Columbia Climate Law Finds 200 Cases of Trump Throttling Science in Government

Columbia Climate Law Finds 200 Cases of Trump Throttling Science in Government 

On the website columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/ Columbia Law senior fellow Romany Webb has compiled Trump’s silencing of science in all of his executive departments and agencies.  The site is called Silencing Science Tracker.  This is covered in the May 2019 Scientific American on the last page 88 by Mark Fischetti, with graphics by Pitch Interactive.

There also is a Columbia Law Climate Deregulation Tracker which tracks actions that tear apart regulations to combat climate change.  The link for that is columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/climate-deregulation-tracker/

The Silencing Science Tracker recorded from Election Day Nov. 6, 2016, to Feb. 20, 2019.  They recorded 195 incidents at the federal level.  The cases were led by the EPA with 51, Interior with 35, the White House with 25, Health and Human Services with 17, and the Department of Energy with 16.  Commerce and Agriculture each had 12.  There were still 36 more.  I was writing a report on just three of these cases, until I found this source which has compiled an enormous number of them.

There were also 112 State and Local Actions.  These were led by 11 in Florida, and then 7 in Texas, and Wisconsin, and then Iowa, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.  California only had one.

The totality of the cases were broken into seven categories, and also had climate science cases pointed out.  The largest category was Censorship, composed of erasing web sites, hiding data, and forbidding scientists to speak publicly.  Of the 93 cases here, 69 involved climate in the federal government, and seven involved climate in state and local government.  

The next largest category was Bias and Misrepresentation, which discounted policy studies, and mischaracterized papers.  This had 69 cases, with 53 involving climate.  The majority of these were state and local.

Budget Cuts really was ending funding, and there were 44 cases, with 25 being climate cases.

Personnel Changes was really firing scientists and not replacing them.  There were 40 cases with 22 being climate cases.

There were 35 cases of Interference with Education, with 24 being climate.   All of the 35 were state or local.

Twelve were Research Hindrance, with 6 of them climate cases.  Self Censorship was 14 cases, all involving climate.

Despite Trump’s proposing radical cuts to the EPA budget by nearly a third, Congress has kept up the funding.  The agencies require that policies and rules be made on the best science.  What we now have is corporate rule.  On climate, that means unhindering the fossil fuel industries.  All changes to rules demand scientific justification.  That is why many are being challenged in court.  There also is Trump’s secret and non-reporting White House climate science evaluation committee.

It’s sort of hard to push science, when you are competing with The Avengers and Game of Thrones make-believe series.  Note that it is the scientist who had to become the dumb Hulk in the Avengers.   Even if Arya hadn’t killed the Night King, global warming would have melted his Artic Kingdom along with him and his Ice Zombies.

Despite denying climate change, it will not stop storms and floods, or droughts and fires.  And their tens of billions of dollars in cost each year.

We have suffered through two and a half years of this, but still have a year and 9 months until the next administration, for rule by corporate and conservative think tank lobbyists and their dependent science destroyers.  Cleaning my office today, I came across an old editorial in the Orange County Register where fake Fox News economist Steven Moore argued that the emissions from power plants couldn’t hurt us because CO2 isn’t harmful to us.  He purposely dodged the smog that kills 4,000 Americans a year.  Moore is up for an appointment to the Federal Reserve.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2020 Election, Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Education, Climate Science, Donald Trump, Fox News, Freedom of Speech, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Trump Administration. Bookmark the permalink.

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