Month Archives: January 2009

Change Watch Backgrounder: John Holdren

by David Prentice

January 30, 2009


AND Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

AND Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

NOMINEE: John Holdren

BIRTH DATE: March 1, 1944 Sewickley, PA, grew up in San Mateo, CA


Ph.D. in aeronautics/astronautics and theoretical plasma physics 1970, Stanford University

M.S. in aeronautics & astronautics 1966, MIT

B.S. in aeronautics & astronautics 1965, MIT

FAMILY: Wife Dr. Cheryl E. Holdren, a biologist; two children and four grandchildren



June 2005-present Director, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

1996-present Harvard University

  • Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy
  • Director, Science, Technology and Public Policy Program Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  • Professor of Environmental Science and Public Policy

1973-present University of California-Berkeley

  • Professor of Energy and Resources

1972-1973 California Institute of Technology

1970-1973, 1973-present as consultant,  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

1969-1970 Stanford University

1966-1967 Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Sunnyvale, California

Brief Professional CV at Harvard

And Woods Hole Research Center

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

  • 2007- Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • 2006- President
  • 2005- President-elect

1994-2001 Member of Clinton’s President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Member National Academy of Sciences

Member National Academy of Engineering



AAAS worked to increase support for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, too, by issuing a statement decrying the President’s second veto of the initiative, which had twice passed in the House and Senate, with votes from Republicans and Democrats alike. Association staff later teamed up with stem cell pioneer James Thomson to publish an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post and at least nine other newspapers.”

Welcome Letter from John Holdren, AAAS Chair & Alan Leshner, AAAS CEO; AAAS 2007 annual report


Holdren’s views on another controversy, embryonic stem cell research, also are likely to run contrary to those of Bush, who has restricted U.S. funding to minimize the number of embryos destroyed to create new colonies of cells.

Holdren has already said he thinks the research should advance without the funding restrictions, said David Baltimore, the 1975 Nobel Prize winner who is now a biology professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


The President has again vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would expand federal support for embryonic stem cell research. AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, stands with a broad coalition of Americans spanning all parties and faiths that supports this bill.

The scientific consensus is that embryonic stem cell research is an extremely promising approach to developing more effective treatments for devastating conditions like diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson’s disease. The bill would mandate that such research be allowed to compete for federal funding while following strict ethical guidelines.

The Executive Order is not a substitute for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The new approaches addressed by the order are still in the early stages of development and appear to already be eligible for NIH funding. AAAS strongly believes that it is only through federal support of diverse avenues of stem cell research, including especially embryonic stem cell research, that we may better understand the potential value and limitations of each approach.

During his tenure the President has acknowledged that it is a critical time for the American scientific enterprise, therefore it is disappointing that he has chosen to maintain restrictions on such a promising area of research. AAAS will continue to support the interests of scientists and patients in fostering medical progress.”

AAAS statement, 20 June 2007

AAAS supports human experimental cloning

We believe that cloning for research purposes, where stem cells are extracted for further study, holds great promise for contributing to human health and dignity by developing effective treatments or cures for people whose daily lives are challenged by serious diseases and injuries that cause great suffering and premature death. On the other hand, AAAS has endorsed a legal ban on efforts to clone human embryos for reproduction.”

AAAS statement on March 7, 2005:

Other AAAS Policy Statements



The extent of unfounded skepticism about the disruption of global climate by human-produced greenhouse gases is not just regrettable, it is dangerous.”


Global warming is a misnomer. It implies something gradual, something uniform, something quite possibly benign, and what we’re experiencing is none of those,” Holdren said a year ago in a speech at Harvard. “There is already widespread harm … occurring from climate change. This is not just a problem for our children and our grandchildren.”


Advised Al Gore on the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”


Dr. Holdren’s resistance to dissenting views was also on display earlier this year in an article asserting that climate skeptics are “dangerous.”




In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals - chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten - and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990.”


A John Holdren Reader (selected slides, videos, & writings by Holdren)


In 1995 he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, for which he served as chair of the executive committee from 1987 to 1997.

Some consider Holdren to be intolerant of dissenting viewpoints.


Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

January 30, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Marriage in These United States

by Family Research Council

January 30, 2009

While the homosexual lobby suffered some losses last year they are not resting on their laurels and neither should we.

In Texas last week, a homosexual Dallas man filed for divorce from his partner in Dallas County’s 302nd District Court. The couple “married” in 2006 when they lived in Massachusetts. Up in Maine, on the heels of the homosexual lobby group GLAD’s vow to redefine marriage throughout New England, forces are gathering to defeat a legislative measure that would legalize homosexual marriage in the Pine Tree State. In the state of Hawaii, where in 1998 nearly 70 percent of Hawaii voters supported traditional marriage when they passed a constitutional amendment that gave the state legislature the authority to reserve marriage to one man and one woman, is now seeking to redefine marriage by passing “marriage lite,” or civil unions.

Two states that saw marriage victories in 2008 are still fighting back forces that seek to undermine families. In California a federal judge has denied a request to keep names of donors to the state’s marriage protection amendment secret. An updated list of late donors is to be released Monday. This is of great concern for we witnessed both during and after the marriage amendment debate in California donors in support of marriage faced vandalism, losing their jobs and other forms of thuggery. Meanwhile in Arizona, a new initiative drive seeks to give homosexual Arizonans civil partnerships or counterfeit marriage.

Pro-family advocates are not just sitting around waiting for the other side to attack. Just an example of the many pro-marriage initiatives include the state of Wyoming seeking to pass a marriage amendment in their state and the city council of Sioux City, Iowa looking to pass a resolution defining marriage for their city.

For more information on what is going on in your state and what you can do about it please contact your state family policy council listed here.

Perkins’ Perspective: Icing on the Stimulus Cake

by Tony Perkins

January 29, 2009

As the ice melted off my computer yesterday morning in D.C., I was able to find an email from Chicken Little—disguised as Al Gore. He’s the Chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection. Mr. Gore was reaching out to the UFO crowd and others about how the “entrenched interests in Washington will be working hard to weaken” President Obama’s stimulus bill.

The closer one looks at the so-called stimulus bill, the more you see that is a pork-laden political payoff which includes billions of dollars to those “entrenched interests in Washington” which Mr. Gore speaks of, most of whom have been at the public trough for years. They include groups like Planned Parenthood and the controversial and corrupt ACORN. Because this measure—which is now estimated to cost taxpayers $1.1 trillion—is so big, there are billions to be passed out to all kinds of left wing groups. Near the top of this list is the green lobby that Al Gore and his global warming alarmists are a part of.

By the way, in a recent Pew Research Center Poll of what Americans said were their public policy priorities - Al Gore was left out in the cold - global warming ranked dead last.

Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

January 29, 2009

Here’s some of the buzz coming from the blogosphere today.

Kanjorski’s Stimulus Vote: A Big Deal

by Chris Gacek

January 29, 2009

There has been much press coverage of the fact that all House GOP members voted against the Pelosi stimulus bill yesterday.  Well, something like eleven Democrats voted against the measure… but not so much coverage of that.  Of considerable interest is the fact that Paul Kanjorski (Dem-PA) was amongst the dissenters.  Kanjorski  appears on  CNBC regularly and  has a  friendly, bi-partisan persona.  He is also the “senior member,” under Chairman Barnie Frank, on the Financial Services Committee.  In fact, he chairs the sub-committee on “Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises.”  That sounds like a pretty important job in a financial/banking crisis.  Given all that, Kanjorski’s vote against the stimulus bill seems very important.  Hopefully, we’ll get the scoop from CNBC host Larry Kudlow, the most important economic journalist in the Obama era, who has interviewed Kanjorski on numerous occasions.  Perhaps, Democrat support for the spending plan is less solid than we are being led to believe.

Speaker Pelosi’s Pork and Payoff bill updated - That’s not all folks!

by Family Research Council

January 29, 2009

When you have a huge bill like Hr. 1, the so-called stimulus bill, sometimes it takes a while for things to come out. I’ve found some updates on political pork being directed towards theporkypig.jpg author of the bill’s, Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.), son. Also the unions are given a sweet deal and, in what could possibly be called a bailout for the porn industry, the National Science Foundation gets $1.2 billion.

Read the updated list here.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

January 29, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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