Thursday, March 09, 2006

Scientists agree: Pombo's anti-ESA bill sucks

I guess these scientists are simply participating in election-year partisan politics.

5,738 scientists think Pombo's bill will effectively gut the Endgandered Species Act and they have a crazy notion that its better to allow scientists rather than political appointees to control which studies and scientific methods are used to evaluate Endangered Species.

Last August, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that undermines the science behind the ESA in significant ways. First, the legislation transfers the authority of deciding what is the best available science from scientists to political appointees in the Department of Interior. Second, the legislation requires decisions affecting species to be based on empirical data—effectively eliminating the use of established scientific techniques such as modeling, population surveys, and taxonomic and genetic studies.

The House legislation would fundamentally and negatively alter the way science would inform critical decisions affecting endangered and threatened species. Furthermore, it represents a Congressional assault on scientific integrity and the ability of federal scientists to do their jobs.

I'm sorry but this is shameful and its seems that Pombo has previously assaulted science for political gain:

Due to his unwillingness to regulate companies whose emissions result in unsafe levels of mercury in the fish we eat, Pombo issued his own "report" on mercury risks. Not surprisingly, the report was in lock-step with his decision avoid regluating the polluting corporations. Also not surprisingly, instead of using well respected mercury studies from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences, Pombo's report was written by the polluting industry itself and various Right-Wing think tanks. Chris Mooney catalogs the atrociousness of Pombo's report here.

You won't believe it until you read it. With its recently released report titled "Mercury in Perspective: Fact and Fiction About the Debate Over Mercury”, the GOP leadership of the House Committee on Resources has brought scientific debate on an already politicized issue to a new low.

The 33-page document, issued by anti-environmentalist committee Chair Richard Pombo and fellow Republican Jim Gibbons of Nevada, is billed as a "comprehensive synopsis of the federal agency, private and recently peer-reviewed research used in the debate over regulating mercury." In fact, it's a misleading contrarian pamphlet aimed at convincing Americans that despite everything they may have heard, mercury levels in fish aren't dangerous and U.S.-based mercury emitters aren't a significant part of the problem.

I can't help but think of the cry from President Bush that as a nation our students are falling behind the rest of the world in science and math. The GOP might as well be saying: "We want more kids to dedicate their entire scholastic career and life's work in the field of science so we can ignore them when their findings don't align with our policies." Ugh.


At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pombo does suck.dont vote for him


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