Friday, February 10, 2006
Last week, WN reported that top NASA climate scientist James
Hansen was under pressure to cool it on global warming. The
pressure, we have since learned, was coming from 24-year old
White House appointee George Deutsch, who had been an intern in
the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Earlier, Deutsch had
informed a NASA contractor that the word "theory" had to be added
to every mention of the Big Bang. "This is more than a science
issue," he declared, "it is a religious issue." On Friday, NASA
chief Michael Griffin made it clear to all NASA employees that
it's not the job of public affairs to "alter, filter or adjust"
material from the technical staff. Wednesday, Deutsch resigned.
What was he doing in a sensitive position in the first place?
Although his job at NASA was a reward for work in the re-election
campaign, he did have a journalism degree from Texas A&M, didn't
he? Well, actually no. He lied about that. Deutsch was right
about one thing: science issues can also be religious issues.
There is a rare split among evangelical Christians. A group of
86 evangelical leaders formed the Evangelical Climate Initiative
to combat global warming www.christiansandclimate.org , even
taking out a full-page ad in the NY Times. However, a number of
evangelical heavy weights, including Jerry Falwell and James
Dobson, oppose the initiative, and the National Association of
Evangelicals has decided not to take a position. But what does
God say? "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and
subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon
the earth," Genesis 1:28. Well, we've done it. We've subdued
just about everything. Consider the plight of the polar bear.
Environmental groups sued the government in December to add polar
bears to the endangered species list; their habitat is fast being
destroyed by global warming. According to the Wash Post, the
Bush administration has agreed to study whether polar bears
should be on the list. Coming just as the Evangelical Climate
Initiative is announced, the reality of global warming now seems
to be accepted by almost everyone except petroleum geologists.
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is presenting
its annual journalism award to novelist Michael Crichton for
"State of Fear," a fictional story in which global warming is not
for real. AAPG was presumably unable to find a journalist
sufficiently divorced from reality to meet oil company standards.
The priest had been accused of "abuse of popular credulity."