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Author Topic: Trump Administration Assaults on Science  (Read 18292 times)

pileus

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #250 on: June 28, 2017, 09:56:43 PM »
Currently watching Dept of Energy Secretary Rick "Dancing with the Stars" Perry present on "American Energy DOMINANCE" at the White House press briefing.  It is a complete assault on science and reason and, for the lack of a better term, utter bullshit.

I assume this will get a lot of commentary within the climate science community (heads are likely exploding as we speak).  I'd encourage you to watch a replay if you can.

While simultaneously declaring the the "science isn't settled" and denigrating scientists, he is inviting a debate and dialogue.  Surely there will be many ready to accept this challenge.

Other themes are a new focus on nuclear power and what appears to be a massive expansion of fossil fuels, especially our good friend coal.  He is also making references to clean energy, which while welcome, appears to be more a deflection and attempt to distract from what is really a fossil fuel centric strategy.

Ironically, this is likely to create energy on climate change and fuel the resistance even more.


Following up on the press event with this summary article -

Rick Perry wants to hold a dangerous, totally BS debate on global warming

http://mashable.com/2017/06/27/rick-perry-climate-comments-red-team-debate/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#Dy0g2N3FRqqK

Perry then cited a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Steven Koonin (whom he called "Kooniz"), a professor at New York University, who recently called for a public climate science debate to challenge the mainstream scientific judgement on human-caused global warming.

Koonin's view, which Perry endorsed, is that a "red team" would challenge consensus findings from scientific reports, and a "blue team" would have the opportunity to respond. This is similar to how the military games out certain scenarios and spacecraft engineers test critical systems or investigate accidents, but it's not how science works.

Perry and Pruitt aren't thinking of some magical new idea that scientists haven't considered before. In fact, peer review — the process by which studies are reviewed by experts before publication — is basically its own "red team," and every major climate assessment has already been through it.

"The people who say the science is settled. It's done. If you don't believe that you're a skeptic, a luddite. I don't buy that," Perry said.

"This is America. Have a conversation. Come out of the shadows of hiding behind, you know, your political statements and let's talk about it. What's wrong with that?" Perry asked.

"I can be convinced, but why not let's talk about it?"
-----
These researchers, including Benjamin Santer of the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, see the idea for what it is: An attempt to put climate deniers on par with mainstream researchers, and elevate views that have been shot down again and again in the scientific literature.

"Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate. They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science," they wrote.

Yes, it's true that claims that "the science is settled" sound suspicious to many people. It's also true that calls for a reasonable debate by reasonable-sounding people like Rick Perry may be tempting.

But with the red/blue team idea, Perry and Pruitt are trying to drive a dagger into the heart of the scientific process, which rests on impartial peer review, and the constant testing of hypotheses. This comes at the same time Pruitt is dismantling science advisory panels at the EPA, and Perry is shuttering climate offices at his agency.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #251 on: June 29, 2017, 03:22:02 AM »
The linked article indicates that Democrats are demanding investigation of potential witness tampering by the EPA against the EPA's top science advisor:

"EPA Accused of Interfering With Top Science Adviser’s Congressional Testimony"

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/epa-accused-interfering-top-science-adviser-s-congressional-testimony-n777916

Extract: "Congressional Democrats have demanded an independent investigation into allegations that a senior Environmental Protection Agency official interfered politically with congressional testimony by one of the agency's top scientific advisers.

In testimony before a House science subcommittee on May 23, the scientist, Deborah Swackhamer, chairwoman of the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors, raised numerous concerns about what she saw as a political agenda at the EPA to "marginalize" and "politicize" scientific data used to shape agency policy since Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the agency's administrator in February."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #252 on: July 01, 2017, 03:26:11 AM »
If science gives Team Trump news that they doesn't like, they call it bad science:

"Scott Pruitt wants to hijack the peer-review process to push bad climate science"

https://thinkprogress.org/scott-pruitt-climate-science-performance-54c018bb09b5

Extract: "EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is undertaking a formal initiative to evaluate climate science, according to reporting from E&E News White House reporter Emily Holden. According to Holden, the program will feature a “red team, blue team” approach meant to provide “back-and-forth critique” of climate science.

But actual climate scientists argue that “back-and-forth critique” already exists in climate science: It’s called the peer-review process.

“The system they describe is precisely what scientific peer-review is,” Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, told ThinkProgress via email. “The reality is that the only thing these folks don’t like is the conclusion that the scientific community (that is, the world’s scientists, literally) has arrived at — that climate change is real, human-caused, and a threat.”"
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Archimid

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #253 on: July 01, 2017, 04:20:13 PM »
I think that if something like a red vs blue for climate change was done fairly, with authentic scientist, mathematicians, engineers and policy experts in both sides, plenty of time for rebutal, and public commentary welcomed,  the debate of climate change would be over. We could get on debating what to do about it and doing something about it.

But given the propensity of Trump and his accomplices to lie and deceive this might be just a farce. They'll load the dice on their favor. They'll get some luke warmers on the blue team and rabid deniers on the red team. The rules will also heavily favor the red team. I wouldn't be surprised if the referees are the Lamar Smith types.  At the end, they will deceivingly conclude that global warming is real and man made, but that no action is required. That way they get what they want. Delaying action to prolong profits.
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ghoti

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #254 on: July 01, 2017, 09:56:02 PM »
I think that if something like a red vs blue for climate change was done fairly


Dream on. We've seen this movie before. Read Rabett Run's take on it.

http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2017/06/team-b-red-teaming-and-steve-koonin.html

6roucho

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #255 on: July 05, 2017, 02:58:20 PM »


This, very sadly, speaks for itself.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #256 on: July 07, 2017, 04:58:50 PM »
Trump's actions are encouraging climate sceptics to replace doubts about science with doubts about the motives of consensus scientists.

Title: "How climate scepticism turned into something more dangerous"

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/07/climate-change-denial-scepticism-cynicism-politics

Extract: "Doubts about the science are being replaced by doubts about the motives of scientists and their political supporters. Once this kind of cynicism takes hold, is there any hope for the truth?

Last month Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. For his supporters, it provided evidence, at last, that the president is a man of his word. He may not have kept many campaign promises, but he kept this one. For his numerous critics it is just another sign of how little Trump cares about evidence of any kind. His decision to junk the Paris accord confirms Trump as the poster politician for the “post-truth” age."
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6roucho

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #257 on: July 08, 2017, 11:00:32 PM »
I know it's easy to post images of idiots behaving badly, but for crying out loud.



What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
 
            The barbarians are due here today.
 
 
Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
 
            Because the barbarians are coming today.
            What laws can the senators make now?
            Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

C.P. Cavafy, Waiting for the Barbarians

Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #258 on: July 14, 2017, 02:18:57 AM »
Hey! Congress voted to let the military study climate change!

House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill
The House voted 185-234 to defeat Peters’ amendment and keep the study in the bill.

Forty-six Republicans voted against Perry’s amendment. Two Republicans, Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), argued against it during floor debate earlier Thursday.

The effects of climate change “are drivers of geopolitical instability and degrade the security of the United States.” Stefanik said.

“We would be remiss in our efforts to protect our national security to not fully account for the risk climate change poses to our bases, our readiness and to the fulfillment of our armed services mission.”
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/341961-house-defeats-amendment-to-strip-climate-study-from-defense-bill
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #259 on: July 14, 2017, 02:23:37 AM »
I know it's easy to post images of idiots behaving badly, but for crying out loud.

<snip>

I read that Marco Rubio (at the left of your photo), dared him to do it. So this was childishness, as much as stupidity.
Such are our congressfolk.  ::)
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #260 on: July 14, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »
The linked NOAA announcement about the AGGI makes no mention of the anthropogenic contribution to the 40% increase since 1990, and it does not note that the AGGI uses a GWP100 of 25 for methane (which is actually over 35).  It looks like Team Trump has put pressure on NOAA management to toe the new Trump Administration spin on science:

"NOAA’s Greenhouse Gas Index up 40 percent since 1990"

http://www.noaa.gov/news/noaa-s-greenhouse-gas-index-up-40-percent-since-1990

Extract: "NOAA’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which tracks the warming influence of long-lived greenhouse gases, has increased by 40 percent from 1990 to 2016 — with most of that attributable to rising carbon dioxide levels, according to NOAA climate scientists."

See also:

"NOAA erases ‘human activity’ from news release on soaring greenhouse gases"

https://thinkprogress.org/noaa-erases-human-activity-from-emissions-release-1ed475d26bcc

Extract: "In a truly shocking news release on its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has erased any reference to “human activity” or fossil fuels. The index monitors the warming influence of greenhouse gases like CO2.

Last year, NOAA’s news release for the index featured the picture of flaring gas from fossil fuel extraction (see top image). The release began by stating, “human activity has increased the direct warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by 50 percent above pre-industrial levels during the past 25 years, according to NOAA’s 10th annual Greenhouse Gas Index.”"
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rboyd

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #261 on: July 14, 2017, 08:23:48 PM »
it does not note that the AGGI uses a GWP100 of 25 for methane (which is actually over 35). 

Its bad enough that the AGGI is going up at 3-4ppm per year this decade, much faster than just CO2, I didn't know that they were also underestimating the methane GWP100 by 40% (with a GWP100 of 35 we would be well past the 500ppm CO2e level [about 520?], maybe that's why they are still using 25?)

I would have thought that the use of a GWP20 would be very instructive, given the short-lived nature of methane in the atmosphere and concerns about triggering feedbacks in the short term.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #262 on: July 14, 2017, 08:57:15 PM »
Its bad enough that the AGGI is going up at 3-4ppm per year this decade, much faster than just CO2, I didn't know that they were also underestimating the methane GWP100 by 40% (with a GWP100 of 35 we would be well past the 500ppm CO2e level [about 520?], maybe that's why they are still using 25?)

I would have thought that the use of a GWP20 would be very instructive, given the short-lived nature of methane in the atmosphere and concerns about triggering feedbacks in the short term.

Here is a repost from the Human Stupidity thread indicating a CO2-equiv. of 521 ppm:

The linked NOAA website entitled: "THE NOAA ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI)" was updated in Spring of 2017 with GHG data through the end of 2016.  I note that if one assumes that the GWP100 for methane is 35 instead of 25 (per AR5), then NOAA's calculated value for the CO2-eq for 2016 would be 521ppm instead of 489ppm; which is a big difference, and one that NOAA should publically acknowledge.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

 Global Radiative Forcing, CO2-equivalent mixing ratio, and the AGGI
                         Global Radiative Forcing (W m-2)           CO2-eq
                                                                                     (ppm)        AGGI
Year     CO2     CH4    N2O   CFC12 CFC11 15-minor  Total Total   1990 = 1   %change

2013   1.882  0.496   0.184   0.167   0.059   0.114  2.901   478      1.340        2.0
2014   1.908  0.499   0.187   0.166   0.058   0.116  2.935   481      1.356        1.6
2015   1.939  0.504   0.190   0.165   0.058   0.118  2.974   485      1.374        1.8
2016   1.985  0.507   0.193   0.164   0.057   0.121  3.027   489      1.399        2.5

CH4   ΔF = β(M½ - Mo½) - [f(M,No) - f(Mo,No)]   β = 0.036
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #263 on: July 15, 2017, 03:23:27 AM »
Dept. of Energy chief Rick Perry biased the study with the hope of finding Renewables: Bad; Fossil Fuels: Good.  Will he alter the results to fit his expectations?

Renewable Energy Not a Threat to Grid, Draft of U.S. Study Finds
In April, Perry launched the grid study with an eye to examining whether policies that favor wind and solar energy are accelerating the retirement of coal and nuclear plants critical to ensuring reliable power supplies. With President Donald Trump pledging to reverse regulations that have harmed coal, the study was viewed by critics as a way the administration would justify curtailing the surging expansion of wind and solar power and provide help to coal plants.

But the draft report concludes: "Grid operators are using technologies, standards and practices to assure that they can continue operating the grid reliably."
...
The career officials at the department found that energy efficiency, battery storage and demand response were helping the reliability of the grid, changing it from the way it had operated in the past, but not endangering the provision of electricity, the May draft showed.
...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-14/renewable-energy-not-a-threat-to-grid-draft-of-u-s-study-finds
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6roucho

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #264 on: July 15, 2017, 11:01:12 AM »
Trump aims to use UN climate fund for coal plants

The Trump administration is angling to use a United Nations climate change adaptation fund to pay for the construction of coal plants instead, Bloomberg News reports.

An official told Bloomberg that the White House is pushing to use the Green Climate Fund, which the U.S. has contributed $1 billion to, for more "clean coal" power plants around the world.

The Green Climate Fund is a U.N. effort designed to send contributions from rich countries to developing nations who are bracing for the worst impact of climate change.

Some of the programs the GCF has funded include hydropower projects in the Solomon Islands and Tajikistan and a renewable energy push in Egypt. A Trump official told Bloomberg the U.S. would push to spend future money on “clean coal” and other power plants that aim to produce fewer carbon emissions than existing power facilities.

One of President Trump’s main complaints about the Paris climate agreement was the $3 billion pledge the Trump administration made to the GCF. Former President Barack Obama was able to contribute $1 billion before he left office earlier this year, and Trump has said the U.S. will stop future payments to the fund.

But the U.S. still has a seat on the GCF’s board by virtue of its previous contributions. The GCF funds projects on a consensus basis, making it more difficult for the U.S. to push a coal project through without buy-in from other nations.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #265 on: July 15, 2017, 01:52:15 PM »
Fighting back!

Trump’s ‘drill, baby, drill’ energy policies are being met by ‘sue, baby, sue’
President Trump promised to grow jobs by rolling back Obama-era energy and pollution rules. And he’s fulfilling his pledge, but not how he intended. In just six months, Trump’s policies have resulted in a surge in employment — for environmental lawyers.

Since Trump took office, environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys general have filed more than four dozen lawsuits challenging his executive orders and decisions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department and other agencies. Environmental organizations are hiring extra lawyers. Federal agencies are requesting bigger legal defense budgets.

The first round of legal skirmishes has mostly gone to the environmentalists. Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit blocked the administration from delaying Obama-era rules aimed at reducing oil industry releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. On June 14, a federal judge ruled against permits issued to complete construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, a partial victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which claims its hunting and fishing grounds are threatened by the oil pipeline.
...
Democratic attorneys general are now ramping up their own fundraising and are filing or joining in suits against Trump’s environmental, immigration and education policies. AGs such as California’s Xavier Becerra, Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro and Washington state’s Bob Ferguson are all raising their profiles with these lawsuits. All are seen as contenders for future seats as governor or U.S. senator.
...
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article161071669.html
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TerryM

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #266 on: July 15, 2017, 10:39:49 PM »
Trump aims to use UN climate fund for coal plants

The Trump administration is angling to use a United Nations climate change adaptation fund to pay for the construction of coal plants instead, Bloomberg News reports.

An official told Bloomberg that the White House is pushing to use the Green Climate Fund, which the U.S. has contributed $1 billion to, for more "clean coal" power plants around the world.

The Green Climate Fund is a U.N. effort designed to send contributions from rich countries to developing nations who are bracing for the worst impact of climate change.

Some of the programs the GCF has funded include hydropower projects in the Solomon Islands and Tajikistan and a renewable energy push in Egypt. A Trump official told Bloomberg the U.S. would push to spend future money on “clean coal” and other power plants that aim to produce fewer carbon emissions than existing power facilities.

One of President Trump’s main complaints about the Paris climate agreement was the $3 billion pledge the Trump administration made to the GCF. Former President Barack Obama was able to contribute $1 billion before he left office earlier this year, and Trump has said the U.S. will stop future payments to the fund.

But the U.S. still has a seat on the GCF’s board by virtue of its previous contributions. The GCF funds projects on a consensus basis, making it more difficult for the U.S. to push a coal project through without buy-in from other nations.
I'm guessing the bolded should read Obama administration?


Needing a consensus WRT spending GCF's funds probably means that no money will be spent until Trump gets a coal project through. They might have been better of without Obama's well meaning, but poisonous billion dollar gift.


Terry

AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #267 on: July 17, 2017, 07:31:37 PM »
The linked article discusses how the Koch Brothers are influencing Trump's attacks on climate action:

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy

https://thinkprogress.org/obscure-think-tank-gains-influence-1644feb0b813

Extract: "Koch-tied officials “got their wish” with Trump’s attacks on climate action, environment."
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #268 on: July 18, 2017, 12:32:02 AM »
The U.S. Congress wants to cancel satellites that would show for certain the earth is warming.

Donald Trump's $10 trillion climate mistake
Climate change skeptics claim that the science is unsettled while simultaneously proposing to end studies that would settle it. This posture would be ironic and slightly amusing if it wasn't so flagrantly dangerous to the future of human civilization on Earth.

The latest iteration of this ludicrous hypocrisy was on full display last week when the House appropriations committee carved another $50 million from NASA's Earth science division, on top of the already severe 2018 cuts requested by the Trump administration. If eventually endorsed by Congress, the reductions will leave Earth scientists unable to fill gaps in data considered crucial to understanding the state of the planet, thus perpetuating the "unsettled science" that deniers profess to abhor....
http://theweek.com/articles/712207/donald-trumps-10-trillion-climate-mistake
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TerryM

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #269 on: July 18, 2017, 06:02:29 PM »
Blame Trump, he's guilty as hell, but save some of the rage for the Republicans. My understanding from the above is that the Republican Congress is proposing cuts over and above what Trump has asked for.


Trump is terrible, Republicans are even worse.


Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #270 on: July 18, 2017, 07:54:14 PM »
This bipartisan group in the U.S. Congress is finding climate change issues they can (mostly) agree on -- and vote in a block to make a difference. 
See Reply #258 above about the defense bill defeat:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1858.msg120748.html#msg120748

Curbelo’s gang of moderate Republicans defeats anti-climate change legislation
Taurel said that funding for green energy, preparing for the effects of climate change and stopping offshore drilling are three policy areas where moderate Republicans could join Democrats, but that more Republicans must speak about ways to reduce carbon emissions.

This is called the Climate Solutions Caucus, so that’s the key kind of yardstick they should be measured by,” Taurel said. “To what extent are they supporting solutions to climate change?”

Curbelo argues he’s doing his part by urging his colleagues to buck conservatives in Congress.

“I assume that now when we get into appropriations season there will be many amendments where I assume our group is going to be critical to blocking bad policy,” Curbelo said last month.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article161467618.html
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Archimid

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #271 on: July 20, 2017, 05:06:48 PM »
I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/im-a-scientist-the-trump-administration-reassigned-me-for-speaking-up-about-climate-change/2017/07/19/389b8dce-6b12-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #272 on: July 21, 2017, 08:44:31 PM »
Quoting the Reply #243 above:
Eric Holthaus:  Whoa. France just launched makeourplanetgreatagain.fr and is offering grants of up to 1.5 million Euro for climate scientists to move there.
https://mobile.twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/873229691385020416

Now this:
Hundreds of climate scientists, including many from the United States, have applied to work in France under a €60-million (US$69-million) scheme set up by the country's president, Emmanuel Macron, after his US counterpart Donald Trump rejected the Paris accord on global warming. And Germany has announced that it will set up a similar programme to lure researchers.

Macron launched his ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ initiative on 8 June, seeking to entice researchers in other countries to France with offers of 4-year grants worth up to €1.5 million. Six weeks on, the programme has been flooded with applicants, says Anne Peyroche, a biologist and the chief research officer of the CNRS, France’s national basic-research agency.
...
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-01713-4
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #273 on: Today at 08:17:22 PM »
Trump Nominates Climate-Denying, Conservative Talk Show Host as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Top Scientist
Clovis, an early advisor to the Trump campaign, has a master's in business administration and a doctoral degree in public administration, and appears to have no published scientific or academic work to his name. The position he is nominated for, which is tasked to provide scientific direction and uphold "scientific integrity" at the USDA, has previously been held by distinguished scientists with deep expertise in certain issue areas.

In a 2014 interview, Clovis called evidence of climate change "junk science," claiming that he has "enough of a science background to know when I'm being boofed."
https://www.ecowatch.com/sam-clovis-usda-2462483880.html
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Archimid

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #274 on: Today at 09:26:40 PM »
Trump considers anyone who shares an opinion with him an expert. What a freaking fool.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.