Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Can't Handle the Truth!

An AP article, White House Edited CDC Climate Testimony, by H. Josef Herbert, accuses the Bush administration of eviscerating a Center For Disease Control report that was given to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Things that the public should not hear:

The deleted sections of the draft, covering more than half of the original text, included a list of specific impacts on which "climate change is likely to have a significant impact on health." The list included the effect of more frequent hot spells on vulnerable populations, the impact of extreme weather, more air pollution in drought areas, and greater likelihood of vector-borne and waterborne diseases as well as mental health problems.

While these impacts would be expected to be less significant in the United States than in the developing world, one deleted section says, "nevertheless many Americans will likely experience difficult challenges."

Of course, a government spokesperson says that the report "was not watered down in terms of its science." Any more than the United States "does not torture."

But if criticism of the war in Iraq is said to give "aid and comfort to the enemy," then what is to be said about our providing specific details about how climate change might affect public health? This is time-sensitive information that shouldn't get out until well after the 2008 elections.

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