Bush Flunks Science

by Rolf Skar

August 14, 2007

News Flash!
The Bush administration misrepresented science to promote an ideological agenda favoring special interests that puts our environment at risk!

Yeah, I know this isn’t exactly a surprise, but it just happened again.

Bush’s Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of “revising” (read: ripping apart) the recovery plan for the Northern Spotted Owl – an endangered creature that depends on old-growth forests to survive.  Everyone knows that to help endangered wildlife, you need to protect habitat.  Nothing can survive without a place to live.

The spotted owl needs old-growth forests - not more clearcuts! So, with the owl plummeting towards extinction, the obvious thing to do is boost protections for old-growth forests, right?  With breath-taking disregard for science and common sense, the Bush administration proposed logging more old-growth forests as part of its owl recovery plan.  In fact, they propose buzz-sawing about 25% of the owl’s remaining critical habitat.

And that’s supposed to help?

Now, I’m not sure why they thought they could get away with this.  In fact, when they commissioned an independent science panel to comment on their plan, the scientists said the Bush administration “failed to make use of the best available science and, in fact, appears to have selectively cited from the available science to justify a reduction in habitat protection.

That’s polite, scientist-talk for: “Are you kidding?  You guys cheated to make excuses for more clear-cutting!”

Another review had this back-to-the-drawing-board feedback for the Bush administration: “Our main recommendation to (Fish and Wildlife) is to scrap the draft recovery plan, convene a panel of independent scientists and ecologists to redo the recovery plan and place on hold related forest policy decisions…”

Ouch!  That’s a serious scientific slap-down.

The scientists have had their say; now it’s your chance.  Click here to send your comments on Bush’s old-growth logging, uh, I mean “owl recovery” plan by this Friday, August 24th.

To read the official plan, click here.

And don’t worry – you don’t need to be an owl expert to comment on these plans.  In fact, if you passed 5th grade science, it seems you’re way out ahead of the Bush administration!


Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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