Year 2, Month 10, Day 23: Governor Canute?

The Iowa State Daily, a college paper, comments on Rick Perry’s denial industry:

It is a sad time we live in when scientific findings are censored and silenced in favor of personal or political biases. This cannot be more apparent than in the recent example of Texan officials doing some unofficial editing of a environmental report.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has a contract with the Houston Advanced Research Center to report on the state of Galveston Bay, but their recent paper was apparently too full of references to climate change, destruction of wetlands or sea level to pass muster.

It’s probably not surprising, really, considering that the TCEQ has several top officials appointed by Rick Perry, who shares similar views on climate change.

This is a rehash of a number of earlier letters on similar themes. It’s too bad that this material continues to be relevant and useful. Sent October 19:

It was during the Bush presidency’s boom years that an unnamed administration official mocked journalist Ron Suskind as a member of the “reality-based community.” The aide went on to say that America was an empire, “and when we act, we create our own reality.” Of course, reality-based reality eventually caught up with the previous president and his team, most notably in the form of Hurricane Katrina and in the utter failure to find the Iraqi WMDs we were assured were there.

But the Republican party’s political experts still believe that troublesome facts can be negated with the right combination of photo opportunities, obfuscation, and stout denial. Maybe so, in the surreal world of electoral politics.

In the reality-based world, however, no amount of bluster can stop the rising sea levels in Galveston Bay, and denying ideologically inconvenient data can never be the foundation of good policy or good government.

Warren Senders

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