I just finished reading The Republican War on Science, and I highly recommend it. Most political administrations (Republican and Democrat) have made some mistakes when it comes to misusing science. However, this book makes a compelling case that the Bush II administration has reached new lows in science abuse. "Intelligent" design, pollution and global climate change, stem cell research, sex education, abortion, and the protection of endangered species are among the examples.
How has the administration abused science? In a nutshell, they have followed the lead of big tobacco by deliberately misleading the public through manufacturing scientific uncertainty where none exists. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that human pollution is leading to climate change. The administration hypes a handful of fringe scientists who disagree with this consensus and then claims that more data are needed. Why? Because the corporations which own the current administration don't want any regulations. If this seems far fetched, just look at how they've manufactured a controversy over evolution where no real debate exists among scientists.
I can't recall any book which made me more angry than this one did. Governments are supposed to use science to inform policy decisions. If they choose to ignore evidence of climate change because they think environmental regulations are bad for the economy, come out and say so. I can accept this even if I don't agree with it. But to intentionally distort science to fit preconceived policy decisions is unforgivable.
If you share my concern with the political misuse of science, visit the Union of Concerned Scientists for more information about what we can do.
Tags: The Republican War on Science, Republicans, Bush, science, environment, stem cell, politics, books, GOP, science abuse