The part that I am having trouble wrapping my head around is how this guy can think that it is God's will to do the awful things he has done. For example, he endorsed having pesticide experiments funded by the chemical industry, performed on human subjects. One of these programs that was implemeted, the Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS), was performed on low-income children in Florida.
The study was designed to examine how children may be exposed to "pesticides and other chemicals used in U.S. households, such as phthalates, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated compounds." [ 1
] EPA scientists collected urine samples and the subjects, all children under the age of 13 months, would wear a watch-sized sensor for one week each month. Participating families were to be given $970, a video camera, a CHEERS T-shirt, a calendar, a framed Certificate of Appreciation and a baby bib.
The two-year study began in the summer of 2004, but was halted in November of that year because Stephen Johnson was derailed in his Senate confirmation for the job of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Democrats in congress put a public hold on his nomination because of the CHEERS study, and Johnson canceled the project.
As bad as this all sounds, the CHEERS program merely paid families that already used pesticides to monitor their children in an already pesticide laden environment. There is the general creepiness of testing human subjects, but I have performed more than my share of lobotomies on humans, so I can relate to this one point. The study was also criticized because the subjects that were used were disproportionately black, lower-income families. (I have always found that lobotomies are best performed on Republican senators, as they have less to lose and generally do not notice any difference.)
What was really made the CHEERS study such an egregious 'mistake' was that it was partially funded by the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying group. As the results of this study would have directly affected the rules created by the EPA on these substances, the chemical industry would literally
have a vested interest in the outcome. This would have created something of a conflict of interest, of course.
In the end the EPA canceled residential use of some of the pesticides that CHEERS was to study based on potential harm to infants and children, and Johnson got his Bush-appointed job as head of the EPA. The EPA has cancelled residential use of some of the pesticides that the CHEERS program was to study, citing potential harm to infants and children.
We all know what has happened to EPA over the last eight years, and we largely have Johnson to thank for at east four years of it. My question is how can this fellow claim to have such a close relationship with God, when he has ruined our drinking water, abandoned rules protecting children and workers from lead paint, violated the Endangered Species Act and a host of other crimes against the very things that one would assume that God would hold dear?