Bart Gordon, chairman of the House Science committee, and Brad Miller, chairman of that committee’s investigations subcommittee, will be digging into a memo restricting comment on polar bears and climate change. The memo told government scientists:
Please be advised that all foreign travel requests (SF 1175 requests) and any future travel requests involving or potentially involving climate change, sea ice, and/or polar bears will also require a memorandum from the Regional Director to the Director indicating who’ll be the official spokesman on the trip and the one responding to questions on these issues, particularly polar bears, including a statement of assurance that these individuals understand the Administration’s position on these issues.
The congressmen have asked Secretary of the Interior Kempthorne to explain the order, writing that the memo “appears to be the latest effort by the Bush Administration to block a full and free discussion of issues relating to climate change by the scientific community.”
Getting serious investigations into these sorts of abuses is one of the many benefits of winning the elections last November.
Integrity of Science points out another benefit, a bill protecting scientists who blow the whistle on exactly this sort of abuse.