Thursday, August 15, 2019

Trump's Ongoing War with Science

This Trump administration's relationship to reality is tenuous at best, when research does not support their narrative they censor scientists and hide reports. Trump resists science just as he opposes all serious efforts to delineate truth from falsehood.

Trump is a monumental liar. According to the Washington Post Trump has lied more than 12,000 times since becoming president (he has recently ratcheted-up his deceit increasing his lies per day average from 12 to 20). Trump's mendacity is a way of life and he has become synonymous with his lies.

The reasons why Trump derides science are obvious, he knows that facts reveal his ignorance and truth exposes his lies.

Trump tired to hide the National Climate Assessment (NCA) which unequivocally refuted his climate denial. The administration has repeatedly attempted to cast doubt on the veracity of the findings in the NCA. The White House is reportedly trying to put together a handful of climate deniers to rebut the NCA. They are even trying to interfere with the next climate assessment that is scheduled to be released within the next few years.

This administration has also employed a range of devious techniques to suppress science in government departments and agencies. The EPA put out guidelines that put absurd limits on the kinds of reports that agency scientists can reference. The U.S. Geological Survey has told their scientists not to consider climate impacts beyond 2040. These directives not only flout tradition they are often a breech of the law. The USGS  decree contravenes the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which states these assessments must look as far as a century into the future.

The Trump administration also targets scientists. Those who will not defer to the administration's  whims can find themselves out of work. The experience of Maria Caffrey is an example of the ways that scientists are bullied by this administration.  Caffrey was pressured to change her findings, when she refused her contract was terminated. As reported by CNN the head of Department of the Interior (David Bernhardt) pressured a Fish and Wildlife field supervisor to ignore threats to endangered species to make way for a golf course in Arizona.

Trump's blatant disdain for science is clearly apparent in his budgets which have sought to cut scientific funding and climate science in particular. Trump is at war is with reality, and his overt contempt for science is evident in his gutting of the ESA. Trump is not only a threat to plants and animals, he is a threat to the health and well-being of Americans.

This administration's willful disregard for fact based policy is not only hastening ecological degradation it is pushing us towards tipping points from which we may not be able to recover.

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