Bush administration slashes funding for global warming research
June 03, 2004: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration faces debilitating budget cuts for fiscal year 2005 thanks to the Bush administration's reluctance to combat global warming. A budget document from the NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research reveals that the president's fiscal year 2005 budget will virtually eliminate the agency's research on abrupt climate change and its effects on human health. NOAA's climate change program would be cut from $70 million in fiscal year 2004 to $59 million in fiscal year 2005, including major cuts to paleoclimatology and educational outreach programs.
Scientists and politicians alike have criticized the proposed budget cuts, while lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee have approved a bill by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to fund abrupt climate change research with $25 million. The budget cuts also appear to contradict the Bush administration's global warming priorities as delineated in its 2002 climate change science plan, which repeatedly emphasizes the importance of paleoclimatology study.
In addition, the White House recently attempted to delay an educational NOAA website which was intended to coincide with the launch of the blockbuster global warming disaster movie, "The Day After Tomorrow." The White House cited political unease as the reason behind the attempted delay -- the website, however, was available to the public on time.
"On global warming, the Bush administration fiddles with the funding as the world burns," said David Doniger, policy director of NRDC's climate center.
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