Are We Really Informed?

As citizens, it is important to be informed because it is the only true way we can make good decisions.  If the truth is being kept by the government, it will be harder for the world to fix what is happening.

James E. Hansen, a climatologist at NASA, claimed that Bush administration restricted what he wanted to say about anthropogenic climate change. Hansen had spoken at a lecture the previous month saying that the world needed to cut carbon emissions and fast. Hansen spoke about what happened:

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

As it is important for scientific findings to be publicized, it makes sense that the findings should be reported as much as possible. Hansen and his colleagues said that as a result of these restrictions, more interviews were canceled. A public affairs officer George Deutsch refused an interview that Hansen would have done with NPR. While on the phone Deutsch said that his main job was the make the president look good.

Hansen later said that he would ignore the restrictions that were placed on him. Hansen believes that the restrictions on what he can say prevent the public from fully grasping the idea of climate change. If Hansen is right, and the world is in danger, we have to know what is happening. According to Hansen, the world might be a different planet if we do not cut carbon emissions.

On the flip side, there is a big argument about whether this censorship is true or not. Dean Acosta, a deputy assistant administrator for public affairs, says that there was no effort to stop Hansen from speaking. He said that the reviewing everything was standard.

Why would Hansen want to make up this? If the censorship is true, that is a big problem that should be looked into. Who knows what else there might be that the world should know?


6 responses to “Are We Really Informed?”

  1. kmlewis1234567890 says :

    Interesting post Alex. If scientist are really being censored just like Hansen is, then there could be so much that we don’t know about global warming. I don’t think that anyone would make up being censored, it wouldn’t make sense to make that up. Dean Acosta is just trying to cover this up.

  2. Colby says :

    Very informative post. This post scared me a little because I didn’t know that scientists were being censored. I would like to know more about this subject, write me back if you can.

  3. faizanb0017 says :

    While I believe your post is informative, there could be some reasons someone would fake being censored. They could do it to generate publicity or to get hired by a new company. While neither of these reasons sound probable, they are possible. But I think you are right that this is quite a distressing matter. However it can be solved because in the developed world, it only takes the click of the mouse to post something on social media. And once the information is posted, it can spread throughout the world. A good example of this is Wikileaks. Wikileaks is not authorized to publish the information they do, but they do it anyways and spread the word. While censorship is still an issue, it is one which has many solutions.

    Thank you for posting,


  4. alexc0017 says :

    Thanks everyone for reading, and I do think that it is a little nerve wracking to not know if everything is true. I don’t know if I made this clear, but I was also trying to say that it is just as bad if Hansen HAD lied about the censorship. It would show that even though he claims he wants to tell the public the truth, he really doesn’t care. I think that either way, if the censorship really happened or not, it is a problem.

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