The "agency"

OK, so the Boston Globe starts an article with

"Bush's own Environmental Protection Agency put out a report that the burning of fossil fuels in the human activities of industry and automobiles are huge contributors to the greenhouse effect. He publicly trashed the report, embarrassing then-EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, saying, 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.'"

And ends the article with the following:

"The World Bank has been in the news for other reasons, being so important to Bush that he had the right-wing defense hawk Paul Wolfowitz installed as president. It will be interesting, once Wolfowitz -- hardly known for his caring about birds, insects, and Iraqi civilians -- is fully in power, how much more Watson and the World Bank will speak out about how we are doing ourselves in. Watson speaks for 1,360 experts from 95 countries. It's only a matter of time before we hear Wolfowitz saying, 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.'".

And then there's the SF Chronicle with this gem:

"Maybe the nutball evangelical born-agains have it right: Maybe it's best to just burn up this whole godforsaken lump of Earth as fast as possible and then watch in giddy flesh-rended glee as Armageddon rains down and only those who've given tens of thousands of dollars to secretly gay televangelists will rise up and be saved and the rest of us will merely drive our Priuses off a collective cliff into the fiery pits of gay-marriage-friendly hell.".

While we're on the subject of enlightenment, let me briefly digress by linking to this editorial in Science that espouses a similar variant on the theme, though in a more subdued style by stating:

"Meanwhile, President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief policies recommend "evidence-based" risk-reduction strategies: abstinence for youth, fidelity for married couples, and condoms recommended only for infected or high-risk individuals, such as sex workers. Failure rates for condoms are commonly quoted, apparently to discourage their use by young people for risk prevention. Mysteriously, the policy doesn't seem able to cite a failure rate for abstinence.".

Mysteriously, ha, I love it! The real kicker, however, comes when Nature quotes the Onion in describing the EPA:

"That leaves the onus on the EPA to investigate the matter. In theory, it has the technical expertise and the legislative authority that it needs to function effectively. But in practice, the EPA's efforts in regulating transgenic crops are mostly devoted to premarketing approvals. According to well-informed critics, the agency has few resources to devote to the Bt10 investigation. This does little to dispel the message of a story carried on 23 March by the satirical website The Onion (http://www.theonion.com), which suggested that the EPA had announced that it would henceforth be known as The Agency. "We're not really 'environmental' anymore, and we certainly aren't 'protecting' anything," read a quote mischievously attributed to an agency official."

Hmmh, might our science policy have gone a bit astray in recent years?