Is the Bush Administration Guilty of a War on Science?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the negative impact of the Bush administration on science and public policy, including the appointment of unqualified individuals and the prioritization of economic interests over scientific evidence. There is also mention of Bush's faith influencing his decisions and the potential for him to be viewed as a bad president in the future. The conversation ends with a recent announcement of a plan to protect polar bears, possibly indicating a shift in Bush's stance on environmental issues.
  • #1
Astronuc
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Hmmmm!

Shouldn't come as a surprise. :rolleyes:

http://www.waronscience.com/home.php

Mooney asserts that Bush is "in a bubble walled off from reality; that he takes matters on faith; that he allows ideology to trample expert opinion; that he staffs the government with cronies who run it incompetently." Reasonably accurate assessment into the worst president in US history.

The Republican War on Science first came out in hardcover in the fall of 2005, amidst the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Even as I went on tour and spoke to large crowds deeply worried about political attacks on science, my own family had fled New Orleans and my mother’s home in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood had been destroyed by ten feet of floodwater. It was a very difficult time, and yet also a crucial one for speaking out about the importance of good scientific information to public policy.
Bush even claimed that no-one had forseen the failure of the levees - despite years of reports that it was very likely.

I still have to verify the assertion that Bush has increased the number of political appointees well above the number in the Clinton administration, by something on the order of 350, according to Mooney.

Dishonest George will be known for his anti-intellectualism, his administration's racketeering and corruption, and the brutality in Iraq. :mad:

Certainly the damage to the US by the Bush Effect will linger for decades.


In all fairness, I know many Republicans and Conservatives who faithfully adhere to honesty and fairness in the scientific and political process. :approve:
 
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  • #2
Evaluating a seated president is hard to do. I personally felt that Reagan made some bad errors, largely because he was an *ideologue (IMO).
Bush is also an ideologue and has made bad errors as well. (my opinion, too).

Anyway, it appears Reagan is now considered an average president by a lot of presidential scholars:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/choice2004/leadership/schlesinger.html#chart
You'll notice that Reagan has a fair amount of "divergence of opinion" in the chart, as does Nixon. In my opinion, the chart does show one thing - as time passes the historians tend to have come to closer agreement on a given president's "rating".

So it is possible in 20 years that historians will view Dubya as a very good president. Or a very bad president. It's hard to say at this point. Right now Iraq looks like a major disaster for Middle East regional stability, for example.


* Note -
I don't know if ideologue is part of standard English - I use it to mean someone who decides important things based on a set of beliefs, rather than someone who decides based on the evidence presented for each problem. So, you can predict the answer to the question before it is ever asked. I suppose you could just as well consider applying some sort of scientific approach to solving public problems as an ideology as well. Especially if you view the Quran or the Bible as a source of perfect knowledge on all subjects... YMMV.
 
  • #3
I wanted to buy that book but it's hard to find up here. Very few book stores have it, and I don't feel like driving around :-p
 
  • #4
jim mcnamara said:
So it is possible in 20 years that historians will view Dubya as a very good president. Or a very bad president. It's hard to say at this point. Right now Iraq looks like a major disaster for Middle East regional stability, for example.

This assumes that the only measure of the Bush admin is the outcome of Iraq, which is a disaster now, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Bush has been a disaster for the US. Also, most people will tell you that his admin has divided this country more than they have ever seen; and I say more than anyone since Jefferson Davis.

I don't think anyone who is not a patriotic American can understand the outrage, the betrayal, and the damage that has been done to our Constitution. If Bush isn't impeached and removed from office, it would be a crime. And I think there is a good chance that he is guilty of many high crimes, and/or treason.
 
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  • #5
I don't think that Bush's "war against science" has much to do with faith. It isn't faith telling him that carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with recent weather phenomena. The problem is that his conclusions are reached in accordance with an economic mandate, rather than out of a sincere desire for the truth. He is reasoning toward a pre-determined end, which is basically the problem with damn near any line of politically motivated reasoning.
 
  • #6
Lyn, Bush's faith may not be driving his environmental policy, but it is noticeable in other decisions of his. The first one that comes to mind is the 2002 appointment of Dr. David Hager[1] (the anti- contraception, resume tweaking, prayer-for-PMS nutjob) to the FDA committee on Women's Health Policy. Then there's the whole thing about god telling him that the Iraq war was the right thing to do[2].

Another thing that comes to mind is the selection of diaper-clad yesmen to the Coalition Provisional Authority based on their views of Roe v Wade and their voting record (notable being the person selected to help reopen the Interior Ministry, a 21-year-old kid who hadn't yet graduated college and whose current work experience was limited to driving an icecream truck, or maybe it's the 24-year-old with no experience in finance selected to reopen Iraq's Stock Exchange[3]). While this last point is more illustrative of an ideology-driven agenda than a faith-driven agenda, it is important to note that faith features prominently in this ideology.

[1] http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,361521,00.html
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/10_october/06/bush.shtml
[3] from Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, ed. Washington Post
 
  • #8
loseyourname said:
I don't think that Bush's "war against science" has much to do with faith. It isn't faith telling him that carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with recent weather phenomena. The problem is that his conclusions are reached in accordance with an economic mandate, rather than out of a sincere desire for the truth. He is reasoning toward a pre-determined end, which is basically the problem with damn near any line of politically motivated reasoning.

LYN
I tend to agree, yet disagree. Bush's opinions on life science aren't based on faith they are based on keeping "faith", the religious conservatives, on his side.

As for the other sciences his opinions are pretty much as you stated
 
  • #9
Now, to protect the sensibilities of the Creationists, Grand Canyon employees are urged not to disclose geological FACTS:
http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

Get these insane people out of the White House.
PLEASE!
 
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  • #10
arildno said:
Now, to protect the sensibilities of the Creationists, Grand Canyon employees are urged not to disclose geological FACTS:
http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

Get these insane people out of the White House.
PLEASE!
Well it seems that 46% of the US population thinks that "God created man in his present form sometime in the past 10,000 years, while 36 percent say man developed over millions of years from lesser life forms, but God guided the process. Only 13 percent of Americans think mankind evolved with no divine intervention.

Source http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20060608-111826-4947r.htm"
 
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  • #11
Deny them their citizens' votes until they have matured into human beings. :mad:
 
  • #12
Astronuc - good topic. I'm currently about half-way through Mooney's book (although I've been frequenting his blog for the past year). It's outrageous what Bush and the Neocons have done. (never mind science and Iraq...there's also the attack on civil liberties!)

Jim - you may be right about the difficulty in rating a seated president, but my God, things are looking bleak for Bush.

arildno - that does it! (re: Grand Canyon). Wake me in 20 years when the societal pendulum has swung back to sanity. (hopefully)
 
  • #13
arildno said:
Now, to protect the sensibilities of the Creationists, Grand Canyon employees are urged not to disclose geological FACTS:
http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

Get these insane people out of the White House.
PLEASE!
This came up in another thread and MeJennifer posted about the fact that the NPS/Grand Canyon website still refers to millions of years with regard to fossils and geological record. I believe there was an attempt to remove that information however, but it does appear that the administration has backed away quietly from that.


Interestingly, this morning I heard a radio interview with Damon Linker, who has just published a book "The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege".

http://www.damonlinker.com/ - links to online sellers.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385516479/?tag=pfamazon01-20

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385516471

Kevin Phillips also has a book - https://www.amazon.com/dp/067003486X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

I suppose there is a new term in the language - theopolitics - which pertains to religious organizations taking on political or social functions (societal roles) usually reserved for government. This is along the lines of the Bush approach (faith-based initiatives) of providing US tax dollars to religious organizations which then provide social programs - maybe. Whether or not the programs are more effective than those of government remain to seeen. On the other hand, the programs are a good source of revenue for particular organizations, while others are excluded. :rolleyes:
 
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  • #14
There is an interesting video available over at Google Video featuring an interview on UCTV (University of California TV) with the Chris Mooney, the author of "The Republican War on Science" by renowned science scholar Naomi Oreskes on the show "UCSD Guestbook"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4697289892356408506&q=science&hl=en
 
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  • #15

Related to Is the Bush Administration Guilty of a War on Science?

1. What is the Bush/Republican War on Science?

The Bush/Republican War on Science refers to the controversial actions and policies of the administration and Republican-controlled Congress during the presidency of George W. Bush that were seen as undermining or ignoring scientific evidence in favor of political or ideological agendas.

2. How did the Bush/Republican War on Science impact scientific research and progress?

The War on Science had a significant impact on scientific research and progress. Many scientists and experts in various fields spoke out against policies that they believed were detrimental to the integrity of science and the advancement of knowledge. This included cuts to funding for important research, censorship of scientific findings that did not align with political agendas, and the appointment of individuals with little or no scientific background to key positions in regulatory agencies.

3. What were some specific examples of the Bush/Republican War on Science?

Some specific examples of the War on Science include the suppression and manipulation of climate change research, restrictions on stem cell research, and the rejection of scientific advice on issues such as air and water pollution, endangered species, and reproductive health. Additionally, the administration was accused of altering or censoring reports from government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4. Did the Bush/Republican War on Science have lasting effects?

Yes, the War on Science had lasting effects on scientific research and policy. Many scientists and experts argue that the politicization of science during this period eroded public trust in scientific institutions and hindered progress in important areas such as environmental protection and public health. The effects of this period are still being felt today.

5. How has the current political climate addressed the issues raised by the Bush/Republican War on Science?

The current political climate has seen a greater emphasis on evidence-based decision making and a recognition of the importance of scientific research in informing policy. However, there are still ongoing debates and challenges surrounding issues such as climate change and the role of science in policymaking. It is important for scientists and policymakers to continue to work together to ensure that science is not compromised for political gain.

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