Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Two stories from the New York Times that are not related in any way

Climate Expert Muzzled by Nasa
The top climate scientist James E. Hansen at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet." He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.

Exxon Mobil, disclosed record profits
It was announced last week that profits at Exxon rose to $36 billion in annual income. It now has the largest revenues of any company in the US. But Exxon did everything it could to play down the news. The company's wealth of $371 billion surpasses the $245 billion gross domestic product of Indonesia, an OPEC member and the world's fourth most populous country, with 242 million people. Republican lawmakers were on the defensive on Monday. Not only are they under heavy pressure from party leaders and from the White House to kill the proposed tax on oil companies, but they also inserted more than $2 billion in additional tax breaks for oil and gas companies in the energy bill that Congress passed last November.

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