Science Makes a Comeback

My father who was a physicist would, I think, be very pleased with Barack Obama’s science appointments.  He would have been appalled at the way George Bush treated scientists working on global warming for example.

In June 2003, CBS News  reported that

(CBS) President Bush dismissed on Tuesday a report put out by his administration warning that human activities are behind climate change that is having significant effects on the environment.

The report released by the Environmental Protection Agency was a surprising endorsement of what many scientists and weather experts have long argued — that human activities such as oil refining, power plants and automobile emissions are important causes of global warming.

“I read the report put out by the bureaucracy,” Mr. Bush said dismissively when asked about the EPA report, adding that he still opposes the Kyoto treaty.

With the appointments of Steven Chu to be the Energy Secretary, Jane Lubchenco  to head NOAA, and John Holdren to be his science advisor, the Obama administration seems to be taking science and global warming seriously.  This appointments cover marine biology and physics and include a Nobel Prize winner and former head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

The Washington Post  reported today

President-elect  Barack Obama has selected two of the nation’s most prominent scientific advocates for a vigorous response to climate change to serve in his administration’s top ranks, according to sources, sending the strongest signal yet that he will reverse Bush administration policies on energy and global warming.

The appointments of Harvard University physicist John Holdren as presidential science adviser and Oregon State University marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will be announced tomorrow, dismayed conservatives but heartened environmentalists and researchers.

I love that phrase “dismayed conservatives”.

I haven’t agreed with all of Obama’s appointments – particularly Governor Vilsack for Agriculture  (too invested in ethanol which takes too much energy to produce) – but on the whole, I think that we may finally be back on the right track.

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