Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment  (Read 104689 times)

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #500 on: April 14, 2019, 04:01:19 AM »
Pentagon Cancels Contract for JASON Advisory Panel
https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/04/pentagon-jason/

In a startling blow to the system of independent science and technology advice, the Department of Defense decided not to renew its support for the JASON defense science advisory panel, it was disclosed yesterday. 

JASON performs technical studies for many agencies inside and outside of the national security bureaucracy and it is highly regarded for the quality of its work.

The JASON panel has performed studies (many of which are classified) for federal agencies including the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services.

So why is the Pentagon threatening its future?

... So far, those who do know are not talking. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering) “would not answer any questions or discuss the matter in any way whatsoever.”

... The Pentagon move to cancel the JASON contract appears to be part of a larger trend by federal agencies to limit independent scientific and technical advice. As noted by Rep. Cooper at yesterday’s hearing, the Navy also lately terminated its longstanding Naval Research Advisory Committee.

------------------------

Navy Torpedoes Scientific Advisory Group 
https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/04/nrac-terminated/

This week the U.S. Navy abruptly terminated its own scientific advisory group, depriving the service of a source of internal critique and evaluation.

The Naval Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) was established by legislation in 1946 and provided science and technology advice to the Navy for the past 73 years. Now it’s gone.

The decision to disestablish the Committee was announced in a March 29 Federal Register notice, which did not provide any justification for eliminating it. Phone and email messages to the office of the Secretary of the Navy seeking more information were not returned. 

This will leave the Navy without an independent and objective technical advisory body, which is not in the best interests of the Navy or the nation,” said a Navy scientist.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 04:22:23 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #501 on: April 20, 2019, 11:11:59 PM »
USDA Is Forcing Its Researchers to Label Their Peer-Reviewed Studies as Only 'Preliminary'   
https://gizmodo.com/usda-is-forcing-its-researchers-to-label-their-peer-rev-1834176766

The peer review process for scientific publications is a tedious and trusted mechanism by which papers are determined credible sources of information or not. While “peer reviewed” isn’t synonymous with conclusive, it’s long been a stamp of approval for other scientists and the public to weed out low-quality research. But a new requirement from the federal government effectively undermines these studies by forcing researchers to include a disclaimer labeling their studies as “preliminary.

According to the Washington Post, the United States Department of Agriculture sent a memo to researchers at the department in July of last year that outlined a number of new requirements, including a statement that had to be added—in the same-sized font as the author names—that stated:
Quote
... “The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.” 

This text, that essentially brands carefully reviewed research as “preliminary,” was reportedly the “result of a high-level compromise” that allowed USDA researchers “to publish scientific research without having to get it officially reviewed as representing USDA policy. (by Trump appointees/ industry lobbyists)” It was also supposed to just be “an interim policy,” with a new guideline rolling out in the fall, according to internal communications among department employees obtained by the Post.

But a new guideline never happened, the “interim” one was reportedly never announced to the public, and the disclaimer has reportedly already been inserted into a number of existing peer-reviewed journals.

Any scientist reading a journal, seeing that, would be very confused by this statement,” Ed Gregorich, editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality, told the Post.  ...
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #502 on: April 29, 2019, 03:24:46 AM »
New EPA Document Tells Communities to Brace for Climate Change Impacts
https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/science-and-nature/4605264-new-epa-document-tells-communities-brace-climate-change-impacts

The Environmental Protection Agency published a 150-page document this past week with a straightforward message for coping with the fallout from natural disasters across the country: Start planning for the fact that climate change is going to make these catastrophes worse.

The language, included in guidance on how to address the debris left in the wake of floods, hurricanes and wildfires, is at odds with the rhetoric of the EPA's own leader, Andrew Wheeler. Just last month, Wheeler said in an interview with CBS that "most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out."

... The divergence between Wheeler and his own agency offers the latest example of the often contradictory way that federal climate policy has evolved under President Donald Trump. As the White House has sought to minimize or ignore climate science, government experts have continued to sound the alarm.

The document published Wednesday in the Federal Register repeatedly makes the link between climate change and more-severe floods, wildfires and storms.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #503 on: May 01, 2019, 01:21:53 AM »
Trump EPA Insists Monsanto's Roundup Is Safe, Despite Cancer Cases 
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/30/monsanto-roundup-trump-epa-cancer
https://phys.org/news/2019-04-epa-reaffirms-glyphosate-safe-users.html

The Trump administration is keeping the weedkiller Roundup on the US market, insisting it is safe for humans despite thousands of lawsuits launched by people who claim it gave them cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintained in its draft decision that it posed "no risks of concern" for people exposed to it by any means—on farms, in yards and along roadsides, or as residue left on food crops.

The EPA's draft findings reaffirmed that glyphosate "is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans."


Quote
The EPA's findings contradict those of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, which said in 2015 that glyphosate was likely carcinogenic 



Two recent U.S. court verdicts have awarded multimillion-dollar claims to men who blame glyphosate for their lymphoma. Bayer, which acquired Roundup-maker Monsanto last year, advised investors in mid-April that it faced U.S. lawsuits from 13,400 people over alleged exposure to the weed killer.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and major retailers of organic food have petitioned the EPA to set a lower level for the amount of glyphosate allowed in oats and to prohibit spraying the chemical just before harvest.

Oat crops are allowed to have 30 parts per million of glyphosate. The advocates want that reduced back to a previous requirement of 0.1 parts per million or lower. In one review, EWG found glyphosate in most cereals marketed to children.



https://www.ewg.org/release/roundup-breakfast-part-2-new-tests-weed-killer-found-all-kids-cereals-sampled

In the EPA press release, the US agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, said: “If we are going to feed 10bn people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use [of] glyphosate.”

-----------------------------

Biologists Warn of Peril From Biological Invasions as White House Proposes to Halve Funding
https://phys.org/news/2019-04-biologists-peril-biological-invasions-white.html

As the Trump Administration prepares to cut in half the budget for the National Invasive Species Council, a group of invasive species experts led by a University of Rhode Island professor has issued a warning about the growing peril of biological invasions and the increasing threat they pose to the economy, environment, public health and national security.

... Invasive species costs in the United States are estimated at more than $100 billion annually. The scientists note that the rapid movement of plants, animals, disease agents and pathogens into the country has the potential to trigger epidemics that sweep through human populations, crops and fisheries. In addition, climate change is facilitating the arrival of new invaders and the expansion of established ones. 

The establishment of the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) and the volunteer non-federal Invasive Species Advisory Council (ISAC), as well as a regularly-updated National Invasive Species Management Plan, have helped to address the issue proactively.

The Trump Administration has proposed to cut the National Invasive Species Council budget by 50 percent for fiscal year 2020, even as damage from invasive species grows. In addition, the Advisory Council has been placed on "administratively inactive status" due to "financial constraints."

--------------------------

« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 09:14:27 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Klondike Kat

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 842
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #504 on: May 01, 2019, 02:57:56 PM »
I think the most telling quote from your post is from agricultural secretary Steve Perdue, “If we are going to feed 10bn people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use [of] glyphosate.”

mitch

  • New ice
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 16
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #505 on: May 01, 2019, 04:58:57 PM »
Perdue defending glyphosphates is a reflex action, not with any data to back it up.  It would be great if we could get some experts to explore the issue, like National Academy of Science. It won't happen with this administration because they want to control the narrative.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #506 on: May 01, 2019, 11:25:39 PM »
NASA's New Carbon Observatory is Set for Launch Despite Trump's Efforts to Ax It
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-nasa-carbon-observatory-trump-efforts.html

A NASA instrument designed to track carbon in Earth's atmosphere is headed to the International Space Station next week, and the president isn't happy about it.

President Donald Trump slashed funding for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 and four other Earth science missions in his proposed spending plan for the 2018 fiscal year, citing "budget constraints" and "higher priorities within Science." His budget for fiscal year 2019 tried to defund them again.

In both cases, Congress decided to keep the OCO-3 mission going anyway. Now it is set to launch as soon as Tuesday.


OCO-3 was built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., for less than $100 million, using parts left over from its predecessor, OCO-2. Once the carbon observatory gets to the ISS, a robotic arm will mount it on the underside of the space station so it can keep a close eye on the carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

------------------------------------

Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/oco2/index.html


https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/eye-popping-view-of-co2-critical-step-for-carbon-cycle-science

-------------------------------------

After a Decade, NASA Finally Reveals Root Cause of Two Failed Rocket Launches
https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/01/nasa-aluminum-fraud-scheme-probe/
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/05/nasa-finally-concludes-investigation-of-two-failed-launches-a-decade-ago/

An Oregon-based company falsified aluminum certification tests for nearly two decades.

A little more than a decade ago, on February 24, 2009, a Taurus XL rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying a NASA satellite OCO-1 designed to measure carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. However, the payload never properly separated from the rocket, and due to the extra mass, the combined spacecraft and rocket failed to reach orbit.

Two years after this, on March 4, 2011, another Taurus XL rocket launched from Vandenberg, again carrying a science payload for NASA. This Glory satellite would have measured the properties of sulfate and other aerosols in the atmosphere. Again, the payload failed to properly separate from the rocket, and it was a total loss.

Combined, the loss of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory and Glory satellites cost the space agency $700 million (... and 10 years of high resolution CO2 data). In the years since, the space agency's Launch Services Program and the rocket's manufacturer, Orbital Sciences—which has since been acquired by Northrop Grumman—have been conducting investigations into what happened.

Over time, some information has come out. Shortly after the launches, it was clear the payload fairing had failed to separate from the two rockets. And in 2015, the company that supplied aluminum extrusions for the four-stage, solid-rocket Taurus XL booster, Sapa Profiles Inc. (SPI), admitted that it had falsified quality control test results for its products.

But only now has the story emerged in greater detail. This week, NASA posted a summary of its decade-long investigation into the mission failures. Long story short: faulty aluminum extrusions used in the mechanism by which the payload separates from the rocket, known as a frangible joint, prevented the separation from fully occurring. Much of the report drills down into the process by which NASA reached and then substantiated this conclusion.

The investigation found that SPI had falsified records about the materials used in its extrusions for about a decade. Internal, handwritten accounts of SPI's material properties tests revealed that the company made alterations to more than 2,000 test results between about 1996 and 2006, affecting more than 200 customers.

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/oco_glory_public_summary_update_-_for_the_web_-_04302019.pdf
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #507 on: May 02, 2019, 11:29:56 PM »
Aiming at Trump, House OKs Bill to Keep US in Climate Accord 
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-house-paris-climate-agreement.html

The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Thursday that would prevent President Donald Trump from fulfilling his pledge to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement and ensure the U.S. honors its commitments under the global accord.

The bill falls far short of the ambitious Green New Deal pushed by many Democrats, but it is the first significant climate legislation approved by the House in nearly a decade. The measure was approved, 231-190, and now goes to the Republican-run Senate, where it is unlikely to move forward. Trump has said he will veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the House bill a "futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal" and said it "will go nowhere here in the Senate."

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #508 on: May 03, 2019, 03:32:30 AM »
Trump Erases Offshore Drilling Rules Enacted After BP Oil Spill 
https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/05/02/offshore-drilling-rules-1404098

The Trump administration on Thursday dismantled safety rules for offshore drilling put in place by the Obama administration after the disastrous BP oil spill fouled the Gulf of Mexico nearly a decade ago.

The rollbacks are a major victory for the oil and gas industry that has criticized the Obama rules as too onerous and costly to comply with
, but which supporters say have helped prevent a repeat of the accident that killed 11 workers and spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil in 2010.

... The new rule, which takes effect in 60 days from Friday, reduces the frequency of tests to key equipment such as blowout preventers, which sit at the wellhead at the ocean floor and are the last-ditch defense against massive gushers. It also allows drillers to use third-party companies instead of government inspectors to check equipment and gives them more time between inspections, among other things.(...that worked so well for Boeing's 737 MAX)

... Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement acknowledged in the final rule that “a large majority of the approximately 118,000 comments that BSEE received voiced significant concerns about the proposed changes.”

... The new rules reference standards written by the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association, that could only be read on the group's website. To download or print the standards, members of the public must register with the trade association on its website and pay a fee.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Juan C. García

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1520
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 532
  • Likes Given: 513
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #509 on: May 03, 2019, 11:11:24 PM »
"Trump administration pushed to strip mention of climate change from Arctic policy statement"
Quote
The Trump administration sought to remove references to climate change from an international statement on Arctic policy that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to endorse next week, leading to sometimes testy negotiations over how much to emphasize an issue considered a crisis for the region.

The Arctic Council declaration is an affirmation of goals and principles among the eight Arctic nations, which meet every two years. The Trump administration’s position, at least initially, threatened a standoff in which the United States would not sign onto a statement that included climate discussion and other members would not agree to a version that left it out, according to senior diplomats and others familiar with the discussions.

The administration objected to language that, while nonbinding, could be read as a collective commitment to address the effects of climate change in the Arctic, diplomats said. One official familiar with the preparations for this year’s meeting said that at meetings last month, the United States “indicated its resistance to any mention of climate change whatsoever.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-pushed-to-strip-mention-of-climate-change-from-arctic-policy-statement/2019/05/02/1dabcd5e-6c4a-11e9-8f44-e8d8bb1df986_story.html?utm_term=.396878852dc0&wpisrc=nl_green&wpmm=1
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #510 on: May 15, 2019, 12:26:26 AM »
Global 5G Wireless Networks Threaten Weather Forecasts
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01305-4

Next-generation mobile technology could interfere with crucial satellite-based Earth observations. 

---------------------------

5G Likely to Mess With Weather Forecasts, but FCC Auctions Spectrum Anyway 
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/05/5g-networks-will-likely-interfere-with-us-weather-satellites-navy-warns/



A US Navy memo warns that 5G mobile networks are likely to interfere with weather satellites, and senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to avoid issuing new spectrum licenses to wireless carriers until changes are made to prevent harms to weather forecasting.

The FCC has already begun an auction of 24GHz spectrum that would be used in 5G networks. But Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking him to avoid issuing licenses to winning bidders "until the FCC approves the passive band protection limits that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determine are necessary to protect critical satellite‐based measurements of atmospheric water vapor needed to forecast the weather."

Wyden and Cantwell said that the "ongoing sale of wireless airwaves could damage the effectiveness of US weather satellites and harm forecasts and predictions relied on to protect safety, property, and national security." They chided the FCC for beginning the auction "over the objections of NASA, NOAA, and members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). These entities all argued that out-of-band emissions from future commercial broadband transmissions in the 24GHz band would disrupt the ability to collect water-vapor data measured in a neighboring frequency band (23.6 to 24GHZ) that meteorologists rely on to forecast the weather. 

The internal Navy memo on the topic, written on March 27 by US Naval Observatory Superintendent Marc Eckardt, was made public by Wyden and Cantwell today.

https://www.wyden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Navy%2024Hz%205G%20Spectrum%20Impacts.pdf

The memo topic is "Operational impacts from potential loss of NOAA/NASA METOC [meteorology and oceanography] satellite data resulting from the FCC spectrum auction for 5G." The Navy memo summarizes the problem as follows:

Quote
...  Remotely sensed observations (water vapor) may be degraded or lost due to growing interference from the broader adoption of 5G; specifically, in the 24GHz bands.

Naval operations will continue but with a probable degradation of weather and ocean models, resulting in increased risk in Safety of Flight and Safety of Navigation, and degraded Battlespace Awareness for tactical / operational advantage.

The Navy memo cited NOAA and NASA studies on interference from 24GHz spectrum, which is intended for mobile use and is adjacent to spectrum used for weather operations.

Quote
... "[A]s such, it is expected that interference will result in a partial-to-complete loss of remotely sensed water-vapor measurements," the Navy memo said. "It is also expected that impacts will be concentrated in urban areas of the United States first."

...The senators also want Pai to provide a detailed explanation of the process it used "to resolve the dispute between NASA/NOAA and the FCC in favor of the FCC's position."

The senators' last request to Pai is as follows:

Quote
... Explain and provide supporting documentation related to the FCC's public interest analysis, including any cost-benefit analysis, on the FCC's emissions limit. In particular, explain how the FCC addressed the costs to taxpayers from the loss of billions of dollars of investment in weather-sensing satellites, the costs to public safety and national security, and to the nation's commercial activities that rely on this critical weather data.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #511 on: May 21, 2019, 12:21:10 AM »
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Cuts Funding for Kids’ Health Studies – “It Works Out Perfectly for Industry”
https://desdemonadespair.net/2019/05/us-environment-agency-cuts-funding-for-kids-health-studies-it-works-out-perfectly-for-industry.html

(Nature) – The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health has tracked the lives of hundreds of children in New York City since 1998. Scientists have collected samples of blood, urine and even the air in children’s homes, starting when their subjects were in the womb, to tease out the health effects of chemicals and pollutants. The centre’s findings influenced New York City’s decision in 2018 to phase out diesel buses, and its staff members teach schools and community groups about the harmful chemicals and pollution that kids encounter each day.

Now, the future of the Columbia facility and a dozen like it is in doubt. Their last grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has provided half of the centres’ funding for two decades, will expire in July — and the agency has decided that it will not renew its support for the facilities.

The programme’s other government sponsor, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) says that it cannot replace the funding that the EPA has historically provided. Scientists at the children’s centres are increasingly worried that the EPA’s withdrawal will force them to shut down decades-long research projects.



Studies of this length are rare and valuable, because they can reveal associations between environmental exposures early in life and health problems years later. And the mix of threats that kids face changes over time. “Twenty years ago, what we were studying is not the same as what we’re studying today,” says Ruth Etzel, a paediatrician at the EPA who specializes in children’s environmental health. “We have to study children now, in their communities.”

Many environmental-health researchers see the EPA’s decision to cut funding for the children’s centres as part of a push by President Donald Trump’s administration to undermine science at the agency, which is responsible for the safety of US air and water.

“It works out perfectly for industry,” says Tracey Woodruff, who runs the children’s centre at the University of California, San Francisco. When weighing the harms of a chemical against its benefits, she says, “... If EPA doesn’t know, it counts for zero”.

Linda McCauley, an environmental-health researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who leads the children’s centre there, thinks that the EPA’s personnel moves were designed to benefit the chemical industry, by stymieing research that could suggest the need for new or tougher regulations.

... “That’s how this administration is working,” she says. “They can be effective by slowing things down to a crawl.”


https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01491-1

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05706-9

« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 02:41:20 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tony Mcleod

  • New ice
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 16
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #512 on: May 21, 2019, 05:12:52 AM »
Very informative and well produce channel called Just Have A Think. The latest offering is an revealing insight into political shenanigans in the Arctic.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #513 on: May 21, 2019, 10:37:11 AM »
E.P.A. Plans to Get Thousands of Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math 
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/20/climate/epa-air-pollution-deaths.html

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, a shift that would make it easier to roll back a key climate change rule because it would result in far fewer predicted deaths from pollution, according to five people with knowledge of the agency’s plans.

The E.P.A. had originally forecast that eliminating the Obama-era rule, the Clean Power Plan, and replacing it with a new measure would have resulted in an additional 1,400 premature deaths per year. The new analytical model would significantly reduce that number and would most likely be used by the Trump administration to defend further rollbacks of air pollution rules if it is formally adopted.

The proposed shift is the latest example of the Trump administration downgrading the estimates of environmental harm from pollution in regulations. In this case, the proposed methodology would assume there is little or no health benefit to making the air any cleaner than what the law requires. Many experts said that approach was not scientifically sound and that, in the real world, there are no safe levels of the fine particulate pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels 

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #514 on: May 23, 2019, 09:32:33 AM »
Republicans Give Platform to Climate Science Deniers at Hearing On Biodiversity   
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/22/republicans-climate-science-deniers-house-congress

Republicans on a natural resources subcommittee called two prominent science deniers to criticize a landmark report that 1m species are at risk of extinction – largely because of humans, including because of rising temperatures from fossil fuel use and other unsustainable activities.

The conservatives invited Marc Morano, who founded a website to question climate science, and Patrick Moore, the chairman of the CO2 Coalition – which falsely argues that more carbon is good for the planet.

Moore said humans putting carbon dioxide into the environment “are the salvation of life on Earth”. ... Morano was formerly communications director for the GOP senator James Inhofe but now refers to himself as an investigative journalist.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 10:06:22 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #515 on: May 23, 2019, 03:09:28 PM »
In America this earns you the epithet: "  douche bag"

California Agencies Fought Fires on Federal Land. Now Trump Won’t Pay In Full 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/california-agencies-fought-fires-on-federal-land-now-trump-wont-pay-in-full

As California prepares to enter wildfire season, the Trump administration is holding back millions of dollars in requested reimbursement to local fire agencies for battling wildfires on federal lands last year.

After the most destructive and expensive season on record, California issued a $72m reimbursement request for local firefighting efforts on federal lands. Rather than reimburse the local agencies in full, the US forest service audited the agreement that made this exchange possible and is now withholding $9m.

... The forest service’s audit comes after Donald Trump repeatedly blamed California’s forest management for the wildfires that killed dozens last year. “Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests,” he tweeted. “Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”



-----------------------

In other news ....

Days Trump has spent at Mar a Lago: 91

Cost of flights to Mar a Lago (24 so far):* ~$47,288,000

Days Trump has spent at Bedminster: 58

Cost of flights to Bedminster (19 so far):* ~$14,392,000 


https://trumpgolfcount.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trumps-business-plan-left-a-trail-of-unpaid-bills-1465504454

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/85297274
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 03:19:21 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #516 on: May 28, 2019, 03:51:21 PM »
In Climate Fight, Trump Will Put Science On Trial 
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/us/politics/trump-climate-science.amp.html

Advisory Panel Goal - Debase the Research, Sow Doubt on Risks of Warming

... In the most recent example, the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously.

Scientists say that would give a misleading picture because the biggest effects of current emissions will be felt after 2040
. Models show that the planet will most likely warm at about the same rate through about 2050. From that point until the end of the century, however, the rate of warming differs significantly with an increase or decrease in carbon emissions.

“What we have here is a pretty blatant attempt to politicize the science — to push the science in a direction that’s consistent with their politics,” said Philip B. Duffy, the president of the Woods Hole Research Center, who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the government’s most recent National Climate Assessment. “It reminds me of the Soviet Union.”



The push to alter the results of at least some climate science reports, several officials said, came after November’s release of the second volume of the National Climate Assessment.

That is why officials are now discussing how to influence the conclusions of the next National Climate Assessment.

“They’ve started talking about how they can produce the next National Climate Assessment report that doesn’t lead to some silly alarmist predictions about the future,” said Myron Ebell, who heads the energy program at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-funded research organization, and who led the administration’s transition at the E.P.A.

A key change, he said, would be to emphasize historic temperatures rather than models of future atmospheric temperatures, and to eliminate the “worst-case scenarios” of the effect of increased carbon dioxide pollution — sometimes referred to as “business as usual” scenarios because they imply no efforts to curb emissions.

“It is very unfortunate and potentially even quite damaging that the Trump administration behaves this way,” said Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “There is this arrogance and disrespect for scientific advancement — this very demoralizing lack of respect for your own experts and agencies.”

----------------------

The Trump Administration Reportedly Stepping Up War Against Climate Science by Forcing Scientists to Omit Key Details from Major Report
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-administration-stepping-up-its-war-against-climate-science-2019-5
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 06:06:25 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #517 on: May 29, 2019, 11:01:59 PM »
Natural Gas Is Now Called 'Freedom Gas,' According to the Department of Energy
https://earther.gizmodo.com/natural-gas-is-now-called-freedom-gas-according-to-the-1835093636

Jingoistic nationalism and promoting fossil fuels go hand in hand for the Trump administration. But the Department of Energy took that connection to a new level on Tuesday with a press release touting natural gas as “freedom gas” full of—I feel stupid even typing this—“molecules of U.S. freedom.”

Which I guess means we now definitively know the cost of freedom: According to the global market, it’s $2.64 per million BTUs as of Wednesday late morning.


... We get it. The agency loves gas and the Republican construct of American freedom and the big, strong men that work on natural gas fields and fracking rigs. But in case that wasn’t clear enough, the press release adds this quote from Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg:
Quote
... “With the U.S. in another year of record-setting natural gas production, I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.”
Comparing the U.S. concept of freedom to a combustible mix of hydrocarbons like methane is actually pretty spot on these days, but something tells me that’s not what the assistant secretary was going for. ... But beyond the farcical language, nothing could be further from the truth about natural gas being a pathway to freedom.

Natural gas is a source of methane and carbon dioxide, both greenhouse gases that are cooking the planet. Exporting it locks countries into generating energy from a dirty fuel and puts the world on track to climate chaos.

It has as much in common with 'freedom' as this:



------------------------------

There's a Climate Crisis – But Trump's Cabinet Continues to Backtrack On Science
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/29/climate-crisis-science-trump-cabinet

... As Naomi Klein argues, even the right’s fervent conspiracy theorists tend to understand at some level how profound the implications of this crisis are for business as usual, which has distributed its profits among elites of both parties. With Donald Trump at their helm, Republicans will keep denying climate change because it represents a dire threat to their fossil fuel donors’ bottom lines.

Members of Trump’s cabinet,” Klein has written, “with their desperate need to deny the reality of global warming, or belittle its implications”, nonetheless “understand something that is fundamentally true. To avert climate chaos, we need to challenge the free-market fundamentalism that has conquered the world since the 1980s.”

For all their bluster and junk science, Republican decision-makers have a clear sense for their own self-interest – and just how much is at stake for them and the rest of the 1%. ... As the New York Times reported in its article on the White House’s new climate plans, both William Happer and John Bolton – who tapped him for the administration – have received generous support from the Mercers, the rightwing family credited with both spreading climate denial and helping fuel the opioid epidemic.

We can’t know whether Happer genuinely believes the nonsense he’s spouting, or is just being paid well enough to sound like he does. The answer doesn’t really matter. Any clear-eyed assessment of what the science is telling us spells out who the winners and losers of rapid decarbonization would be. To cap warming at around 2C – a threshold many already dealing with climate impacts argue is too high – about three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves will need to be kept underground, a reality that if realized as public policy would crater the stock price of energy companies.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

b_lumenkraft

  • Guest
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #518 on: June 02, 2019, 07:28:23 AM »
Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

Quote
WASHINGTON — President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.

Now, after two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, Mr. Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault.

In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.

Link >> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/us/politics/trump-climate-science.html

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #519 on: June 05, 2019, 04:24:18 PM »
Government Argues for Halt to Youth Climate Lawsuit, Saying 'There is No Constitutional Right to a Stable Climate'
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/06/04/government-argues-halt-youth-climate-lawsuit-saying-there-is-no-constitutional-right-stable-climate/

A group of young Americans who have spent nearly four years trying to compel the federal government to take action on climate change found themselves back in court Tuesday, arguing that their unprecedented lawsuit should move forward.

And the Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, was there to argue once again that the lawsuit should be tossed out before it ever goes to trial, both because the plaintiffs do not meet the legal requirements to bring such a suit and because “there is no fundamental constitutional right to a ‘stable climate system.’ ”

... Julia Olson, the attorney for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children’s Trust, insisted that her clients — a majority of whom are now old enough to vote — had been deprived of their fundamental rights as a result of government policies that fuel global warming. The group’s goal is to compel the government to scale back its support for fossil-fuel extraction and production and to support policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“When our great-grandchildren look back on the 21st century, they will see that government-sanctioned climate destruction was the constitutional issue of this century,” Olson said. “We must be a nation that applies the rule of law to harmful government conduct that threatens the lives of our children, so that they can grow up free and pursue their happiness. That is what the founders intended.”

--------------------------

Trump, Pressed on the Environment in U.K. Visit, Says Climate Change Goes ‘Both Ways’
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/trump-pressed-on-the-environment-in-uk-visit-says-climate-change-goes-both-ways/2019/06/05/77c8750c-8717-11e9-9d73-e2ba6bbf1b9b_story.html

His eldest daughter, Ivanka, could not change his mind.

His former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, could not change his mind.

Scores of international scientists could not change his mind.

And now, President Trump, who has called global warming a “Chinese hoax” and pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, appears similarly unmoved by an appeal from British royalty.

The president left a 90-minute meeting this week with Charles, Prince of Wales, unconvinced that the climate is warming, which it is, according to overwhelming scientific consensus.

But the president has other beliefs.

“I believe that there’s a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways,” he said in a wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan on “Good Morning Britain” that aired Wednesday morning. “Don’t forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn’t working. Then it was called climate change. Now it’s actually called extreme weather, because with extreme weather, you can’t miss.”

... the president blamed China, India and Russia for polluting the environment and said the United States was responsible for “among the cleanest climates.”

« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 04:48:53 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #520 on: June 07, 2019, 06:55:34 PM »
USA Lags Behind EU, Brazil and China in Banning Harmful Pesticides
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-usa-lags-eu-brazil-china.html

Many pesticides that have been banned or are being phased out in the EU, Brazil and China, are still widely used in the USA, according to a study published in the open access journal Environmental Health.



Study author Nathan Donley at the Center for Biological Diversity, USA said: "The USA is generally regarded as being highly regulated and having protective pesticide safeguards in place. This study contradicts that narrative and finds that in fact, in the last couple of decades, nearly all pesticide cancellations in the USA have been done voluntarily by the pesticide industry for sagging sales and economic reasons. Without a change in the US Environmental Protection Agency's current reliance on voluntary mechanisms for cancellations, the USA will likely continue to lag behind its peers in banning harmful pesticides."

Donley identified pesticides that are approved for outdoor agricultural use in the USA and compared them to pesticides approved in the EU, China and Brazil. The researcher found that 72, 17 and 11 pesticides are approved for use in the USA which are banned or in the process of being phased out in the EU, Brazil and China, respectively. In addition, Donley identified 85, 13 and two pesticides as being approved in the USA but banned or in the process of being phased out in at least one of the three, two of the three, or all three other agricultural nations, respectively.

Of the 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides used in US agriculture in 2016, approximately 322 million pounds were pesticides banned in the EU, 40 million pounds were pesticides banned in China and nearly 26 million pounds were pesticides banned in Brazil. More than ten percent of total pesticide use in the USA was from pesticide ingredients either banned, not approved or of unknown status in all three of the other nations.

Nathan Donley, The USA lags behind other agricultural nations in banning harmful pesticides, Environmental Health (2019).
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #521 on: June 09, 2019, 05:04:15 AM »
White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show
https://www.axios.com/white-house-blocks-testimony-climate-change-not-following-administrations-views-e1d26240-955e-4cf0-a087-9c1d61440a8b.html

White House Blocked Intelligence Agency’s Written Testimony Calling Climate Change ‘Possibly Catastrophic
https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEOutStDmvGsQorGneirD1YgqGAgEKg8IACoHCAowjtSUCjC30XQwzqe5AQ?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

Testimony: https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/1103-rod-schoonover-testimony/9ea6b07179b17035421f/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

White House officials barred a State Department intelligence agency from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change is “possibly catastrophic.”

The move came after State officials refused to excise the document’s references to federal scientific findings on climate change.... The reasoning, according to a June 4 email seen by The New York Times, was that the science did not match the Trump administration’s views.


The effort to edit, and ultimately suppress, the prepared testimony by the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research comes as the Trump administration is debating how best to challenge the fact that burning fossil fuels is warming the planet and could pose serious risks unless the world makes deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Senior military and intelligence officials have continued to warn climate change could undermine America’s national security — a position President Trump rejects.



Officials from the White House’s Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, and National Security Council all raised objections to parts of the testimony that Rod Schoonover, who works in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, prepared to present on the bureau’s behalf for a hearing Wednesday.

The document lays out in stark detail the implications of what the administration faces in light of rising carbon emissions that the world has not curbed.

Quote
“Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change,” the document said.
https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/1103-rod-schoonover-testimony/9ea6b07179b17035421f/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s 12-page prepared testimony, obtained by The Washington Post on Friday, includes a detailed description of how rising greenhouse gas emissions are raising global temperatures and acidifying the world’s oceans. It warns that these changes are contributing to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

“Climate-linked events are disruptive to humans and societies when they harm people directly or substantially weaken the social, political, economic, environmental, or infrastructure systems that support people,” the statement reads. Noting that while some populations may benefit from climate change, it said “the balance of documented evidence to date suggests that net negative effects will overwhelm the positive benefits from climate change for most of the world.”

The document sounds the alarms on several fronts, outlining two dozen ways that “climate-linked stresses” could affect human society. It identifies nine tipping points that could transform the Earth’s system, including “rapid melting in West Antarctic or Greenland ice masses” along with “rapid die-offs of many critically important species, such as coral or insects” and a “massive release of carbon” from methane that is now frozen in the earth. It warns that because scientists have not been able to calculate the likelihood of these thresholds being reached, “crossing them is possible over any future timeframe.”

“The Earth’s climate is unequivocally undergoing a long-term warming trend, as established by decades of scientific measurements and multiple, independent lines of evidence,” he said, adding later: “Climate change effects could undermine important international systems on which the U.S. is critically dependent, such as trade routes, food and energy supplies, the global economy and domestic stability abroad.”

The prepared testimony also notes that 18 of the past 20 years have ranked as the warmest on record, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, “and the last five years have been the warmest five.”

The White House proposed eliminating all of these scientific references.
.



... Francesco Femia, chief executive of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, questioned why the White House would not have allowed an intelligence official to offer a written statement that would be entered into the permanent record.

“This is an intentional failure of the White House to perform a core duty: inform the American public of the threats we face. It’s dangerous and unacceptable,” Femia said in an email Friday. “Any attempt to suppress information on the security risks of climate change threatens to leave the American public vulnerable and unsafe.”

... Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy group, said that it was common for the White House to vet agency testimony to Congress to ensure it did not contradict administration policy.

But, he said, “I have never heard of basic facts being deleted from or blocked from testimony.” Mr. Ornstein said withholding the analyst’s written testimony was significant. A verbal presentation could be interpreted as an individual’s position, he said, but “the written testimony is a more formal expression of a department.”

On almost every page of Dr. Schoonover’s testimony, the National Security Council offered comments and criticisms, according to a document that tracks changes.

Two people familiar with the document said the notes were from William Happer, a physicist and White House adviser on the council who denies the established scientific consensus on global warming.

“This is not objective testimony at all,” one comment read. “It includes lots of climate alarm propaganda that is not science at all. I am embarrassed to have this go out on behalf of the executive branch of the Federal Government.”

Another comment objects to the phrase “tipping point” to describe when the planet reaches a threshold of irreversible climate change. “‘Tipping points’ is a propaganda slogan for the scientifically illiterate,” the comment reads. “They were a favorite of Al Gore’s science adviser, James Hansen.”

Dr. Schoonover’s testimony noted that his analysis drew from peer-reviewed scientific journals and work produced by top United States government scientists. That, too, came under attack from the National Security Council, which said that “a consensus of peer reviewed literature has nothing to do with the truth.”

« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 10:02:05 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #522 on: June 13, 2019, 12:53:24 AM »
Trump is not the only one...

Hungary scientists 'alarmed' at planned government takeover
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-hungary-scientists-alarmed-takeover.html

Hungary's top scientific body warned Wednesday that a planned takeover of research institutes by Prime Minister Viktor Orban "threatens" academic freedom and provides an "alarming" blueprint for other EU governments to follow.

Last week Orban's government tabled a bill in parliament that would give it control of a vast network of research institutes currently run by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).

The move is "against European principles of research funding and threatens academic freedom," Laszlo Lovasz, MTA president, told reporters in Budapest.

"An unbalanced role for government priorities and control in science may soon become an alarming example that could be followed by other EU governments wanting to exert influence over researchers," he added.

Lovasz said the reforms have alarmed "the vast majority of Hungarian scientists," arguing that the shake-up is partly because MTA experts have criticised government policies in recent years.

Under the legislation, which could be voted on as soon as next week, a new institution with board members appointed by Orban would allocate funding for research.

This body would also use the MTA's properties and part of its administration.

... Orban's critics say that since coming to power in 2010 he has tightened his power over most key institutions in Hungary, including public media, the judiciary and the education sector.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tom_Mazanec

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1682
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 385
  • Likes Given: 67
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 06:13:06 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #524 on: June 15, 2019, 09:02:00 AM »
White House Physicist Sought Aid of Rightwing Thinktank to Challenge Climate Science 
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/14/white-house-physicist-sought-aid-of-rightwing-thinktank-to-challenge-climate-science

A member of the Trump administration’s National Security Council has sought help from advisers of a conservative thinktank to challenge the reality of a human-induced climate crisis, a trove of his emails show.



William Happer, a physicist appointed by the White House to counter the federal government’s own climate science, reached out to the Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that burning fossil fuels is causing dangerous global heating, in March.

In the messages, part of a group of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Happer and the Heartland adviser Hal Doiron discuss Happer’s scientific arguments in a paper attempting to knock down the concept of climate emergency, as well as ideas to make the work “more useful to a wider readership”. Happer writes he had already discussed the work with another Heartland adviser, Thomas Wysmuller.

The emails from 2018 and 2019, received by the Environmental Defense Fund and provided to the Associated Press, also show Happer’s dismay that Jim Bridenstine, the Nasa administrator, had come round to accepting the science of climate breakdown.

In May 2018, an exchange between Happer and Heartland’s Wysmuller called Bridenstine’s change of heart “a puzzle” and copied in the Nasa administrator to urge him to “systematically sidestep” established science on temperature increases and sea level rise that the duo call “nonsense”.


This was followed by a February 2019 email in which Happer relays a complaint to James Morhard, Nasa’s deputy administrator, about climate crisis information on the space agency’s website. “I’m concerned that many children are being indoctrinated by this bad science,” said the email that Happer forwarded.

Quote
... “These people are endangering all of us by promoting anti-science in service of fossil fuel interests over the American interests,” Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University climate scientist, told the AP. 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 09:18:29 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tom_Mazanec

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1682
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 385
  • Likes Given: 67
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #526 on: June 16, 2019, 10:51:12 AM »
83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump 
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks.html
https://desdemonadespair.net/2019/06/83-environmental-rules-being-rolled-back-under-trump.html



[cf. Trump regulation rollbacks will result in more than 200 million tons of additional greenhouse emissions each year – “The Trump administration has taken historically unprecedented actions to roll back years of environmental progress” –Des]

(The New York Times) – President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.

A New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 80 environmental rules and regulations on the way out under Mr. Trump.

Our list represents two types of policy changes: rules that were officially reversed and rollbacks still in progress. The Trump administration has released an aggressive schedule to try to finalize many of these rollbacks this year.

The Trump administration has often used a “one-two punch” when rolling back environmental rules, said Caitlin McCoy, a fellow in the Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School who tracks regulatory rollbacks. “First a delay rule to buy some time, and then a final substantive rule.”

All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to thousands of extra deaths from poor air quality every year, according to a recent report prepared by New York University Law School's State Energy and Environmental Impact Center. ...

Harvard Regulatory Rollback Tracker 
https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/regulatory-rollback-tracker/

Columbia Climate Deregulation Tracker   
http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/climate-deregulation-tracker/

------------------------

USDA plan to move offices sparks concerns about research   
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-usda-offices.html

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that it will relocate two research agencies' headquarters to the Kansas City area, delighting Kansas and Missouri officials but intensifying critics' fears that research will suffer and be less accessible to federal policymakers. 

Critics said the research agencies have lost veteran employees and been unable to fill vacancies since the USDA announced last year it was considering moving their headquarters. Opponents also argued that moving them will make it harder for federal policymakers to get objective research that might raise questions about President Donald Trump's policies.

"This is a blatant attack on science and will especially hurt farmers, ranchers and eaters at a particularly vulnerable time," said Mike Lavender, a senior manager for the scientist group's Food and Environment Program.

... The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents workers at the two research agencies, also denounced the plan. Employees at both recently unionized.

J. David Cox Sr., the union's national president, said the move will make it harder for the USDA research agencies to coordinate with other science and research agencies.

"We will continue to work with Congress and other parties to fight this wrongheaded proposal, which is little more than a backdoor way to slash the workforce and silence the parts of the agencies' research that the administration views as inconvenient," Cox said in a statement
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 11:28:08 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Tom_Mazanec

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1682
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 385
  • Likes Given: 67
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 06:06:53 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

FlyingLotus

  • NewMembers
  • New ice
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #528 on: June 19, 2019, 07:38:53 PM »
The US is rapidly turning into Saudi America. Now that we're producing record levels of oil and are quickly turning into a oil exporter, it will only become harder to pass something like the Green New Deal. Canada is even more thethered to oil than the US - notice how weak Trudeau has been on climate issues...

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #529 on: June 21, 2019, 05:05:22 PM »
The US is rapidly turning into Saudi America. Now that we're producing record levels of oil and are quickly turning into a oil exporter, it will only become harder to pass something like the Green New Deal. Canada is even more thethered to oil than the US - notice how weak Trudeau has been on climate issues...
Welcome FlyingLotus. Re: The short leash that Oil has on Canada

Canada's Climate Emergency Declaration Is Just Empty Words
https://earther.gizmodo.com/canadas-climate-emergency-declaration-is-just-empty-wor-1835630454

Cognitive dissonance: Canada declares a national climate emergency and approves a pipeline

On Monday, Canada’s Liberal Party voted en masse to declare a climate emergency in the House of Commons. Then on Tuesday, the Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that, when completed, will pump 590,000 barrels of highly-polluting tar sands oil from Alberta to British Columbia.

... Burning that oil will release still more carbon dioxide. In short, it’s as if words have no meaning. While declaring a climate emergency is becoming somewhat vogue, the world continues to act like it’s business as usual ensuring more calamity is ahead.

... Canada’s 'climate emergency' declaration is non-binding. That means it’s a bunch of nice words with no enforcement mechanism compelling the government to act.

... Canada’s pledge to the Paris Agreement and the policies its put in place to meet its goal have been deemed “insufficient” by the Climate Action Tracker. The country isn’t committed to doing its fair share and if all governments followed Canada’s lead, we’d be looking at catastrophic global warming of about 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. Canada’s emissions also rose in 2017, the last year with data available.

Quote
... It’s a bitter irony that the Canadian climate emergency declaration frets (rightly) that First Nations are “particularly vulnerable to its [climate change’s] effects” while the next day it ignored their voices by approving the pipeline.

... Trudeau government now says: We considered all those factors and decided the pipeline is still in the best interests of all concerned. Well, that was predictable. What was not, however, is the statement by the government that the profits generated by the Trans Mountain pipeline will be used to boost renewable energy projects and support clean tech research within the country.

Isn’t that like saying child pornography is OK as long as the money it brings in is put into a college fund for the children involved? Could Canada possibly be any more hypocritical?

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/19/hypocrisy-thy-name-is-canada-trans-mountain-pipeline-profits-to-fund-green-energy-projects/

----------------------------------

Miners Tell Trump Silica Dust Rule ‘Desperately’ Needed to Curb Black Lung Disease
https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/06/07/528674.htm

The head of the national coal miners’ union on Thursday urged the Trump administration to impose regulation on silica dust in mines, which researchers believe is responsible for a resurgence of black lung disease in central Appalachia.

The demand from United Mineworkers of America president Cecil Roberts comes as President Donald Trump tries to pump up U.S. coal production, mainly by rolling back regulations he deems burdensome to the industry.



Trump's response:

U.S. Mine Regulator Says No Rush On Silica Limits, Despite Black Lung Worries
https://www.physiciansweekly.com/u-s-mine-regulator-says/

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. federal agency in charge of mine safety said on Thursday he has no plans to fast-track new limits for coal miner exposure to silica dust because he believes exposure rates are already falling.

Quote
...  setting an “emergency standard” that set limits on the amount of crystalline silica miners can be exposed to would be “uncalled for.”

Government research and reports from black lung disease clinics in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky show the incidence of black lung rebounding despite improved safety measures adopted decades ago that had almost eradicated the progressive respiratory disease.

Researchers, including at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, believe the resurgence is due to an increase in quartz rock blasting to reach deeper mine seams, a practice that produces large amounts of silica dust.


Let the 'little people' die

......

Max : How long are you in for?
Pigkiller : The big one. Life.
Max : For killing a pig mining coal?
Pigkiller : I had to feed the kids. Ah, it doesn't bother me. Down here, life's two, three years.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - 1985




-------------------------------------------------

William Happer: Trump Aide Pushing Climate Denial Inside the White House
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/21/william-happer-trump-white-house-climate-crisis

The physicist, 79, has a seat on the National Security Council – and thinks the science that proves global heating is wrong

... Happer’s position veers far to the right of the typical conservative who questions the severity of the climate crisis.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 06:31:31 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Archimid

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2400
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 303
  • Likes Given: 184
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #530 on: June 23, 2019, 08:14:47 PM »
Quote
William Happer: Trump Aide Pushing Climate Denial Inside the White House
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/21/william-happer-trump-white-house-climate-crisis

The physicist, 79, has a seat on the National Security Council – and thinks the science that proves global heating is wrong

... Happer’s position veers far to the right of the typical conservative who questions the severity of the climate crisis.



Happer is basically an Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov from the series Chernobyl. He thinks he knows so much that when reality challenges belief, reality is wrong.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #531 on: July 25, 2019, 06:03:08 PM »
GOP Senators Wanted to Stop Climate Change Training for Weathercasters. It Backfired
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-gop-senators-climate-weathercasters-backfired.html

In the long and fraught battle to persuade Americans that the Earth's climate is changing, scientists increasingly have relied on a stalwart ally—television weather forecasters.

TV weather people increasingly have been connecting hotter days and nights, extreme weather events, even increases in poison ivy and pollen, to the planet's slow and steady warming. Many of those reports have been informed and powered by a nonprofit educational organization, Climate Central.

While TV meteorologists have been gobbling up reports and camera-ready graphics on climate change, the work of the New Jersey-based group has alarmed those who seek to cast doubt on the science that defines global warming. Last year, four climate skeptics in the U.S. Senate demanded an investigation of the $4 million in federal funding provided for the Climate Central program, saying it "is not science—it is propagandizing."

After a nearly yearlong review, however, the National Science Foundation's inspector general has rejected the claim by the four Republicans—Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and James M. Inhofe and James Lankford, both of Oklahoma. The inspector general's review "did not reveal any evidence that limitations on political activity ... were violated," a memorandum summarizing the investigation said.

... The four GOP senators wrote their letter of protest to the National Science Foundation in June 2018. It charged that the agency had "issued several grants which seek to influence political and social debate rather than conduct scientific research." Addressed to NSF Inspector General Allison Lerner, the letter suggested the agency had strayed from its mission to support science and possibly violated the Hatch Act, the federal law that prohibits federal employees from taking public political positions.

The senators said they found it suspicious that Climate Central targeted TV meteorologists, a group once shown in some surveys to have mixed views on the reality of human-caused climate change. The science foundation's oversight of Climate Central was "egregious," the senators said, because it supported work "designed to 'recruit' experts to a position they did not come to of their own accord as meteorologists."

Steve LaPointe, a weatherman in upstate New York, said it was the Republican senators who were engaging in politics, not Climate Central.

"Climate Central provides high-quality information. It's all scientifically based, extremely well researched and well vetted," said LaPointe of WRGB in Albany. "This is a group of senators that deny science, for whatever reason. I am gratified to know that the National Science Foundation defined this as science and supported it."

The senators did not respond to the findings from inspector general. They also did not answer inquiries from the Los Angeles Times.



-------------------------

I'm a scientist. Under Trump I lost my job for refusing to hide climate crisis facts
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/25/trump-administration-climate-crisis-denying-scientist

The Trump administration’s hostility towards climate science is not new. Interior climate staffer Joel Clement’s reassignment and the blocking of intelligence aide Rod Schoonover’s climate testimony, which forced both federal employees to resign in protest, are just two of the innumerable examples. These attempts to suppress climate science can manifest themselves in many ways. It starts with burying important climate reports and becomes something more insidious like stopping climate scientists from doing their jobs. In February 2019, I lost my job because I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration. ...

-------------------------


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/24/trump-presidential-seal-doctored-russia-golf-turning-point
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/25/trump-appears-altered-presidential-seal-turning-point-usa-event/1824386001/

WASHINGTON – Speaking on Tuesday at a student activist conference hosted by the conservative advocacy organization Turning Point USA, President Donald Trump walked onstage in front of a presidential seal that, upon closer examination, appears to have been altered to include symbols representing Russia and golf.

The seal on Trump's right includes a double-headed eagle, unlike the single head of the traditional presidential seal, and seems to resemble the Russian coat of arms.

The eagle also appears to be holding several golf clubs instead of arrows in its claws, perhaps a reference to Trump's affinity for golf.

Additionally, instead of "e pluribus unum," the scroll above the eagle appears to say "45 es un titere," which appears to translate from Spanish to mean "45 is a puppet."
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 06:13:08 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

gerontocrat

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6749
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1660
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #532 on: July 27, 2019, 12:16:03 AM »
It has to be said that with a few exceptions, the Trump Administrations war on science is succeeding. The thickos in the White House and Congress will never understand that science is a fabric of strands of a billion colours, and all the threads are connected.  The science that underpins a climate model is the science that underpins a tornado warning and any weather forecast, and a major part of the science that built the cell-phone.

Tear one part of the fabric apart and the whole is compromised. The USA's current supreme position of power and wealth is based on new industries that are in turn were only possible through advances in science.

Those who wish to see the USA in decline can only wish Trump continued success. Unfortunately the USA will take many others down with it.
____________________________________________________________________
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/26/war-on-science-trump-administration-muzzles-climate-experts-critics-say
War on science: Trump administration muzzles climate experts, critics say
Whistleblowers and groups tracking agency decisions say administration is ignoring science and censoring expertise

Quote
One former climate scientist for the National Park Service, Maria Caffrey, filed a whistleblower complaint this week and testified to Congress that she was blocked from publishing data about how coastal parks could flood as the seas rise.

“Politics has no place in science,” Caffrey said in an oped for the Guardian. “I am an example of the less discussed methods the administration is using to destroy scientific research. I wasn’t fired and immediately told to leave; instead they sought retribution by discretely using governmental bureaucracy to apply pressure and gradually cut funding.”

Caffrey’s allegations follow a trend. A state department intelligence aide resigned after the White House refused to let him submit written testimony to lawmakers about “possibly catastrophic” harm from the climate crisis.

Interior department climate staffer Joel Clement was reassigned from his position, and he told lawmakers this month that there is a “culture of fear, censorship and suppression”, within the administration.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences director, Linda Birnbaum, who spoke about the need for the public and Congress to work together on stronger regulations on pesticides was accused by Republicans of violating anti-lobbying laws. She announced earlier this month that she plans to retire.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration nixed references to climate change on a page explaining how workers and managers can handle heat-related health risks.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recategorized some of its work from “climate science” to “ecosystems” and removed about 40 pages that focused on climate change. The transportation department took down most of a climate change “clearinghouse” of information.

The administration has argued that it makes sense to change its websites because it has different priorities than the Obama administration. Eric Nost, a co-author of the analysis, said that’s not fair.

“You can have different priorities related to climate and how you address it … but what we’re seeing is a lot of obfuscation of really fundamental resources and information related to the issue itself with little notice that things are changing,” Nost said.

Lauren Kurtz – who is tracking evidence of censorship for a database by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Climate Science Legal Defense Fund – said it extends beyond the climate crisis, to pesticide safety and reproductive health.

Kurtz said the 105 public incidences of censorship the groups found are “part of a larger trend of disputing scientific realities for political reasons”.

Plans to move agencies out of Washington
Many other less obvious Trump changes are expected to minimize the importance of expertise and cripple regulators seeking to protect people and the environment, observers say.

The administration plans to move multiple agency offices out of the Washington region and into the middle of the country. Employees at the Bureau of Land Management who are willing to leave could be sent to Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona – states closer to the drilling the bureau oversees but far from the government hub in Washington.

Employees at two sub-agencies of the agriculture department that provide key data and fund emerging research will be moved to Kansas City, Missouri.

Laura Dodson, union steward for the Economic Research Service, said many of the staffers will not move and there is a small pool of people who are qualified to replace them.

“If we were to hire, say, 20% of all the agriculture economics PhDs on the market each year, it would still take us probably five to 10 years to get up to full staffing,” she said. She added that the agency would be competing against other federal agencies, land grant universities, nonprofits and corporations. And some positions are “extremely specialized”, with only a handful of qualified candidates in the country, she said.

So far, Dodson said her agency plans to cancel research projects on: rental housing in rural America, health insurance of farm households, glyphosate resistance of corn and soybeans, rural small business financial capital and healthier American diets.

The conservation and environment branch of the agency could see its numbers dwindle from 15 full-time PhDs to three, Dodson added.

An agency climate scientist will not be moving to the new office, she said. He recently published findings that taxpayers could be on the hook for significantly more spending on subsidizing crop insurance for farms as the climate crisis intensifies.

An employee with the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), who is choosing to retire early rather than move to Kansas City, said the move will hamstring the agency from identifying critical problems in agriculture and directing money to them.

“This is not what we planned when we joined NIFA,” the source said. “We still believe in our mission, we care for the people we work with but most of us have no stomach for USDA anymore.”

‘Continuous erosion of science’
At the EPA, administrator Andrew Wheeler – a former industry lobbyist – is enacting sweeping changes to which scientists the agency will consult and what research it will consider.

Under Trump, the agency dissolved an expert panel that provided advice on tiny particles of air pollution linked with earlier deaths and especially harmful for children, pregnant women and the elderly.

The EPA fired many of its science advisers, replacing them with researchers from Republican states and industry, rather than universities.

An independent government watchdog recently found the agency’s secret process for overhauling the committees ignored standard procedures.

Wheeler is also moving to prevent the EPA from considering key public health studies that don’t reveal their data, which is difficult for medical researchers for privacy reasons.

And the EPA is refusing to consider certain health benefits of rules to cut pollution when it weighs overall costs of proposals.

Wheeler is also changing how the agency releases public records through the Freedom of Information Act, giving political appointees more oversight of the process. Two environmental groups are suing over the change. Many have turned to the courts to force the EPA to hand over documents and internal records. The Environmental Defense Fund yesterday sued the agency for records on former administrator Scott Pruitt’s plans to debate the legitimacy of climate science.

“It’s the continuous erosion of science,” said Chris Zarba, the former director of EPA’s science advisory board staff. “I think it’s obvious that this, all of these changes, are all pointing in the same direction and that direction is to give special interests greater say. Science is getting in the way of what special interests want.”
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Tom_Mazanec

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1682
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 385
  • Likes Given: 67
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 10:38:43 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #534 on: August 08, 2019, 08:29:57 PM »
The Navy Created the Pentagon's First Climate Task Force—Now It’s Dead
https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-navy-created-the-pentagons-first-climate-task-force-1837062447

In a move that fails to surprise anyone, the U.S. Navy has killed its Task Force Climate Change. This happened back in March but remained mostly a rumor until E&E News reported the news Wednesday.

The U.S. Navy Task Force Climate Change was the first of its kind for the Department of Defense. The Obama administration created the task force in 2009 with the goal of preparing naval forces for a melting Arctic, sea-level rise, and changing storm patterns, among other things.

Climate change poses a major national security threat to U.S. forces; this force was a reaction to that. And now it’s gone.

Even the Navy’s landing page for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change is seemingly dead.

A Navy spokesperson told E&E News that the task force was shut down because its duties are “no longer needed.” Another entity is handling the processes the force was responsible for, according to E&E, but the Navy failed to say who or what is now taking charge of this important work.


Mission Accomplished!
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #535 on: August 09, 2019, 02:57:09 AM »
Trump Administration Authorizes 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Wild Animal
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/08/trump-authorizes-cyanide-bombs-wildlife-services

The Trump administration has reauthorized government officials to use controversial poison devices – dubbed “cyanide bombs” by critics – to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals across the US.

The spring-loaded traps, called M-44s, are filled with sodium cyanide and are most frequently deployed by Wildlife Services, a federal agency in the US Department of Agriculture that kills vast numbers of wild animals each year, primarily for the benefit of private farmers and ranchers.

In 2018, Wildlife Services reported that its agents had dispatched more than 1.5 million native animals, from beavers to black bears, wolves, ducks and owls. Roughly 6,500 of them were killed by M-44s.

According to an analysis provided by the Center for Biological Diversity, which is a leading opponent of M-44s, 99.9% of all comments received by the EPA opposed the reauthorization of sodium cyanide for predator control purposes.

On Tuesday, after completing the first phase of a routine review, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would allow sodium cyanide’s continued use in M-44s across the country on an interim basis.

... In 2017, a teenage boy named Canyon Mansfield was hiking with his dog in the woods behind his family’s home in Pocatello, Idaho when Mansfield’s dog triggered a cyanide trap that sprayed a plume of poison dust into the air. The dog died on the spot and Mansfield was rushed to the hospital, where he ultimately recovered. His parents are suing Wildlife Services over the poisoning.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

DrTskoul

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 210
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #536 on: August 09, 2019, 03:01:57 AM »
Did they took that practice from the nazis ?

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #537 on: August 09, 2019, 03:20:20 AM »
Did they took that practice from the nazis ?
I'm sure they started with animals to.

... Within two minutes of inhaling 70 mg of hydrogen cyanide gas (Zyklon B), death occurs in a human being weighing 68 kilograms (150 lb).
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

petm

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 335
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #538 on: August 09, 2019, 04:19:25 AM »
Trump is such a stupid mean f*ck. Do us all a favor and set one of those off in the Whitehouse.

DrTskoul

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 210
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #539 on: August 09, 2019, 04:53:13 AM »
Did they took that practice from the nazis ?
I'm sure they started with animals to.

... Within two minutes of inhaling 70 mg of hydrogen cyanide gas (Zyklon B), death occurs in a human being weighing 68 kilograms (150 lb).

Yeap, since my father was a goldsmith, I have handled many kg of sodium cyanide...

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #540 on: August 10, 2019, 08:12:17 PM »
Trump Administration Throws Cold Water On Climate Change Threat to Coral Reefs
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-trump-administration-cold-climate-threat.html

... White House aides are casting doubt on the significance of a climate threat to a key battleground state: the degradation of coral reefs in Florida.

Weeks before, a senior intelligence analyst at the State Department had submitted a draft of planned testimony to Congress detailing the national security implications of climate change for White House review.

Among the edits that the analyst, Rod Schoonover, received back from the White House was a novel argument. National Security Council officials issued a challenge to the scientific consensus that warming oceans pose an intensifying mortal threat to coral reef systems, home to a quarter of all marine life and a vital resource in the global food market.

In the past decade, 90-95% of coral on the Florida Reef have died or incurred severe damage, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which estimates the reef sustains roughly 70,000 jobs in South Florida and generates over $4.4 billion in annual sales.

"There is no evidence that coral bleaching is intensifying now or will in the future," reads the comment, attributed to the NSC. Two sources said it was written by William Happer, a prominent skeptic of climate change. "Coral reefs have bleached and usually recovered throughout their evolutionary history."

That position has spooked government experts who have worked in marine biology for decades, and who in recent years sounded alarm bells over the consequences of mass die-offs along U.S. shorelines and beyond.

... Mark Eakin, coordinator of the NOAA Coral Reef Watch, questioned the scientific basis of the NSC commentary.

Quote
... "Clearly this is someone who either is not aware of the scientific literature that overwhelmingly shows that coral bleaching has increased—and most certainly will continue to increase as the climate warms—or they're ignoring that literature," ... "Normally, documents of this sort require vetting by experts within the administration, and those experts usually include people who are knowledgeable in the subject. We don't know what was done in this case."

"There's denialism, and then there's really fringe," said one climate expert who has worked on interagency government review efforts.

"Coral bleaching has not typically fallen within denialist rhetoric," the expert continued. "Most people would not see this as a climate issue, and wouldn't feel the need to deny it—you could believe in warmer oceans without believing in climate change. But this goes well beyond that. This says all marine biology is off."
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #541 on: August 12, 2019, 01:21:42 AM »
EPA Dropped Salmon Protection After Trump Met With Alaska Governor
https://desdemonadespair.net/2019/08/epa-dropped-salmon-protection-after-trump-met-with-alaska-governor-scientists-dumbfounded-at-gold-mine-approval-that-will-cause-complete-loss-of-fish-habitat.html

Scientists dumbfounded at gold mine approval that will cause “complete loss of fish habitat” – “We were told to get out of the way and just make it happen”

The Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists that it was no longer opposing a controversial Alaska mining project that could devastate one of the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries just one day after President Trump met with Alaska’s governor, CNN has learned.

... the decision disregards the standard assessment process under the Clean Water Act, cutting scientists out of the process.

The EPA publicly announced the reversal July 30, but EPA staff sources tell CNN that they were informed of the decision a month earlier, during a hastily arranged video conference after Trump’s meeting with Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor, a supporter of the project, emerged from that meeting saying the president assured him that he’s “doing everything he can to work with us on our mining concerns.

The copper-and-gold mine planned near Bristol Bay, Alaska, known as Pebble Mine, was blocked by the Obama administration’s EPA after scientists found that the mine would cause “complete loss of” the bay’s fish habitat.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

DrTskoul

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 210
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #542 on: August 12, 2019, 01:23:46 AM »
Of course... our pals get helped first....

petm

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 335
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #543 on: August 12, 2019, 04:11:34 AM »
The fisheries lobbyists didn't bribe him stay in his hotels enough.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #544 on: August 12, 2019, 06:23:10 PM »
Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/climate/endangered-species-act-changes.html

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.

The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.


Quote
... Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement the finalized revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

Mr. Bernhardt (... now Interior Secretary) wrote in an op-ed last summer that the 1973 Endangered Species Act places an “unnecessary regulatory burden” on companies.

Ever since President Richard M. Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law, it has been the most essential piece of United States legislation for protecting fish, plants and wildlife, and acted as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction. The peregrine falcon, the humpback whale, the Tennessee purple coneflower and the Florida manatee all likely would have disappeared without it, scientists say.

Quote
... “If we make decisions based on short-term economic costs, we’re going to have a whole lot more extinct species.”

... Among the animals at risk from this change, Mr. Caputo listed a few: Polar bears and seals that are losing crucial sea ice; whooping cranes whose migration patterns are shifting because of climate changes; and beluga whales that will have to dive deeper and longer to find food in a warmer Arctic.



-----------------------------

May they ALL 'burn in hell'
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1716
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 706
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #545 on: August 12, 2019, 07:00:24 PM »
USDA Tried to Cast Doubt on Study About Climate Effects On Nutrients In Rice
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-usda-climate-effects-nutrients-rice.html

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials made a behind-the-scenes effort last year to cast doubt on a study co-authored by two University of Washington researchers about how climate change would affect the nutrients in rice.

The UW scientists were part of an international team that included two federal agricultural scientists. They studied how increased levels of carbon dioxide forecast for the end of the century could diminish the nutritional value of rice, and joined together to co-author a peer-reviewed study accepted by a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In May 2018, weeks before the scheduled publication, findings in the rice study became a source of concern for program leaders of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

"The narrative isn't supported by the data in the paper," wrote Sharon Durham, a department public affairs specialist in a May 7, 2018, email to a Jeff Hodson, communications director for the UW School of Public Health.

... a veteran researcher with a lead role in the study thinks the politics of climate change in the Trump administration's USDA factored into what he views as an attempt to discredit the findings.

"It was a very bizarre set of circumstances. I had been at USDA, altogether for 26 years, and nothing like that had ever occurred to me," Lewis Ziska said.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

DrTskoul

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 210
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #546 on: August 12, 2019, 09:29:17 PM »
TRUMP GUTS PROTECTIONS
FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES


Quote
Three months after leading scientists warned that humans have driven up to 1 million species around the globe to the brink of extinction, the Trump administration has finalized a sweeping overhaul of the Endangered Species Act, weakening one of America’s most important laws for protecting imperiled plants and animals.

The new rules, unveiled on Monday, change how federal agencies implement portions of the conservation law, making it easier to remove recovered species from the protected list and opening the door for more drilling and other development. It also scraps the “blanket section 4(d) rule,” a provision that automatically extends the same protections to plants and animals listed as threatened as the act affords those listed as endangered, and revises how agencies go about designating habitat as critical to species’ long-term survival.

Quote
“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at the nonprofit Earthjustice, said in a statement about the change. “We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it.”



TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5418
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 524
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #547 on: August 13, 2019, 02:48:07 AM »
USDA Tried to Cast Doubt on Study About Climate Effects On Nutrients In Rice



HA - I knew she looked malnourished!
Terry

DrTskoul

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 210
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #548 on: August 13, 2019, 02:51:24 AM »
I am so fucking tired of this asinine group of turds that "govern" us...

nanning

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1030
  • 0Kg CO2, 35 KWh/wk,130L H2O/wk, No heating
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 148
  • Likes Given: 6754
Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« Reply #549 on: August 13, 2019, 06:05:33 AM »
“We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it.”
Didn't this administration recently put one of Trump's evil lackeys in the supreme court? Perhaps they think they have it covered.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome