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Sen. Feinstein: Did The Smithsonian Ignore Global Warming?

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  • baypointmike
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 16, 2007 [http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/_images/spacer.gif] Chairman Feinstein Urges Smithsonian to Address
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 16, 2007
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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
      Friday, November 16, 2007
       
      http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/_images/spacer.gif

      Chairman Feinstein Urges Smithsonian to Address Allegations that Political Pressure Influenced Content of Arctic Exhibit

      Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, today called on the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents to provide further explanation regarding allegations that political pressure influenced the content of a recent exhibit on the Arctic.

      According to a report in today's Washington Post, the script for the exhibit, "The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely," was revised at the last minute to address the concerns of Members of Congress who are skeptical about the causes of global warming.

      "Global warming is among the most pressing issues we face today, and it is critical that the Smithsonian, as the United States' preeminent center of science and research, help educate the American people on the consequences of unabated climate change," Chairman Feinstein wrote in a letter to Board of Regents Executive Committee Chairman Roger Sant.

      The following is the text of Chairman Feinstein's letter to Mr. Sant:

      November 16, 2007 

      Mr. Roger Sant
      Chairman
      Executive Committee
      Board of Regents
      The Smithsonian Institution
      1000 Jefferson Drive, SW
      Washington, DC 20560 

      Dear Mr. Sant: 

      I am concerned about allegations that officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History may have taken steps to downplay global warming in a 2006 exhibit on the Arctic to avoid a political backlash. 

      According to a report in today's Washington Post, the script for the exhibit, "The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely," was revised at the last minute to add "scientific uncertainty" about climate change. 

      The newspaper article also provides a series of e-mails, from NASA scientists and others involved in the project, which allege that the focus of discussions prior to the exhibit's opening "shifted from scientific content to political content," and that there were efforts to "appease" Members of Congress who are skeptical about the causes of global warming. 

      Dr. Christian Samper, the Smithsonian's Acting Secretary, has firmly denied these allegations.  And he told the reporters that "there was no political pressure – not from me, not from anyone." 

      But due to the seriousness of these allegations, I believe it is important that the Smithsonian take steps to reassure Congress and the public that the exhibit's representation of the threat of global warming was not toned down because of political pressure. 

      Global warming is among the most pressing issues we face today, and it is critical that the Smithsonian, as the United States' preeminent center of science and research, help educate the American people on the consequences of unabated climate change.

      Sincerely,         

      Dianne Feinstein
      Chairman 

      ###


    • baypointmike
      ... , baypointmike wrote: This is INCREDIBLE! That the premier science institution, with a
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 16, 2007
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        --- In UnboundedEducation@yahoogroups.com, "baypointmike" <baypointmike@...> wrote:

        This is INCREDIBLE! That the premier science institution, with a world wide reputation for integrity and honesty chose to ignore the Global Warming inpact on precisely the place that is, so far, with the possible exception of Bangladesh, most impacted by Global Warming is, what I would call, "not credible" or Incredible!

        The Arctic lost this summer ONE MILLION SQUARE MILES of ice cover more, MORE, than last summer, OK, but some may not visualize one third of the U.S. (a million Sq. Miles). The significance of changing that much area from ice-white to ocean-blue may hint at the change from reflecting solar radiation back into space and abosorbing the heat and warming the Arctic ocean and the globe.
        Others, might be more impressed by the fact that the discovery of the North Pole, which was done with sleds and dogs, is now impossible.  The next thing we might hear is of someone diving into the North Pole.

        The inevitable loss of krill habitat may not mean as much as the loss of whales that depend on this shrimp for their survival.

        How about this: The Northwest Passage, the Franklin Expedition tried to find in 1860 but could not, is now open, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and NASA has pictures to prove it.

        >
        > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
        > Friday, November 16, 2007 
        > [http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/_images/spacer.gif]   Chairman
        > Feinstein Urges Smithsonian to Address Allegations that Political
        > Pressure Influenced Content of Arctic Exhibit
        > Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chairman
        of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, today called on the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents to provide further
        explanation regarding allegations that political pressure influenced the content of a recent exhibit on the Arctic.
        >
         According to a report in today's Washington Post, the script for the
        exhibit, "The Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely," was revised at
        the last minute to address the concerns of Members of Congress who are skeptical about the causes of global warming.
        >
        > "Global warming is among the most pressing issues we face today, and
        > it is critical that the Smithsonian, as the United States'
        > preeminent center of science and research, help educate the American
        > people on the consequences of unabated climate change," Chairman
        > Feinstein wrote in a letter to Board of Regents Executive Committee
        > Chairman Roger Sant.
        >
        --------------------------------->
        > But due to the seriousness of these allegations, I believe it is
        important that the Smithsonian take steps to reassure Congress and the public that the exhibit's representation of the threat of global
        warming was not toned down because of political pressure.
        >
         Global warming is among the most pressing issues we face today, and it is critical that the Smithsonian, as the United States' preeminent
        center of science and research, help educate the American people on the consequences of unabated climate change.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        >
        > Dianne Feinstein
        > Chairman
        >
        > ###
        >

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