Oh those rebellious environmentalist researchers are at it again, claiming Our Dear Leader’s administration is spinning the truth about global warming.

Hurricanes are getting worse because of global warming.

Kerry Emanuel, a veteran climate researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, made that assertion to a roomful of University of Rhode Island scientists a few months ago. He also charged the federal government’s top science agency with ignoring the growing research making that link.

Why, oh why would anyone think that our benighted glorious Republican controlled government, and especially a federal agency under the direct control of the best President ever, would stoop to such a thing? These are Rove fearing dedicated scientists who work for NOAA, after all. I’m sure they would speak out if anyone was trying to get them to fudge the truth, right?

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In February, New Republic magazine published a story about NOAA’s insistence both in news conferences and on its Web site that global warming has no effect on hurricanes.

Many respected climate scientists, including some working at NOAA, believe that is wrong, according to the article. It quoted Don Kennedy, editor in chief of Science magazine, as saying, “There are a lot of scientists there who know it is nonsense … but they are being discouraged from talking to the press about it.”

Last month, retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., NOAA’s administrator, issued a statement saying that the media reports about muzzling NOAA scientists are incorrect. He urged NOAA scientists to speak freely and openly.

He was almost immediately contradicted by Jerry Mahlman, a former director of one of NOAA’s top laboratories in New Jersey, who said climate scientists at NOAA have, “indeed, recently been systematically prevented from speaking freely to anyone outside NOAA” about “our inexorably warming planet.”

Seriously, please go read the whole article. It’s a good summation of the controversy arising from the clamps Bush has put on our government’s climate scientists at NOAA and elsewhere. They are prohibited from speaking to the press, their reports on global warming are watered down or simply deep sixed, and the only scientists who feel free to speak openly are the ones who have resigned in protest over the efforts of the Bush propaganda machine to silence them and suppress their view that global warming is indeed behind the increase in hurricanes and hurricane intensity these last few years.

And for those of you who think that hurricanes are only a problem for our poor Southern cousins who live along the Gulf of Mexico or in Florida, that ain’t necessarily true:

Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane

DOVER, N.H. – New England could be in for a big one. Meteorologists say conditions — including warmer temperatures in the Atlantic Basin and cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean — are ripe for the Northeast coast to be hit by a whopper of a hurricane this season.

Not too mention an increase in violent thunderstorms and toronadoes in the center of the country may also be related to global warming. Maybe President Bush and his Oil Company buddies aren’t concerned, but one industry is taking the potential impact of global warming from severe weather very seriously: the Insurance Industry:

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) – US insurance regulators on Friday agreed to study how a warming climate might affect the industry and its customers, a decision that reflects increasing concern among insurers about potential future losses due to extreme weather. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said it had voted to form a task force to examine the potential impact of climate change and possible measures regulators and insurers can take to reduce risk.

More US insurers, including Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, are boosting rates or dropping coverage following hurricanes that caused almost $100 billion in insured losses over the past two years.

“US insurers can’t ignore this issue any longer,” said Andrew Logan, who oversees insurance matters at CERES, a Boston-based coalition of investment funds, environmental organisations and advocacy groups that promote social responsibility. “The long-term solvency of the industry and the availability of insurance for consumers are at stake.”

If Warren Buffett is worried, along with the rest of these multinational insurance cartels, about what our greenhouse gas emissions are doing to the planet, shouldn’t our Federal Government be also? And remember we are talking about an official policy by the Bush administration to suppress scientific information from the very same scientists whose job it is to find ways to protect our nation from from the devastation that violent storms can wreak. In short, aren’t the Bush administration officials behind this policy, from the President on down, recklessly endangering the lives of their fellow citizens?

Oh, I forgot, they would never let politics get in the way of defending American lives. They would never ignore the advice of their scientists about the dangers posed by hurricanes, say. Nope, not them.

Most of the relevant facts are not in dispute. Bush was advised by experts before the hurricane touched ground that even a Force-4 storm would breach the levees. He knew, as the New York Times says, “If the levies breached and flooded a large portion of the city, then the flooded city would have to be completely evacuated….Any delay in confirming the breaches would result in a delay in the post-landfall evacuation of the city”. Clearly, the evacuation should have been ordered, unless there was some hidden motive for leaving the city’s people in imminent danger.

We know now that Bush was told on Aug 29, the day the storm hit, that “a major section of the 17th Street Canal levee had collapsed” and was flooding the city, although, at the same time, he was still misleading reporters that the levees had held. (“We dodged a bullet”)

The media has papered-over Bush’s refusal to respond to the disaster by implying the administration was merely “slow to react” or “in a fog” or “not fully involved”. But how likely are these assertions?

Bush and . . . Michael Chertoff, completely grasped the urgency of the catastrophe, and yet, stubbornly refused to disperse funds, deploy troops, or call for an immediate evacuation.

To quote the Great Perfesser, himself, “Heh. Indeedy.”