Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, June 19, 2003  

A little later today, I'll get into this whole "revisionist history" thing, but first, a little revisionist science.

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs.

The report, commissioned in 2001 by the agency's administrator, Christie Whitman, was intended to provide the first comprehensive review of what is known about various environmental problems, where gaps in understanding exist and how to fill them. . . .

Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council that the White House had commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White House officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In its place, administration officials added a reference to a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, questioning that conclusion.

Now that's bad (or predictable) enough, but check out this tidbit:

James L. Connaughton, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House advisory group, said, "It would be utterly inaccurate to suggest that this administration has not provided quite an extensive discussion about the state of the climate. Ultimately, E.P.A. made the decision not to include the section on climate change because we had these ample discussions of the subject already."

(The EPA had not made that decision. Christine Whitman's first draft included it, and versions of that report have "been circulating for months.")

Now, talk about your revision. First the President rewrites an agency report, then rolls out some flunkie to lie about revising it, all the while trying to keep a straight face while maintaining that they wished the EPA had kept the damaging information in there.

Damaging, you say? Sure Bush lied about it, but how could that information be damaging? Well, let's check the record. In 2000, George Bush received $3 million from oil, gas, and electrical companies--over 600% more than any other politician received that year. His running mate had just left an oil-services contract, after having created a superhighway between his former company and federal money. His Energy Secretary, Spencer Abraham, was the number 1 recipient of campaign contributions from the automotive industry. Condi Rice sat on Chevron's board, and was popular enough with the company that they named a ship after her. Gale Norton, the Interior Secretary--charged with protecting our wild lands--represented Delta Petroleum and was chair of a PAC backed by Ford and BP Amoco.

So Bush scrubs a government record of any reference to the industries that are causing grave damage to the earth--the very industries that overwhelming got him elected. So the damage could be to his buddies and the little "arrangement" that keeps the companies rich and the money flowing to George.

It seems criminal, but I suspect that things like trotting out this functionary who heads an Orwellian doublespeak fake "advisory group" will provide sufficient cover. In any case, it's more deception and ass-covering from a man who makes Bill Clinton look like a piker in that arena. Yup, revisionism in Washington is rampant, all right, and the revisionists' King is George Bush.

posted by Jeff | 9:14 AM |
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