Julie Eilperin reports for the Post that "An investigation by the NASA inspector general found that political appointees in the space agency's public affairs office worked to control and distort public accounts of its researchers' findings about climate change for at least two years, the inspector general's office said yesterday." The IG's office looked into the matter at the request of several senators, "after The Washington Post and other news outlets reported in 2006 that Bush administration officials had monitored and impeded communications between NASA climate scientists and reporters."
The Post writes about this as if it's a bad thing. But had the scientific data been made available to the public without political interference, that might have built political support for timely action to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. And that would have been contrary to the interests of the Bush administration's financial backers in the oil and coal sectors. Under the circumstances, it would have been irresponsible for them to do anything else.
Photo by Flickr user benklocek used under a Creative Commons license
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.