Sunday, August 30, 2009

EPA Should Not Deny Public’s Right To Know

An EPA decision to restrict greenhouse gas emissions may be of some benefit to the climate, but it certainly will substantially increase energy costs and unemployment as more jobs will be lost to countries without such restrictions. As a scientist and a taxpayer, I strongly believe the public has a right to a fair and open hearing and examination of the evidence supporting restrictions that will have such far-reaching impact.

As reported in the LA Times on August 25th, EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan claimed no public hearings were necessary because scientific evidence “overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare.” However, nothing was said about any evidence that human activity is the cause of climate change, or that restrictions on the U.S. economy will solve this problem despite the most populous and most polluting nations continuing their rapidly increasing emissions.

I was particularly appalled by the reactionary comment of Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists who compared a public inquiry to a witch hunt. Scientists who aren’t willing to publicly present their data and defend their conclusions should get out of science and become political lobbyists, no doubt that pays better. Oh, maybe some has already thought of that.

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