White House edited statement to Congress on climate change

From the International Herald Tribune, via World News (.com):

The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a U.S. Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate, documents obtained by The Associated Press showed Wednesday.

… a draft of the testimony submitted for White House review shows that six pages of details about specific disease and other health problems that might flourish if the Earth warms were not delivered at the hearing.

Two people familiar with the documents told the AP on Tuesday, after the Senate hearing, that the White House Office of Management and Budget edited the CDC director’s congressional testimony, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks.

Those bloody Management and Budget people. And here I thought the only damage they did was screw around with budget deficit estimates.

The deleted sections of the draft, covering more than half of the original text, included a list of specific impacts on which “climate change is likely to have a significant impact on health.”

The list included the effect of more frequent hot spells on vulnerable populations, the impact of extreme weather, more air pollution in drought areas, and greater likelihood of vector-borne and waterborne diseases as well as mental health problems.

While these impacts would be expected to be less significant in the United States than in the developing world, one deleted section says, “nevertheless many Americans will likely experience difficult challenges.”

“Climate change-driven ecological changes such as variations in rainfall and temperature could significantly alter the range, seasonality and human incident of many zoonotic and vector-borne diseases,” the draft says in another section deleted.

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