I couldn't agree with Oprah more: the truth matters. And how timely that fast on the heels of Oprah's public lashing of James Frey comes a story of lying, suppressing facts, and the intimidation of science as reported by Andrew Revkin in Sunday's New York Times. James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, is the latest whistleblower to publicly complain of attempts by those in the Bush administration to silence him on the very disturbing conclusions he is reaching about the speed with which global warming is progressing.
"In 30 years of experience in government," says Hansen, "I have never seen control to the degree this is occurring now... If we don't take action to stop global warming in the next ten years, there will be large long-term consequences.... We have to inform the public if they are going to make the right decisions." Apparently NASA and the administration don't agree with that -- even though part of NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to protect our home planet."
Oprah spoke out loud and clear last week about truth, and was widely praised for it. Will Hansen's declarations get the same coverage as the Oprah/Frey story did, including the "full hour treatment" from Larry King and Anderson Cooper? And will someone from the administration be summoned to the couch by Oprah to confess? After all, the lies in Frey's book pale in comparison to the silencing of an esteemed climate scientist whose research seeks to inform us all about the fate of our planet.
The truth does matter.