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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Washington's Climate Change Debate: 'It's a Battle Over Big Bucks'

A major climate change bill was defeated in the U.S. Senate last week, and the Los Angeles Times was among those to point out that the issue was as much about money as about greenhouse gases. The bill proposed new pollution regulations on industries while expanding carbon "offsetting." Detractors said the bill could lead to $8-a-gallon gas, among other economic hardships.

Meanwhile, a NASA investigation found that, for at least two years, political appointees in the agency's public affairs office worked to spin and distort findings by its own scientists about climate change.

The investigation was prompted by reports in the Washington Post and other news outlets that Bush administration officials were trying to muzzle NASA climate scientists.

And the Washington Post also reported last week on the dismal failure of a $58 million state and federal government effort to bring oysters back to the Chesapeake Bay. Official estimates indicate that there are now fewer oysters in the bay and fewer oystermen trying to harvest them than there were when the program began in 1994.


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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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