Time and again in recent years we have seen government agencies overreach, especially when it comes to environmental issues.
The latest example is the effort by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR produced a slick video that showed how oil from the Gulf spill would make its way around Southern Florida and foul the beaches on the East coast of Florida.
Scientifically, oil reaching the East coast of Florida was virtually impossible, yet why did NCAR produce this misleading video?
Did they want to scare Americans?
Did they want to incite a movement against drilling in the Gulf?
Was it an effort to get more funding from Congress?
Whatever the reason, none justified NCAR producing this expensive video.
It did scare people and did get some to be against drilling in the Gulf. It also allowed the media to further hype the disaster, which may not be the environmental disaster some believed it would be.
The New York Daily News, as well as CBS and other media outlets, reported that government scientists had predicted oil would coat the East coast Florida beaches within weeks. The video became popular on You Tube, providing misinformation to mostly young people.
Producing this video required the cooperation of the Oak Ridge Computing Facility; the New Mexico Supercomputing Center; and the NCAR Visualization and Enabling Technologies Section. This was a major and expensive effort by NCAR.
The NCAR video also touted that it is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Too often during the past twenty years we have seen extremists in government agencies using their power and tax payer money to promote their personal views or promote getting more money from Congress.
While the recent NCAR video is an egregious example of government sponsored propaganda, it is a symptom of where we now stand with respect to how our government is performing.