Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Truth May Set You Free
But It Is Not Very Politic

You can't handle the truth. ~ Col. Jessop, A Few Good Men
I used to think that the Bush Administration's antipathy to science was faith-based, that they didn't want a bunch of nerds telling them that Jesus did not ride dinosaurs.
Actual Sunday School lesson.

But, it appears the Obama Administration has a similar fear of science geeks. Science, you see, seeks facts whether or not they are politically convenient.

Take the Gulf Oil Spill for example. Scientists have been begging for months to get access to the region to analyze the effect of this massive oil and dispersant release on the environment. The Coast Guard and BP have blocked their every effort. BP wants to prevent a thorough study because the more facts that are known the more money it will cost them. The federal government's reasons for forcing scientific ignorance is more complicated.

The government wants to preserve the right to lie. They want to maintain the ability to spin. Scientists, with their annoying habit of digging up inconvenient truths, might start telling people things the government would rather they not know.

Has the massive use of oil dispersants turned the Gulf of Mexico into a poisonous soup? Will the Louisiana fisheries take a generation to recover? How many Americans will die prematurely due to the spill? These are questions that scientists might try to answer. Better to keep them far away until a proper political fiction can be drafted.

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