The Intersection

Um…wasn’t the Bush administration supposed to be taking global warming seriously now?

If that’s the case, then why was the Office of Management and Budget involved in bowdlerizing the testimony of CDC director Julie Gerberding on the public health risks associated with a climate change? From AP:

Her testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee had much less information on health risks than a much longer draft version Gerberding submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review in advance of her appearance.

“It was eviscerated,” said a CDC official, familiar with both versions, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the review process.

The official said that while it is customary for testimony to be changed in a White House review, these changes were particularly “heavy-handed,” with the document cut from its original 14 pages to four. It was six pages as presented to the Senate committee.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…the sharks at OMB prove that the Bush administration still, still has a science problem.


  1. #1 Laurie D. T. Mann
    October 24, 2007

    The problem has always been:

    The Bush administration does not believe it has any problems.

    Which causes the REST of the world many problems indeed.

    Sign me,

    Disgusted, but not at all surprised.

  2. #2 Chris C. Mooney
    October 24, 2007

    Exactly. It’s like alcoholism. No acceptance that you have a problem = no healing.

    Rick Piltz at climate science has posted the unedited testimony here, and commented on it

  3. #3 Fred Bortz
    October 24, 2007

    At least they’ll be out of office by the time there are hearings about the economic and political implications of the expected increase in wildfires due to global warming.

    True, the current California situation can’t be definitively blamed on climate change, but it is yet another piece of evidence supporting the call for prompt action.

    Drip, drip, drip, and the doubts erode.

    Drip, drip, drip, and more warning lights flash.

    Let’s not wait until the warnings become an urgent alarm.

    I guess that makes me a warner, though some will accuse me of being alarmist.

  4. #4 Wes Rolley
    October 24, 2007

    What you see, especially in the California situation, is what one Op Ed writer in the Atlanta Journal Constitution recalled as the tyranny of small decisions. Each one, taken by itself seems to make perfect sense.

    Yes, you can build that house there.
    Yes, you can start that new project, we need the jobs.
    Yes, we will issue the permit for ….

    But then, we everyone else to come to our rescue when things go wrong. California is about to repeat those mistakes in its long range planning for water.

  5. #5 John
    October 24, 2007

    When science and politics collide, the result is neither good policy nor pure science, and the health and welfare of people suffer. We used to be the scientific envy of the world. Not only do our government policies ‘evicerate’ (good word) government science, but they are hamstringing private industry as well. It is well to remember that IGNORANCE is a weapon of mass destruction; the less informed about a disease or environmental problem, the more people are unwittingly exposed.

    We must get science into the hands of the scientists and the marketplace; so that the public’s interests (rather than the politicians) are best served. Eight out of ten Americans believe we can do more to fight global warming.

  6. #6 Joseph O'Sullivan
    October 24, 2007

    The Bush administration when it comes to environmental protection and conservation has been consistent. No new laws on these areas will be signed and existing laws will be weakened. These things are unpopular so the Bush administration tries to cover it up.

    It was that way when Bush was governor of Texas and its been that way for seven years of his presidency. Any claims of change are misleading.

  7. #7 Jon Winsor
    October 24, 2007

    Dana Parino on this:

    Relevant section begins at about -1:55.

  8. #8 Arthur E. Lemay
    October 24, 2007

    There is not one study which shows that reducing man’s CO2 emissions will do anything about the current warming. CO2 has never controlled the climate and never will. You should all lookup “global warming swindle” on Google.

    The Environmentalist’s predictions have never been correct and their goal is to control all of us. Billions are being spent in researching this problem, but the majority of climate scientists say it is humbug.

    I note that NASA now admits 1934 was the warmest year of the century. So, the earth has actually cooled since then and the CO2 concentration has increased. And, in the shorter term, Mars, Venus and other planets have had similar warming. Conclusion: its the Sun, stupid, CO2 has very little to do with it.

    The Bush administration is far closer to the truth than the gullible press and public. And, who gets slammed? Those with science on their side, not the liars, opportunists, and fraudsters like Al Gore.

    Shame on you. You have zero reasons to believe this nonsense, and I guess you would have believed Chicken Little too!

  9. #9 Andrew Plemmons Pratt
    October 25, 2007

    Science Progress prepared a web version of the testimony that highlights the cuts. The first sentence to go? “Scientific evidence supports the view that the earth’s climate is changing.”

  10. #10 Dano
    October 26, 2007

    Arthur, “your” arguments have all been refuted and put to bed. Try some new ones. Oh, wait: the denialists have nothing, so they must recycle old arguments. Never mind.

    Chris, BushCo lied. Of course they are going to continue to cover up anything that disagrees with their stance that they use to hold power.



  11. #11 Fred Bortz
    October 26, 2007

    CDC Director Gerberding says we’re making too much of it, but the full NYTimes article, cited below in the Sigma Xi daily news summary, includes this statement:

    Still, cuts made to her written testimony included the only statements casting the health risks from climate change as a problem, describing it variously as posing “difficult challenges” and as “a serious public health concern.”

    I might agree that that’s making a mountain out of a molehill were it not for the administration’s past history. I think she’s making sure she has a chance to keep her job in the next administration, which wouldn’t happen if she is fired by the present one.

    Here’s what I got from Sigma Xi:

    Climate Change Testimony Was Edited by White House

    from the New York Times (Registration Required)

    The White House made deep cuts in written testimony given to a Senate committee this week by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on health risks posed by global warming, but the director agreed [Wednesday] with administration officials who said the cuts were part of a normal review process and not aimed at minimizing the issue.

    Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, the agency’s director, said in a telephone interview that news reports and comments about the changes had made “a mountain out of a molehill.”

    “I said everything I needed to say,” she said. Dr. Gerberding, who addressed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday, said she had freely spoken for more than a year about the implications for public health should warming from the buildup of greenhouse gases proceed as scientists project.

    To read more:


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