According to an Associated Press report, two federal agencies are investigating whether the Bush administration actively worked to silence scientists and curtail research on the subject of global warming. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the AP that inspectors for the Commerce Department and NASA are conducting Ã¢â‚¬Å“coordinated, sweeping investigations of the Bush administrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s censorship and suppressionÃ¢â‚¬Â of global warming research.
According to Lautenberg, the investigations Ã¢â‚¬Å“will uncover internal documents and agency correspondence that may expose widespread misconduct.Ã¢â‚¬Â He went on to tell the AP, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Taxpayers do not fund scientific research so the Bush White House can alter it.Ã¢â‚¬Â Apparently, the investigations were spurred by 14 Democratic senators who questioned whether Bush political cronies were heading off climate change research at both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
This is not the fist time this year that the Bush administration has come under fire for allegedly impeding, altering, and repressing vital scientific information. James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, noted in January that the Bush administration attempted to gag him after he gave a speech calling for significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as a way to combat global warming.
In February, several Congressional leaders claimed that a NASA official had been altering or withholding information about both climate change and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Big BangÃ¢â‚¬Â theory. In its September 28 issue, the weekly science journal Nature reported that political appointees at the NOAA, which is overseen by the Commerce Department, worked to block the release of important studies about climate change that, among other things, pointed to a connection between global warming and the strength and frequency of hurricanes.