Shadowy White House Office Silences Gov’t Scientists; China’s Carbon Capture Plans & Palm Oil Plantations Destroy Indonesia’s RainforestsJanuary 25th, 2011
This week the Environmental Protection Agency announced that – despite a White House directive – the EPA will not be changing its current standards for answering media questions about its research.
On December of last year, 2010, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo directing all agencies, including the EPA, to develop and implement policies clarifying agency scientists’ right to speak and publish their work, talk to the media, and be free of any political alteration of scientific documents.
But in reality, many say far too little has changed since the repressive Bush Administration, and they charge that the White House memo was weakened by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Washington, DC based freelance writer, Joseph A Davis, has covered the OMB and its power plays to control federal agencies for over 30 years. Joe’s reports on the OMB and scientific freedom are available at Climate Science Watch.
When Chinese President Hu Jintao wrapped up his United States visit he returned to China with a historic agreement to focus on clean energy. But part of the plan is ‘carbon capture and storage’ a scheme in which carbon is captured from industrial sources like coal-fired power plants and then stored by injecting it deep into the Earth.
According to Peter Montague, the executive director for the Environmental Research Foundation, carbon capture and storage is an expensive waste of time and money that will extend our use of fossil fuels. Also joining us is Sarah Forbes, a senior associate for climate and energy at World Resource Institute, the organization that is working with China and the US to ensure that CCS, if to happens, is done safely and effectively.
The relatively small island nation of Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases. What puts this Southeast Asian country right in there with the United States and China is the deforestation. One of the biggest threats to the Indonesian rainforest are palm oil plantations. Joining Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham to discuss international funding for these plantations is Marcus Colchester, director of the Forest Peoples Program.
Photo by Gavin Westwood via Flickr, used via a Create Commons license.
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