Einstein’s Science a Century Ago, Versus Trump’s Unraveling of Science Today

One hundred years ago today, May 29, 1919, Albert Einstein’s General Relativity was proved by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington’s observation of the deflection of star light around the sun, seen in a solar eclipse.  Today, Trump is totally stifling and rewriting science in all federal regulatory requirements.  The American people are quiet about this.  The only 10% Republican dominated Senate is cowardly and unconstitutionally complicit in this.  The Trump Cabinet is obviously sworn to Obsequiousness, and not to the Constitution. 

A month ago, on April 29, I reported on the Columbia Climate Law tracking of 200 cases of Trump throttling science in government.  There were also 112 cases of state and local governments combating science.

Einstein’s General Relativity involved the highly non-intuitive combining of space and time in relativity.  It also invoked the non-Euclidean curvature of space and time, and particles or objects following geodesic paths.  Its’ formulation was heavily mathematical in four dimensional tensor calculus and differential geometry.  It was said that only a few men in the world understood it.  Yet it made world-wide headlines and was accepted by the public, as the great breakthrough that it was.

Global warming is simply caused by increasing CO2 enhancing the atmospheric greenhouse effect.  This effect fortunately increases the earth’s average temperature from 0º F that a bare earth would have, to our average 60º F, in which we prosper.  The increasing atmospheric CO2 has been accurately measured for decades.  It is consistent with that emitted, mostly from fossil fuel burning, and partial absorption by the oceans and land.  Climate computer modeling is being perfected to compute distributed effects, but the basic overall temperature increase is simple and direct.  Thousands of climate scientists around the world, and all Academies of Science, agree on the basics.

Yet the complete capture of Trump and all Republican politicians by oilgarchs (oil elite), or the Koch Brothers (which combined make up the richest man on earth), plus Harold Hamm of Oklahoma, has resulted in the fossil fuel deconstruction of the people’s government.  This, despite the fact that the majority of Americans believe in climate change.  It has led to oil worms (the cabinet and 5,000 political appointees) all being supplied by fossil fuel and other special interests to decimate all regulations, which have to be scientifically based.

It’s really not just Trump, or starting with Trump.  We have had a sequence of Republican oilmen as President and as legislators and government executives.  Warren G. Harding was President during the Teapot Dome Scandal.  The Rockefellers were Standard Oil.  Reagan was the spokesperson for General Electric.  Nixon increased our dependence on foreign oil, leading to our vulnerability during the 1973 oil embargo.  George H. W. Bush was a great friend of Saudi Arabia.  George W. Bush was an oilman, and his VP Dick Cheney ran Halliburton, the oil services company.

We have to keep up our protection of America’s health and the planet’s wellbeing, and get back to our teaching and action guided by science.

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.
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