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Author Topic: Trump Administration Assaults on Science  (Read 24249 times)

Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #300 on: August 26, 2017, 03:06:55 AM »
"This is what censorship looks like."
https://twitter.com/doctorwhy/status/900897050484670465
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6roucho

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #301 on: September 04, 2017, 01:29:59 PM »
This from Forbes, by no stretch a contrarian publication:

Reject This Incompetent Trump Nominee; He's Not A Scientist

President Trump has nominated a non-scientist to be the chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is an outrageous slap in the face to science. It's also a slap in the face to Congress.

As I predicted back in May, Trump has tapped Sam Clovis, a former right-wing radio talk-show host and failed Senate candidate from Iowa. ProPublica, revealing the expected pick, noted that Clovis was a vocal climate change denier. Clovis has an undergraduate degree in politics and graduate training in business, but he has no formal training in science at all.

Clovis does have one qualification, though. As ProPublica pointed out, he has been a "fiery pro-Trump advocate on television." Sounds like a good candidate for a chief scientist job to me.

Fortunately (perhaps), the Senate has to approve this appointment. The Senate itself stipulated, in a bill that Congress passed in 2008, that the USDA's chief scientist (the under secretary for research, education and economics) must be appointed from among "distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education and economics."
The law also says, just to make it crystal clear, that the under secretary "shall hold the title of chief scientist of the department."

Why is this appointment so wrong? I'll repeat what I wrote back in May:

Overseeing the USDA's research programs requires strong expertise in biological science. A non-scientist has no basis for deciding which research is going well or which questions present the most promising avenues for research. A non-scientist is simply incompetent to choose among them – and I mean this in the literal sense of the word, i.e., not having the knowledge or training to do the job. This does not mean that I think Sam Clovis is incompetent at other things; I don't know him, and he might be very capable in other areas. A non-scientist leader of a scientific agency will be incapable of using scientific expertise to set priorities and instead can make up his own priorities.

If the Senate has any backbone at all – if Republicans are willing to show that they are capable of doing something other than rubber-stamping every action of our self-absorbed, ignorant president, no matter how damaging – then they will turn down this nomination. Sam Clovis is so obviously unqualified that this should be easy to do.

Actually, if Clovis cared about the USDA's mission, he would recognize that he's the wrong man for the job and refuse the nomination. Even Dan Glickman, a former secretary of agriculture, said, "I wouldn't be qualified for that job," referring to himself (he's a lawyer), in a recent interview about Clovis' appointment. The current and previous chief scientists at the USDA have Ph.D.s and extensive scientific publication records. Clovis does not. (Note that when I wrote to Clovis in May to ask about his potential nomination, he declined to respond on the record.)

Steven Salzberg is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2017/08/15/reject-this-incompetent-trump-appointee-hes-not-a-scientist/#6e0eef9217b1

While Clovis was a tenured professor of economics at Morningside College, a private, liberal arts college [which by and large are wonderful institutions] he holds no economics qualifications either. His bachelor's degree's in political science. He has an MBA and a PhD in public policy. So, clearly no fool, but neither an economist nor a scientist.

There's no such thing as gravity. The world sucks.


Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #302 on: September 08, 2017, 11:28:47 PM »
At a moment climate change is hard to ignore, the EPA is being pointed elsewhere
...
Once Jan. 20 rolled around, though, the EPA was upended. President Trump nominated Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to run the agency, a man who had repeatedly sued the EPA in an effort to block its regulations targeting the oil and gas industry in his state. In an interview in March, Pruitt denied the scientific consensus that human activity was driving the warmer climate — a denial that suggested he would curtail the EPA's efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Once confirmed by the Senate, Pruitt got to work reshaping the agency in precisely that way. In April, the organization's page on climate change was removed; in May, a page focused on educating children was as well. Pruitt's the driver of a government-wide effort to question climate science by positioning it against the views of the business community. Even the EPA museum may be overhauled to play down climate change.
...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/politics/wp/2017/09/07/at-a-moment-climate-change-is-hard-to-ignore-the-epa-is-being-pointed-elsewhere/
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6roucho

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #303 on: September 11, 2017, 04:48:01 PM »
At a moment climate change is hard to ignore, the EPA is being pointed elsewhere.
Pruitt even denies CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and said he wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/epa-chief-pruitt-refuses-to-link-co2-and-global-warming/

The idea that we should open a public debate about warming is equivalent to the idea that we should open a public debate about evolution. It leads the public to believe that two sides of an argument about an established fact have equivalent merit, which provides policymakers with political cover for making expedient choices in favour or their real constituency, the corporations who fund their politics.

Pruitt's a killer, every bit as anyone on death row. Conservatives would undoubtedly paint that opinion as hysterical, but how else can we describe it? History will judge him that way, for what it's worth. I doubt he gives a goddamn.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 05:03:09 PM by 6roucho »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #304 on: September 16, 2017, 03:52:24 PM »
Not just the current administration, but "wealthy conservatives, in particular petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch, teamed up with neoliberal academics with the objective... of undermining the functions of government in the United States."

The idea that climate scientists are in it for the cash has deep ideological roots
You’ll have heard that line of argument about cancer scientists, right?

The one where they’re just in it for the government grant money and that they don’t really want to find a cure, because if they did they’d be out of a job?

No, of course you haven’t. That’s because it’s ridiculous and a bit, well, vomit-inducing.

To make such an argument, you would need to be deeply cynical about people’s motives for consistently putting their own pay packets above the welfare of millions of people.

You would have to think that scientists were not motivated to help their fellow human beings, but instead were driven only by self-interest.

Suggesting that climate scientists are pushing a line about global warming because their salaries depend on it is a popular talking point that deniers love to throw around.

But why do so many “sceptics”, particularly those who form part of the organised machinery of climate science denial, feel comfortable in accusing climate scientists of only being in it for the money?

Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean suggests some answers in her new book Democracy in Chains: the Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

The book documents how wealthy conservatives, in particular petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch, teamed up with neoliberal academics with the objective, MacLean says, of undermining the functions of government in the United States. ...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/sep/15/the-idea-that-climate-scientists-are-in-it-for-the-cash-has-deep-ideological-roots
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« Reply #305 on: Today at 04:40:19 PM »
The linked article makes that case members of the Trump administration are quietly unraveling a slew of policies, precedents, and regulations in ways that could make it much more difficult to plan for a low-carbon future after they’re gone.

Title: "The Paris Agreement Dispute Is a Distraction. The Real Battle Is Playing Out in the EPA."

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/20/paris-agreement-climate-change-trump-epa/
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