Monday, May 21, 2007
Cause And Effect
You'll remember last week's Whopper of the Day, wherein Tony Snow vaunted the Bush administration's "unparalleled" commitment to global warming. Here's Robert Sullivan, former associate director in charge of exhibitions at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, describing how that widely recognized commitment somehow managed to tone down the emphasis on human responsibility for global warming in an exhibit on climate-change:
"It just became tooth-pulling to get solid science out without toning it down," said Sullivan, who resigned last fall after 16 years at the museum. He said he left after higher-ups tried to reassign him...
Sullivan said that to his knowledge, no one in the Bush administration pressured the Smithsonian, whose $1.1 billion budget is mostly taxpayer-funded.
Rather, he said, Smithsonian leaders acted on their own. "The obsession with getting the next allocation and appropriation was so intense that anything that might upset the Congress or the White House was being looked at very carefully," he said.
It's funny how counterintuitive the effects of an unparalleled commitment can be.