Independent, objective science
It sounds redundant, doesn't it: "Independent, objective science."
But in the theocratic monarchy under which we seem to be ruled at present, science is open to interpretation by a radical, right-wing religious constituency that has its grip on the throat of our nation's democracy.
Times-Picayune environmental reporter Mark Schleifstein wrote an article last week about a meeting of scientists trying to chart a logical course for coastal restoration after Hurricane Katrina put wetland destruction years ahead of previous calculations.
Since Katrina, several scientific panels have said the 10-year start-up restoration plan before Congress does not include large enough diversions of Mississippi River water and sediment. One National Academy of Sciences panel led by Robert Dean, a new science board member and University of Florida coastal engineering professor emeritus, also recommended that state and federal officials develop a map that would explain what areas of the coast will have to be abandoned because of erosion.
Another panel of international scientists convened by America's WETLAND, a nonprofit group created by Louisiana to promote the restoration program, recommended abandoning the present bird-foot delta at the mouth of the Mississippi River in favor of building new wetlands to the east and west with the 120 million tons of sediment a year that goes through Southwest Pass into the deep Gulf of Mexico.
Randy Hanchey, deputy secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources and leader of the state's restoration team:
To assure the public that the best science-based restoration decisions are being made by the corps and the state ... requires both independent and objective review by scientists such as those on the board and assurances that the science is responsive to the needs of the restoration program, some of which will change over time.
Whether independent, objective science can be exercised with an anti-science White House remains to be seen. Just this past weekend, we learned that the White House was modifying a critical Corps of Engineers' report on Category 5 storm protection for Louisiana. It's no secret here that the White House has been staunchly opposed to investing in better storm protection for Louisiana.
Organizational dysfunction at the Corps of Engineers
Rebuild "America's Wetland" -- smarter
Corruption here? Check Pennsylvania Avenue first!
Your Right Hand Thief - "That $200 million saved us a billion dollars today"
Tags: Hurricane Katrina | Katrina | New Orleans | Louisiana | We Are Not OK | America's Wetland | Corps of Engineers | Bush is a moron | Impeach Bush