Crossposted at Seesdifferent: the blog
In as cynical a move as the Bushies have ever made, they have not only closed the EPA libraries, they have delinked their files, thrown away the discs, and sold their furniture at fire sale prices. I wonder who the big payer was for this reprehensible pillage of years of scentific work. Who are the corporate crooks who want their tracks covered and are willing to pay Bush to do it? LINK
In a letter dated November 30, 2006, four incoming House Democratic committee chairs demanded that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson assure them "that the destruction or disposition of all library holdings immediately ceased upon the Agency's receipt of this letter and that all records of library holdings and dispersed materials are being maintained." On the very next day, December 1st, EPA de-linked thousands of documents from the website for the Office of Prevention, Pollution and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) Library, in EPA's Washington D.C. Headquarters.
Last month without notice to its scientists or the public, EPA abruptly closed the OPPTS Library, the agency's only specialized research repository on health effects and properties of toxic chemicals and pesticides. The web purge follows reports that library staffers were ordered to destroy its holdings by throwing collections into recycling bins.
"EPA's leadership appears to have gone feral, defying all appeals to reason or consultation," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that Congress has yet to review, let alone approve, the library closures. "The new Congress convening in January will finally have a chance to decide whether EPA will continue to pillage its library network."
What a country the GOP proposes to leave to our children.
The NASA library in Greenbelt, Md., was part of John C. Mather's daily routine for years leading up to the astrophysicist's sharing of the 2006 Nobel Prize for shedding new light on the big bang theory of creation. He researched existing space hardware and instrumentation there while designing a satellite that collected data for his prize-winning discovery.
So when he learned that federal officials were planning to close the library, Mather was stunned.
"It is completely absurd," he said. "The library is a national treasure. It is probably the single strongest library for space science and engineering in the universe."
UPDATE (thanks to LNK):
Please call EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at (202) 564-4700 and tell him that scientists and the public should retain access to the information in libraries of The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Urge him to immediately halt the dismantling of the library system until Congress approves the EPA budget and all materials are readily available online.