Trump’s Successful Anti-Science Wall Around the White House
As predicted, President Trump’s stocking his White House and Department Secretaries with the people who are professionally most hostile to science, and to government regulations has surrounded him with a science free zone.
Past presidents have established a Science Advisor, who heads a 45 person Office of Science and Technology in the White House. Under Trump, there is no Science Advisor, and nobody in the Office of Science and Technology.
Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General who was famous for opposing the EPA’s greenhouse gas limitations, as Administrator of the EPA. He is busily trying to get 3,000 scientists to early retired from the EPA, even without Congress cutting their budget. The previous two heads were famous scientists concerned with energy.
Trump has appointed Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of HUD, who is also a vaccination doubter.
Those who get through the Anti-Science Wall are not climate scientists. For all of her good will, Ivanka Trump is not a scientist who can provide counter arguments to the climate science deniers that abound in the White House. Neither is her husband Jared Kushner.
Like the George W. Bush administration, this one is dominated by oil oligarchs. The White House employees from the Heritage Foundation, who drew up the budget, were paid for by the Koch brothers oilmen.
Trump was getting science and tech business related advice from Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X, and Chairman of Solar City. Having been ignored by Trump in his Paris Agreement forfeiture, Musk was essentially forced to resign by his greenhouse has saving clients. Musk is really an engineer, not a climate scientist.
Trump met in Trump Tower with Will Happer, a climate skeptic who claims that more CO2 is good for plant growth, ignoring what it does to the climate over 100 years. Happer is a distinguished quantum optics physicist, not a climate scientist.
On TV, Pruitt cited Freeman Dyson as an opposing climate scientist. Dyson was a leading quantum field theorists, not a modern climate scientist. Dyson just thought that the field was so complicated that it couldn’t be solved, which is just a feeling, not a science opinion.
Last December, Myron Ebell, Trump’s transition energy advisor, held a meeting of the country’s leading climate science deniers, without including any reputable climate science reporters.
The surprising thing is that our Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, previous CEO of Exxon-Mobil, stood with the Paris Agreement.
There are many other science areas where President Trump and the White House could benefit from science and technology advisors.
In extreme vetting, for example, where Trump has had his four months to devise his methods, technical advisors could have advised him on real risks from other countries, as well as homegrown terrorism, and on technology methods that could have been employed.
Trump could have been taught the importance of climate science satellites to important industries such as farming, and long-range weather and climate prediction.
With respect to North Korea, Trump could get science estimates of the success of missile intercept systems.
In supporting nuclear power, Trump could get a report on how to sell it better to Americans, and making it safer.
In cyber-security, Trump could get real knowledge useful to increasing our security, and what roles the White-House could take in this.
Apparently Trump was fed false legal analysis about non-existent requirements of the Paris Agreement, or just lied about them to justify his actions. A science office could give him a truer status report.
It cannot be a question of finding qualified scientists to serve in the White House, but it is a determined effort to keep pesky facts and science from the President.