official explained to him that the "White House said no". All media inquiries were to be routed instead to a scientist who believed there was no connection between global warming and hurricanes.

3. In 2006 NASA's top climate scientist, James Hansen, reported that his bosses were trying to censor his lectures, papers and web postings. He was told by NASA's Public Relations officials that there would be "dire consequences" if he continued to call for rapid reductions in greenhouse gases.

4. In 2007 the Alaskan branch of the US fish and wildlife service told its scientists that anyone traveling to the Arctic must understand "the administration's position on climate change, polar bears, and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues".
5. At hearings in the US Congress in 2007, Philip Cooney, a former White House aide who had previously worked at the American Petroleum Institute, admitted he had made hundreds of changes to government reports about climate change on behalf of the Bush administration. Though not a scientist, he had struck out evidence that glaciers were retreating and inserted phrases suggesting that there was serious scientific doubt about global warming.

6. When Julie Gerberding ( the director of the Centers for Disease Control) submitted a report for Congress on the potential health risks involved with global warming it had to go through the Office of Management and Budget first.

The CDC Director's report was heavily censored. It went from a 12 page report down to a mere 6 pages.

Sean Kevelighan at the OMB claimed that there was nothing wrong with censoring her report because her facts and scientific conclusions didn't line up with the "national priorities" of the Bush Administration.

7. Another scientist who was censored was Dr. Christopher De Rosa. De Rosa is a leading government expert on formaldehyde and former director of toxicology and environmental medicine at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. At first when De Rosa tried to alert his superiors about the toxicity levels of the government trailers in New Orleans he was ignored. However when De Rosa persisted in trying to do his job and attempting to protect people in New Orleans from formaldehyde poisoning, he was demoted and reassigned to a new position

8. In a purely political move, the Bush Administration also forced the National Cancer Institute to say that abortion may cause breast cancer, a claim refuted by actual scientific studies.

At this point you might be thinking that now that George W. Bush is out of the White House that the war against science is over. However, you’d be wrong.

The war goes on; it’s merely the combatants that have changed. For instance, in the state of Virginia, we see the state attorney general (Ken Cuccinelli) using the power of his office to wage a war against science.

An excellent example of this is Cuccinelli’s war against Michael Mann, a climate scientist who used to teach at the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli launched an investigation against Mann, investigating him for allegedly “defrauding” taxpayers by obtaining grants from the commonwealth to conduct research on global temperatures. The attorney general demanded that the university turn over astonishingly vast numbers of e-mails and other documents relating to Mr. Mann, including all correspondence with a long list of other reputable scientists.

This is not a legitimate investigation. This is using the power of the office of the attorney general to harass and persecute a law-abiding citizen.

And Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have dramatically cut the budgets of a number of federal agencies that do scientific research (including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, The Office of Science, the Office of Fossil Energy The Office of Nuclear Energy, The National Institute of Health and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration causing a loss of billions of dollars to the scientific community, causing scientists across America to lose their jobs and causing certain research projects to be dramatically slowed, crippled, curtailed or terminated.

And it isn’t just those in government positions of power who are waging a war against science. There are those in the American mainstream media who are just as bad.

Rush Limbaugh goes out of his way to attack scientists on his show. He refers to the scientific community at large as “idiots” for daring to publish studies on global climate change and signaled out NASA scientist James Hansen as an “insane lunatic”.

In Ann Coulter’s book “Godless” she attacks scientists and insists that they’re an evil sub-cabal of atheist liberals, a group so addicted to godlessness that they must hide at all costs the awful "truth" that evolution didn't happen. She accuses evolutionists of brainwashing children with phony fossils and made-up "evidence," turning the kids into "Darwiniacs."

Evolution science is central to modern medical science, especially biology, immunology and genetics, so Ann is basically accusing anybody that ever graduated from medical school of being “evil”.

She also attacks embryonic stem cell research and accuses research scientists in this field of having “a clear financial incentive to lie” and she also accuses them of “killing humans”.

Now, you might read this and conclude that Ann Coulter is a crazy person and that as such, nobody would ever listen to her or her insane ravings.

Unfortunately she’s written eight books and is a #1 New York Times Best Selling author and she’s often invited onto TV shows such as the Today show, Good Morning America, Morning Starbucks, Fox and Friends, This Week on ABC, Sean Hannity and Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough.

Obviously SOMEBODY is listening to her! She’s sold millions of books and millions of people see her on television when she’s invited to give her hateful opinions on everything from American pop culture to the War on Terror. For some reason the American mainstream media loves her and will put her face on television every chance they get.

And while we’re on the subject of the American mainstream media helping Ann Coulter wage a war against science, who else in the mainstream media is attacking science and scientists?

Once again Fox “news” Channel is at the forefront in the war against science. Bill O’Reilly invited Professor Richard Dawkins (the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist) onto his show, NOT to promote Richard Dawkins’s new book, but to attack Dawkins and make false accusations against him. Dawkins new book is about genes, evolution, atoms, molecules and other scientific issues; however Bill O’Reilly accused Dawkins of using this book in an attempt to “brainwash” children and O’Reilly very condescending and argumentative during the entire interview.

Once upon a time America was the world leader in scientific research and scientific advances. America developed the first atomic bomb. America developed the first super-sonic aircraft. America was the first country to put a man on the moon.

NOW we’re the country where only 39 percent of the population believes in the theory of evolution, school boards in more than a dozen states are debating whether or not to teach evolution in science classes and wealthy members of the mainstream media get away with referring to our scientists as “evil” and “idiots”.

Quite obviously this is very unfitting for America’s proud tradition of being the world leader in science and such a war on science could only hurt America’s citizens and American society in general.

The main question is what can be done to stop this war on science and who is going to take the initiative?