The QueQue: Bye-Bye Occupy?, Science may win in censorship standoff with TCEQ
Published: December 21, 2011
What led to the crackdown? Last week, police insisted the continual “occupation” had become a health and safety issue. SAPD spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez claimed drug paraphernalia and trash had started to collect around the occupy encampment. QueQue reached Park Police Commander Steve Baum, who said he couldn’t talk unless the department’s communications office cleared it, which they failed to do by the Current’s Tuesday deadline. Reps with SAPD didn’t return calls Monday afternoon or Tuesday or supply requested incident reports on the arrests. “We were trying to cooperate with them. We were trying to abide by their wishes as best we could,” said John Meadows, another occupier. “We’d report whenever we saw vandals in the restrooms, whenever we saw suspicious behavior. We’d be the ones calling police. … Somehow that got twisted around to mean that we were the ones doing it.”
Members of Occupy SA are expected to show up at the San Antonio City Council meeting to voice their displeasure with SAPD this week.*
Science may win in censorship standoff with TCEQ
It looks like two months of sustained outrage from scientists, academics, and newspaper editorial boards may have turned the ship ‘round at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — at least when it comes to publishing hard, peer-reviewed science. John Anderson, a prominent Rice University professor who in October accused the TCEQ of censorship, says the commission has finally agreed to reinstate references to climate change and sea-level rise the agency chopped from its commissioned report on the health of Galveston Bay, findings that were all gleaned from a decade of peer-reviewed research that had already cleared layers of bureaucracy at TCEQ’s publications department. “They have agreed to publish the chapter as it was originally written, but it took several months to get there,” Anderson said during a presentation in Austin on Friday.
Entire portions on sea-level rise were chopped in the initial edits to Anderson’s report (including mention that historic rates of .5 millimeters per year sharply jumped in the 20th century to 3 millimeters per year and rising). TCEQ management also cut out references to human impact on shrinking wetlands — even as the commission accused the EPA of “bad science” for its proposed cross-state air pollution rules. Even the introduction of Anderson’s contribution to the report was censored. Originally, Anderson recounted how expanding and shrinking ice sheets 20,000 years ago formed the estuaries of the Gulf Coast. The unacceptable line? “Hence, the very existence of Galveston Bay is attributed to sea-level rise. It is ironic that its future will be strongly regulated by the now rising sea.”