Rachel Carson, the Bush administration, and “the ant wars all over again”


In a piece on Rachel Carson (whose centennial is this year), Elizabeth Kolbert in the May 28 issue of The New Yorker likens Carson’s horror at the USDA’s ill-conceived, environmentally damaging, pro-special interest, seemingly impervious to evidence, failed pesticide war on imported fire ants in the 1950s to the horror of the current administration’s handling of global warming and other environmental science-meets-policy issues.

Our thanks to Kolbert, who writes:

…Six years into the Bush Administration, it’s basically the ant wars all over again. At key agencies, a disregard for inconvenient evidence seems today to be a prerequisite. A memo prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in mid-March, for example, revealed that officials of the White House Council on Environmental Quality had made more than a hundred and eighty changes to a status report on global warming, virtually all of which had the effect of exaggerating scientific uncertainties and minimizing certainties. (The official responsible for most of the changes, Philip Cooney, had come to the White House from the American Petroleum Institute and now works for Exxon Mobil.)….

Copyright 2007 CondéNet

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