Global March for Science April 22, 2017 Supports Science for Everyone and Appreciation for our Scientists, for Science and Evidence Based Facts

Tags

, , , , , , ,

**

Coming in just a few hours: reports on in Korea, Europe, North & South America. Science’s live blog:

**

The listing page for March for Science Satellite Marches with more information about where to meet up and the events happening today, April 22, 2017 near where you live –

**
  1. The Philippines joins to promote science & technology for the benefit of the Filipino people:

**

科学者も反トランプで行進! Women’s Marchの次は「March for Science」!: トランプ政権発足から1週間、危機感すごいです。… GIZMODE JAPAN

Translate from Japanese

Photo published for 科学者も反トランプで行進! Women's Marchの次は「March for Science」!

gizmodo.jp

**

今天是地球日 – 这是个一年一度的环境庆祝活动,并且是花时间来评估保护我们星球天然礼物所需努力的时候。今年的地球日主题是“环境与气候素养”,世界各地都将庆祝这一主题。了解详情,请访问(英文):

Translated from Chinese by Wrong translation?

Today is Earth Day-this is an annual celebration of the environment and take the time to assess the efforts needed to protect the natural gifts of our planet. Earth Day theme this year is “environment and climate literacy”, all over the world will be celebrating this theme. For more information, please visit (in English):

Photo published for Earth Day 2017 | Environmental & Climate Literacy | March for Science

earthday.org

**

Proud to be part of a rally here in !

**

Our friends in other cities & countries around the world yet to this We continue to support you from 👏

**

  1. Thank You All Who Came to in Brisbane Today. A Huge Crowd Gathered! Stay Tuned, We’ll Share More Including Today’s Talks!

    **
  2. Global March for Science April 22, 2017 Supports Science for Everyone and Appreciation for…

    **

**

at Te Papa Museum Wellington New Zealand

Anirban Maitra Retweeted Kailey Carruthers

We need a for Hello tomorrow New Zealand!

Anirban Maitra added,

Mather A Khan Retweeted Moata Tamaira

kickstart in New Zealand where it’s already April 22.

Mather A Khan added,

The first official is kicking off now in New Zealand! Go !

Off to March for Science this morning in New Zealand

Sean Geoghegan Retweeted March 4 Science CHCH

The start of the celebrations on Saturday 22 April with our firm friends from New Zealand marching ahead of

Sean Geoghegan added,

Fibulous beast Retweeted March for Science

Is anyone organising a in New Zealand?

Fibulous beast added,

Our PM has no spine, but New Zealand Scientists are marching with you USA !

Von Grumpypants Retweeted March for Science

I will organise a solidarity event here in New Zealand, once we have a date!!

Von Grumpypants added,

**

Sceptical Scribe Retweeted Washington Post

Sceptical Scribe added,

**
**

Egon Willighⓐgen Retweeted Science March NL

indeed, good morning! Happy day!

Egon Willighⓐgen added,

**

Rami Mandow Retweeted Sailor Brendan

Wonderful! If I was not injured I’d be there!

Rami Mandow added,

**

Christian Hof Retweeted ScienceMarch Ffm

Auf dem Weg aus Wien zurück nach zum . Für faktenbasiertes Handeln & die Freiheit der

Christian Hof added,

Translated from German by Wrong translation?

On the way from Vienna back to to the . For fact-based action & the freedom of

**

tirinha: no encontro de duas ruas um grupo grande anda com uma faixa escrito marcha pela ciência e na outra rua um grupo menor está com uma faixa escrita marcha por fatos alternativos

**

Retweeted

Once factual data is quoted

Some will summarily note it

Trumpsters refuse

Call it Fake News

Then denigrate those who report it

**

The ‘war on science’ doesn’t just hurt scientists. It hurts everyone.

Washington Post

April 21 at 3:54 PM

Hundreds of thousands of people will march for science this weekend in cities around the world in what is arguably the largest scientific event in history. This March for Science is a direct response to recent attacks on our scientific institutions — on climate and environmental science in particular (including many of the scientists who do this work) and even on the value of evidence-based decision-making by our elected officials.

[ . . . ]

These discussions are necessary because the “war on science” is, for the most part, really a war on public science — that is, science for everyone. Today, the majority of scientific research in the United States is publicly funded, administered through the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other agencies. Much of this research takes place in state and federal institutions, including universities and national laboratories. This taxpayer-funded science has a mandate to support the national interest. It is science of, by and for the people.

(etc.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-war-on-science-doesnt-just-hurt-scientists-it-hurts-everyone/2017/04/21/dd243fe0-26ba-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html?utm_term=.9e56fc37673c

**

 

 

**

 🔬Samantha Yammine Retweeted ScienceMarchToronto

Proud to make more accessible via livestreams: 🕐 11am-1pm EST

 🔬Samantha Yammine added,

**

**

I like big brains and I cannot lie.

Photo published for The 31 best signs people will be carrying at the March for Science

**

today, a wave of enlightenment shines over Earth, showing us what our bright future can be like!

**
&*&

War on Science in America Defunding Programs and Altering Intellectual Freedoms of Science

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LEAD’S HIDDEN TOLL

Hundreds more lead hotspots are identified as Trump prepares to gut programs

Trump’s budget would cut at least $4.7 billion from programs at HUD and the EPA that support healthy housing and lead pollution cleanup efforts, a Reuters analysis found

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lead-states/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social

agencies

(from the Reuters article link above – near the bottom of the article – well worth reading)

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lead-states/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social

**

A.A.A.S. Declares for Intellectual Freedom – 1934

(from Science News reprint 04-21-2017)

A.A.A.S. Declares For Intellectual Freedom – 1934

A firm, outspoken protest upon such inroads upon intellectual independence as are being made in Germany and other parts of the world today was one of the most important results of the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Boston.

The resolution adopted by this principal organization of the nation’s scientists will also be read with significance in some parts of our country where with less openness and without a flying of banners of oppression damaging curtailments of intellectual freedom have been made.

Headed “A Declaration On Intellectual Freedom,” the pronouncement reads:

“The American Association for the Advancement of Science feels grave concern over persistent and threatening inroads upon intellectual freedom which have been made in recent times in many parts of the world.

“Our existing liberties have been won through ages of struggle and at enormous costs. If these are lost or seriously impaired there can be no hope of continued progress in science, of justice in government, of international or domestic peace, or even of lasting material well-being.

“We regard the suppression of independent thought and of its free expression as a major crime against civilization itself. Yet oppression of this sort has been inflicted upon investigators, scholars, teachers and professional men in many ways, whether by governmental action, administrative coercion, or extra-legal violence. We feel it our duty to denounce all such actions as intolerable forms of tyranny.

“There can be no compromise on this issue for even the commonwealth of learning cannot endure ‘half slave and half free.’

“By our life and training as scientists and by our heritage as Americans we must stand for freedom.”

Science News Letter, January 13, 1934

 

Reprinted online at Science News 04-21-2017

https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/all/libraries/pdf.js/web/viewer.html?file=https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/main/articles/pdf/00964018.ap070171.07a00090.pdf#page=1&zoom=130,0,568

**

**

(Below this article from 1938 is the manifesto that was signed by these scientists and which very well applies today against the current war on science happening from the Trump and GOP administration in power both in the Federal government and in the majority of state governorships and many state legislatures.)

Group of Scientists Issue Anti-Fascist Manifesto – 1938

Three Nobel Prize Winners, 64 Academicians, and 85 College Presidents Among the 1,284 Signers

Counting among its 1,284 signers, three Nobel prize winners, 64 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 85 college presidents, a ringing denunciation of Nazi and Fascist attacks on scientific freedom was issued by a committee of distinguished American men of science.

“We publicly condemn the Fascist position toward science . . . . In the present historical epoch democracy alone can preserve intellectual freedom,” the manifesto states.

 

Citing ruthless Nazi persecution of scientists – 1600 teachers and scientists had been driven from their posts by the fall of 1936 – the manifesto asserts that “any attack upon freedom of thought in one sphere, even as non-political a sphere as theoretical physics is in effect an attack on democracy itself.”

Persecution of Jews and “racial” theories of science, publication of one of which furnishes the occasion for this document, are condemned in no uncertain terms. “The racial theories which they (the Fascists) advocate have been demolished time and again.”

The three Nobel prize winners who are among the signers are Dr. Irving Langmuir, associate director of the General Electric Research Laboratory and chemistry prize winner in 1932; Prof. Robert A. Millikan, director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics, California Institute of Technology and 1923 physics award recipient; and Prof. Harold C. Urey, Columbia University physical chemist honored with the 1923 chemistry prize for the discovery of heavy hydrogen.

The signers, who represent 167 universities and research institutes through the country, pledge themselves to bend their efforts to prevent themselves or America from suffering a similar fate.

The sponsoring committee and the list of signers itself are studded with the names of the noted figures of American science, including many present and former presidents of leading scientific societies. Among the signers and a member of the sponsoring committee is Prof. Wesley C. Mitchell, Columbia University economist who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Prof. Franz Boas, former president of the AAAS and the dean of American anthropologists, is a member of the sponsoring committee, as is Prof. Urey. Others on the committee are Prof. Karl M. Bowman of New York University and director of the division of psychiatry of the New York City Department of Hospitals; Dr. John P. Peters of Yale University and secretary of the Committee of Physicians which has been battling the American Medical Association on behalf of group medical care. Dr. Henry E. Sigerist, director of Johns Hopkins University’s Institute of the History of Medicine; Prof. D. J. Struik, Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician and editor of “Science and Society”; and Dr. Milton C. Winternitz, professor of pathology and former dean of the Yale Medical School.

Besides those named above, some of the prominent signers include Dr. Karl T. Compton, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Prof. Anton J. Carlson, University of Chicago physiologist; Prof. Clark Wissler, Yale University anthropologist and curator-in-chief of the department of anthropology at the American museum of Natural History; Prof. Edwin G. Conklin of Princeton, past president of the AAAS and president of Science Service; and Prof. Walter B. Cannon of Harvard, co-chairman of the Medical Bureau and north American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy.

Science News Letter, December 24, 1938

From Science News 04-21-2017

https://www.sciencenews.org/archive/group-scientists-issue-anti-fascist-manifesto

**

Manifesto by 1,284 Noted U.S. Scientists Denounces Racialism, Fascist Position on Science

December 11, 1938

NEW YORK (Dec. 9)

The fascist position toward science and the racial theory were denounced today in a manifesto signed by 1,284 American scientists, including three Nobel prize winners, which summoned their colleagues to the defense of democracy to avoid the fate of scientists in totalitarian states.

The manifesto was made public by a committee of prominent scientists headed by Prof. Franz Boas, dean of American anthropologists, who said. “The present outrages in Germany have made it all the more necessary for American scientists to take a firm anti-fascist stand. We are sure that the great majority of German scientists and the German people as a whole abhor fascism. The thousands of teachers and scientists who have been exiled since Hitler came to power bear testimony to the incompatibility of Fascism and science.”

“Our manifesto,” Dr. Boas Added, “declares that we scientists have the moral obligation to educate the American people against all false and unscientific doctrines, such as the racial nonsense of the Nazis. The agents of fascism in this country are becoming more and more active, and we must join with all men of good will in defending democracy today if we are to avoid the fate of our colleagues in Germany, Austria and Italy.

The other members of the committee making public the manifesto are professors Karl M. Bowman, New York University psychiatrist; Wesley Clair Mitchell, Columbia University economist; John P. Peters, Yale University medical scientist; Dr. Henry E. Sigerisy, John Hopkins University medical scientist; D. J. Struik, Massachusetts institute of technology mathematician; Harold C. Urey and Milton C. Winternitz, Yale Pathologist.

UREY, MILLIKAN, LANGMUIR AMONG SIGNERS

The three Nobel Prize winners signing the manifesto are prof. Urey, Columbia University chemist; Prof. Robert A. Millikan, California institute of technology physicist, and Dr. Irving Langmuir, chemist. The signers include 64 members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The manifesto follows:

“In an article entitled ‘the pragmatic and dogmatic spirit in physics,’ which appeared in the April 30 issue of nature (with strong editorial disapproval), wide publicity is given to the official nazi position on science and scientific research. In essence, the article is an attack on all theoretical physics, and, by obvious implication, on scientific theory in general. It introduces the official racialism of the Nazis to divide physicists into good, i.e. non-theoretical and ‘Aryan,’ and bad, i.e., theoretical and Jewish. Similar notions have appeared in many popular magazines and scientific journals in Germany, in the addresses and writings of the Minister of education, of university rectors and deans, of scientists and non-scientists. apart from racial theories, furthermore, science and art are subject to ruthless political censorship. These ideas have found concrete expression in the dismissal and persecution of over 1,600 teachers and scientists (By the fall of 1936) from German Universities and research institutes (and now Austria and Italy too), and in the restriction of higher education to students having the ‘proper’ political and racial qualifications.

GOAL OF SCIENCE STRESSED

“American scientists, trained in a tradition of intellectual freedom, hold fast to their conviction, that, in the words of the resolution adopted by the American association for the Advancement of Science, ‘Science is wholly independent of national boundaries and races and creeds and can flourish only when there is peace and intellectual freedom.’ If science, to quote the AAAS resolution again, is to ‘continue to advance and spread more abundantly its benefits to all mankind — and who can attack that goal — then the man of science has a moral obligation to fulfill. He must educate the people against the acceptance of all false and unscientific doctrines which appear before them in the guise of science, regardless of their origin. only in that way can he insure those conditions of peace and freedom which are essential for him and for the progress of all mankind.

“It is in this light that we publicly condemn the fascist position towards science. The racial theories which they advocate have been demolished time and again. We need only point to the work of Heinrich hertz in physics, fritz Haber and Richard Willstatter in chemistry, Ludwig Traube, Paul Ehrlich, and August Wassermann in biology and medicine, all German Jews and all empirical scientists. The charge that theory leads ‘to a crippling of experimental research’ is tantamount to a denial of the whole history of modern physics. From Copernicus and Kepler on, all the great figures in western science have insisted, in deed or in word, upon the futility of experimental research divorced from theory.

“We firmly believe that in the present historical epoch democracy alone can preserve intellectual freedom. Any attack upon freedom of thought in one sphere, even as non-political a sphere as theoretical physics, is in effect an attack on democracy itself. When men like James Franck, Albert Einstein, or Thomas Mann may no longer continue their work, whether the reason is race, creed, or belief, all mankind suffers the loss. they must be defended in their right to speak the truth as they understand it. If we American scientists wish to avoid a similar fate, if we wish to see the world continue to progress and prosper, we must bend our efforts to that end now.”

http://www.jta.org/1938/12/11/archive/manifesto-by-1284-noted-u-s-scientists-denounces-racialism-fascist-position-on-science

**

Science March Sign Making Event at The New York Academy of Sciences and Communicating Science Workshops

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New York Academy of Science March for Science Signmaking Event 5a CricketDiane 2017 AprilThe New York Academy of Science March for Science sign making event was held yesterday in Manhattan.

http://www.nyas.org/default.aspx

Workshops to help scientists and engineers pitch their science more effectively were held by 500 Women Scientists organization in a separate room at the same time.

https://500womenscientists.org/

**

The New York Academy of Science March for Science Signmaking Event 3a CricketDiane 2017 AprilThe New York Academy of Science March for Science Signmaking Event 2a CricketDiane 2017 April

**

The workshops were expressed as scientists pitching their science and were intended to help communicate more effectively with non-scientists. The one I attended of the three scheduled times was an interesting round table style event with great information and ideas.

As I was there to understand how to more effectively communicate to scientists, the science community, engineers, architects, scholars, researchers, academics and applied science fields, why they should get out and march for science – the ideas that shaped my thinking from the workshop are stunning, to say the least.

I discovered that many people engaged in these fields live in something of a bubble but not because the information about people around them isn’t there, but because it is ignored. Maybe I don’t know how many scientists and engineers that I know or meet, or my neighbors know or meet every day or within our daily lives – neither do scientists and engineers know that beyond the few people they are interacting with daily assumed to know science – they’re ignoring the multitude of people they see and come in contact with – who don’t.

That is a problem.

If I see 50 people today, and 43 of them don’t know much of anything about science or haven’t really made the connection between their own lives and the science / engineering & technologies making it possible around them, then what is the true reality of the situation? Am I really in a bubble because I’m only interacting with the seven of the 50 who had common ground with me? Or only the 3 of those 7 that I already knew? It is an interesting question and I discovered that scientists and engineers / architects and academics may be living in self-constrained bubbles not realizing that the rest of us are here too, didn’t study those specialties and may very well not understand them but need to or want to. Or, at the very least, to we may want and need to understand how those sciences and engineering disciplines are valuable to us, enhance our lives, and that, in fact, we are relying on and using the advantages of them every day.

Without the understanding of the physics of combustion, our cars don’t go anywhere. Without getting the dynamics of that combustion harnessed appropriately, not only do our cars not go, but they become a dangerous combination rather than an effective one for transporting us where we want to go. We marvel at helium balloons for celebrations and birthday parties with its lighter than air quality, but never think about the discoveries from science and engineering that developed them and shaped things we could use from those discoveries. Scientists and engineers can point out those things to us in our interactions with them because they do think that way about it and do know – but they’re not.

In the workshop, I also learned that scientists are apologetic about their intelligence and studying to enhance it – to reach for genius within themselves and within their lives where many of us have not thought that important enough to us to do. I’m ashamed that scientists, engineers, researchers, academics or anyone would need to feel that way. Maybe I’m alone in being proud of them working to bring their mind to greater capacity to learn and to understand what is known, to discover beyond those things to develop things that can be done with it all and to strive for greater use of their intelligence and intellectual faculties. It is more than admirable, it is what we should want as a nation and as a community, for every individual to strive to excellence, to learn, to enhance their mind’s capacity to learn and to grasp what science and engineering has already discovered – and to move that beyond where we are today. It should be cherished and supported – every kind of genius and brilliance, not shamed. And, yet it is shamed in our society and I wish that were not so. It could be celebrated rather than shunned.

So, our science community, scientists, intellectuals, academics, engineers, architects and applied scientists may not be interacting with the solid communities of support around them in real daily life, because we don’t act very supportive when they talk and we feel stupid. Or because we know how smart they are and feel stupid when we as fellow community members come into contact with them. But to me, I’m inspired by them to accept that we are all stupid, including me – on so many things and so many levels with many things yet to learn all the time, and it helps me to want to put the time, the work, the effort and the perseverance in that it takes for me to be smarter, learn and think with greater capacity. And, yes – it still makes me feel stupid, but that’s okay.

The workshop helped the group of people who came to understand how to communicate science and engineering to non-scientists and the public. I heard suggestions that were brought into real terms, like describing the warming and more acidic oceans as a place the fish who live there can’t leave simply because conditions become untenable. Well, they didn’t put it quite like that, but the analogy was perfect for communicating the real problems of changes to our oceans. And, I discovered that the science community has many efforts to try and engage with the public but are not getting the audiences that need to engage with them from the general public and communities within it.

Also, I discovered that scientists don’t understand how many of us just don’t get it when it comes to scientific and engineering things. And, across disciplines – many of the scientists and engineers I’ve met including at the workshop and sign making event, don’t get the science and engineering from the other disciplines around them – whether it is that cooking is literally chemistry, or that people are using technology when they turn the key in their car and it works.

The March for Science on April 22 is hosting a lot of groups that are making efforts to engage the public about why science is important and in support of evidence-based facts, rather than alternative facts altered by the political agenda or business needs of the moment. In the workshop, when I said “evidence based facts”, several scientist laughed and the moderator said, “has it really come to that – we have to call it evidence based?” And, I thought – where have you been that you don’t know that?

It is time for scientists and engineers of all disciplines to take a hard look at what is happening in the real world around them, because it is far more pervasive a problem than budget cuts to science funding. Entire areas of research are being denied, excluded or altered for political purposes and business needs of the short term. Areas and specifics where statistical data had been collected in various forms are being changed to suit making the numbers look better, demographics look better, economic outlooks appear better or to redefine groups of information and statistics entirely.

Not only climate research and ocean research are being de-funded, but allowed focuses of study are being put in place to deny much of the possible research yielding facts that would be unsettling to the current political agenda or to the businesses and corporate interests supporting them. Scientific policy is being made by non-scientists, many of whom do not value science or engineering – even as their lives and business interests rely on them without realizing it. Forensic science tools, programs and research are being discarded in favor of other methods more politically motivated than factual.

And, the US population at a time when to be competitive – must be well educated to a college level or above and have a solid understanding of math, physics, science, scientific method, reasoned and critical thinking, technology, finance, economics, basic engineering, computer coding and business how-to, is lagging behind nearly every other nation in the world. The adult population in the US from elderly to working adults to young adults just entering the job market require these levels of education and skills to be competitive, employable and have the global opportunities that exist in order to survive with a basic sustenance to support living. But, the vast majority of Americans – do not have even the most modest level of those skills, education and applied use of them. And, yet we could – and our science communities can help because they know how important it is.

  • cricketdiane 04-19-17

**

March for Science / Science March – April 22, 2017

https://www.marchforscience.com/

**

 

Trump and GOP War on Science to Change Reality By Destroying or Altering Scientific Research, Data and Facts

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

At Trump’s EPA, Less Science and More Industry

April 4, 2017, 6:00 AM EDT April 4, 2017, 9:56 AM EDT
  • GOP lawmakers are changing role of research in rule making
  • EPA advisory boards would include industry representatives

Congress and the Trump administration are planning sweeping changes in how science is used to govern public health.

[ . . .]

President Donald Trump has vowed to flatten regulatory hurdles for American business, and Congress’s proposed EPA rules for science would make commerce easier.

[ . . .]

The bills “really pull the rug out from under the independence of the scientific process,” said Thomas Burke, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and former EPA adviser. “We’re going to turn back the clock on public health. This is the most devastating blow I’ve ever seen.”

[ . . . ]

That was Smith’s rationale for the Honest Act, which the House passed 228-194 on Wednesday. It would bar the EPA from creating any regulation based on data that’s not publicly available or can’t be replicated.

The law would mean eliminating studies that cite epidemiological research, such as the one that led to the banning of the pesticide DDT, which was shown to cause cancer in humans and deadly effects in birds like bald eagles. Leaded gasoline was also taken off the market due to epidemiological research, which exposed its link to brain damage in children.

[ . . . ]

A day after the House approved the Honest Act, the EPA Science Advisory Board Act passed 229-193, allowing industry representatives to serve without special permission, while excluding scientists whose research receives EPA funding. Doing that would prevent extreme views, according to its sponsor, Oklahoma Republican Representative Frank Lucas.

The bill “makes it easier for industry representatives with conflicts of interest to serve on advisory boards at the EPA while making it harder for scientific experts, all while slowing the regulatory process,” Johnson said in a statement.

(etc.)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/research-that-saved-the-bald-eagle-at-risk-as-new-epa-settles-in

**

Most Americans Oppose Climate Science Cuts

Fifty-nine percent of voters want the U.S. to do more to address global warming

The vast majority of voters do not support the deep cuts to climate science funding now being proposed in Washington, a new poll has found.

Three-quarters of voters think it is a bad idea to cut money for climate research, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday. Sixty-five percent say they believe climate change is caused by human activity, which the majority of scientists in the field concluded years ago, but American politicians have been slow to accept.

Meanwhile, the number of voters who say they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change has increased to 76 percent, up from 66 percent in December 2015.

[ . . . ]

Meanwhile, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have proposed cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in climate change research. The cuts are spread across U.S. EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the Department of Energy, and others.

Some GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who chairs the House Science Committee, have said federal climate science has become too politicized. Smith has proposed eliminating federal money for NASA earth-observing missions and restraining the role of science in EPA policymaking.

“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney recently told reporters about climate science. “We consider that to be a waste of your money.”

(etc.)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/most-americans-oppose-climate-science-cuts/

from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news atwww.eenews.net

**

GOP’s hostility to science mostly about money

Not to worry. President Donald Trump has told us that climate change is merely a hoax invented by the Chinese. (It’s not clear what the Chinese would gain from such a ploy.) And to prove that he hasn’t the slightest interest in the warnings of climate scientists, he has gone briskly about the business of dismantling the regulations President Barack Obama painstakingly put into place to try to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Once upon a time, Republicans considered themselves a party of ideas, of vision, of rational decision-making. They employed reason and lauded fact. They embraced scientific discovery. Not anymore.

Among the most worrisome trends — and there are many — seen in modern-day Republicans is their repudiation of science. The party has become a redoubt of fact-free propaganda, asinine conspiracy theories and foolish assumptions. There may be a significant group among them who still believe in scientific discovery, but they are largely silent, content to allow the flat-earthers lead the way.

[ . . . ]

Meanwhile, so far, Trump has failed to fill important scientific posts in his administration. He has, however, signaled an aggressive turn against scientific evidence. During the transition, for example, Trump’s team requested the names of Energy Department staffers who had worked on climate change. To their credit, higher-ups in the department declined to honor the request.

[ . . . ]

Since the 1970s, fossil-fuel companies and other pollution-producing industries have invested heavily in campaigns to cast doubt on the science of climate change. Titans of those industries, such as Charles and David Koch, also have invested heavily in politicians who would do their bidding — which means allowing certain industries to pillage and pollute as they like.

(etc.)

http://www.pressconnects.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/04/03/gops-hostility-science-mostly-money/99963110/

**

A climate of lies: Denialism goes wider, and weirder, as Trump amplifies Republican mendacity

Climate-change denialists were already terrible, but they’ve grown bolder and more bizarre in the age of Trump

Perhaps the best way to understand the presidency of Donald Trump is to recognize that he’s building on and advancing the already advanced authoritarian tendencies of the Republican Party. Nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to climate change denial.  Even before Trump was elected, a whopping 84 percent of the conservative Republicans polled by Pew Research refused to accept that climate change is real and caused by human activity, and even 65 percent of the moderate Republicans surveyed rejected the facts.

[ ,. . . ]

On Wednesday Rep. Lamar Smith, the climate-change denialist who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, ridiculed one of the foremost peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world, Science.

[. . . ]

But with Trump in the White House, it’s no surprise that other Republicans feel emboldened in their dishonesty, denying not just scientific data or research but even their own words. Denying something he’s been caught saying on tape is a common habit of Trump, after all.

[ /. . . ]

To the authoritarian, “truth” does not flow from empirical or verifiable reality but instead is determined by those whom the authoritarians deems to be the proper leaders. (Usually a self-appointed designation.) Reality is what Smith or Trump or whatever Republican demagogue says it is, not your videotapes or scientific evidence.

[ . . . ]

Take, for instance, this amazing story from Pennsylvania, where state Sen. Scott Wagner — who likes to say “Donald Trump is a visionary and he’s a leader” and who is hoping to be the Republican nominee for governor — got downright trippy with the climate-change denial, according to NPR’s StateImpact:

“I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year – you know, the rotation of the earth,” Wagner said in an event organized for county commissioners opposed to natural gas drilling regulations. “We’re moving closer to the sun.”

That bears no relationship to reality. In fact, the Earth’s orbit (which is what Wagner probably meant by “rotation”) is literally what keeps it from plummeting toward the Sun. But that’s just centuries-old knowledge, demonstrated through mathematics and observation, so not relevant in our age of Trumpism.

“We have more people,” Wagner added, continuing his imaginative foray into science. “You know, humans have warm bodies. So is heat coming off? Things are changing, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.”

(etc.)

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/31/a-climate-of-lies-denialism-goes-wider-and-weirder-as-trump-amplifies-republican-mendacity/

**

GOP-backed measures seek to rein in science used at EPA (Update)

February 8, 2017 by Michael Biesecker

[ . . . ]

A separate measure would revamp the makeup EPA’s Science Advisory Board. Republicans say the board has been historically stocked with scientists who receive federal research grants, which they allege presents an improper conflict of interest.

“In recent years SAB experts have become nothing more than rubberstamps who approve all of the EPA’s regulations,” Smith said. “Simple changes, such as eliminating conflicts of interests, adding more balanced perspectives and being more transparent can go a long way to restoring the agency’s credibility.”

Democrats suggested the Republicans are seeking to stock the board with scientists paid by industries regulated by EPA.

Former Democratic Congressman Rush Holt, a physicist who is CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, warned that politicians should refrain from meddling.

“Scientists—whether in industry, academia, or the government—must have confidence that they can conduct their work in an atmosphere free of intimidation or undue influence,” said Holt, who testified at the invitation of the committee’s Democrats. “Policymakers should never dictate the conclusions of a scientific study, and they should base policy on a review of relevant research.”

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-gop-backed-rein-science-epa.html

**

**

**

Republican culture of irrationality supports Trump’s lies, manipulations

By Advocate-Messenger

Published 7:50 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

By BRIAN COONEY

Contributing columnist

The dishonesty of the Trump presidency endangers our nation in two ways. First, Trump continues to be what he’s been all his adult life: a serial liar. As a result, he is quickly losing credibility at home and abroad. Second, as evidenced by his administrative appointees and proposed budget cuts, he is suppressing information about, and planning for, the global instability threatened by climate change. These two behaviors are supported by a culture of irrationality embedded in the Republican base.

[ . . . ]

In its potential for catastrophic harm, Trump’s worst lie is his repeated claim that climate change is a “hoax.” He knows better. In 2009, Trump and his children signed an open letter in the New York Times to President Obama saying “We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change … Please allow us, the United States of America, to serve in modeling the change necessary to protect humanity and our planet.” As recently as the spring of 2016, Trump applied to the Irish government and to the Clare County Council for permission to build a seawall to protect his golf course from “global warming and its effects.”

Trump’s recently announced budget would cut climate change research and preventive programs throughout the federal government, including a 31-percent reduction at the EPA. As Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, made clear at a press conference on March 16: “Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward — we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money.”

This is irrational. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a statement (AAAS) cosigned by 17 other scientific organizations, has said that at least 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.”

[ . . . ]

https://www.amnews.com/2017/04/01/republican-culture-of-irrationality-supports-trumps-lies-manipulations/

**

The Mercers, Trump mega-donors, back group that casts doubt on climate science

March 27

The atmosphere was buoyant at a conference held by the conservative Heartland Institute last week at a downtown Washington hotel, where speakers denounced climate science as rigged and jubilantly touted deep cuts President Trump is seeking to make to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Front and center during the two-day gathering were New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, Republican mega-donors who with their former political adviser Stephen K. Bannon helped finance an alternative media ecosystem that amplified Trump’s populist themes during last year’s campaign.

[ . . . ]

Half a dozen Trump transition officials and administration advisers attended the gathering, including Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who headed Trump’s EPA transition team.

[ . . . ]

Kenneth Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Heartland “has a long history of promoting ‘alternative facts’ about climate change as well as crank climate denialist theories that are far out of the mainstream scientific consensus.”

Kimmell said the fact that key Trump administration officials are embracing some of their theories is alarming.

“It is distressing to see us going backwards on basic climate science,” he said.

[ . . . ]

Several organizations that have received funding from the Mercer foundation helped sponsor the Heartland conference, including the Media Research Center, the Heritage Foundation and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, a small group based in Bellevue, Wash., whose vice president once vowed to “destroy environmentalists by taking their money and their members.”

The gathering drew about 300 people to the Grand Hyatt, whose corridors buzzed with chatter about carbon levels and “fake” climate science. A man marketing the film “Climate Hustle” bore a sign that read, “Hello, My Name is Al Gore.”

The overarching theme of the two-day gathering: that fossil fuels and elevated levels of carbon dioxide actually benefit human health, the environment and regional stability.

(etc.)

2300-mercerbannon-donations-foundation-v3

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-mercers-trump-mega-donors-back-group-that-casts-doubt-on-climate-science/2017/03/26/dc1fde86-109b-11e7-9b0d-d27c98455440_story.html?utm_term=.3eff307aed05

**

March For Science Warns that Without Truth and Transparency, Authoritarianism Can Take Over

Posted April 12, 2017

Alarmed by the anti-science stance of the Trump administration – in sync with many Republican Party leaders in Congress and across the country – scientists and their allies have organized the March For Science, which will take place on Earth Day, April 22 in Washington, D.C., and over 400 other major cities across the U.S. and abroad. Organizers of the action say their mission is to: “Unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”

[ . . . ]

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Dr. Sarah Evanega, director of the Cornell Alliance for Science, who talks about the principles and objectives of the April 22 March For Science. [Rush transcript]

DR. SARAH EVANEGA: It’s an unprecedented time, certainly truth itself is under threat and that really threatens the very tenets of democracy. Science, one could argue, and democracy go hand in hand because truth is essential for reason to debate and democracy – without truth and transparency, and the methods inherent to science, democracy is debased and potentially, a creeping authoritarianism can take over.

So, it is a challenge, and it comes at a time where we have unprecedented challenges. Never before have we needed science and innovation in light of the challenges we face around climate change and global food insecurity and so, this sort of threat to science comes at a time when we need science and we need fuel innovation more now than ever.

[ . . . ]

http://www.btlonline.org/2017/seg/170421cf-btl-evanega.html

**

EPA busy scuttling rules, planning cutbacks, amid pro-business shift

Updated on April 16, 2017 at 10:22 AM Posted on April 16, 2017 at 6:30 AM

But to really get a feel for the pro-industry revolution underway inside the nation’s primary environmental watchdog, go to West, a town of 2,800 in sun-baked Texas. A 2013 explosion at a fertilizer plant flattened parts of the city, killing 15 people — 10 of them firefighters — and injuring 200 others. The volunteers had no idea that the tons of ammonium nitrate stored on site could explode.

The blast registered 2.1 on the Richter scale.

In response, the EPA early this year adopted new rules requiring plant owners to disclose the presence of dangerous chemicals to the locals and coordinate with emergency responders. The chemical industry objected, saying it was too expensive and potentially dangerous to force that kind of disclosure.

Late last month, with the Trump administration in charge, the EPA ditched the rule.  “We want to prevent regulation created for the sake of regulation by the previous administration,” said Scott Pruitt, the agency’s new director.

(etc,)

INTERIOR

BLM ‘priority’ list pushes drilling, wall — leaked docs

 

March for Science April 22

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The March for Science is being organized for April 22, 2017 and a Climate March is set for April 29, 2017.

Divide and conquer are being used on us to keep our voices and our knowledge out of being joined together for many of these organizing marches.

Many people have asked me why scientists would march at all and for what reason. There is an outright war on science right now and on scientific facts as facts that require a real response from the majority of people who believe evidence based facts and science are critically important.

For too long, scientists, engineers, academics, architects and researchers have simply focused on funding and the science or engineering they were doing. But underlying those efforts was the assumption that we had all agreed on the basic integrity of facts and accurate data as a premise.

Now, we are challenged as a community of scholars and those in the practice of science and its applications, to fight for the substance and importance of that very premise – that evidence based facts are facts and that it is not acceptable to politically alter those facts to suit a given purpose of the moment.

Don’t tell me that, “I’m not a scientist, so it doesn’t matter to me.” It does and will affect everything for scientific fact to no longer be accepted as facts.

Don’t tell me that, “if this effort fails to support some other aspect about diversity or inclusion that you can’t support it.” Stand up and let this opportunity do both.

This is far more basic than that although welcoming to include diversity and inclusion within this effort to stand up for science and evidence based facts, scientific method and respect for its rigorous path to accuracy, peer review and repetition of results before acceptance.

What stops this full on assault against the facts as facts – if not ALL of us standing up who have a vested interest in science, scientific integrity and the importance of facts as accurate and not distorted or altered to suit politics or business or ideologies of the moment.

I said to someone recently that never in our lifetimes have we had to fight for the basic premise of facts as facts. But, that was wrong. Scientists had their work denigrated, funding removed, careers and reputations destroyed by political administrations seeking to undermine facts about climate changes, global warming, ecological harms being done to communities and regions, sea level rise and ocean changes. That fight went unmatched by science activism during many years of previous administrations in America and globally when the data could have been used to make a difference.

Today, in federal agencies and funding sources from the federal government under the Trump administration and GOP held Congress and Senate, permanent changes are being made to science, science funding, scientific data, scientific research, how scientific research and data are gathered, what can be discovered from that data officially (or not), scientific committees and departments, and what scientific data will be kept, made public, published and archived by the federal government.

Where scientific fact disproves or fails to support some political or business agenda or purpose, the agency heads and White House liaison teams from the Trump administration are intent on destroying the science and altering scientific data rather than developing helpful and appropriate policies that would be derived from those facts.

Not collecting the data through NOAA satellite programs and cutting those programs will not alter climate change, rising CO2 levels, rising sea levels, arctic ice destruction, warming ocean currents, changing atmospheric conditions from pollutants. But, that is the answer of the administration in control now – simply don’t collect the data, don’t let scientists work with that data and don’t allow publication of that information and its scientific study – then climate change will go away. It doesn’t work that way, but that is the choice the current administration and Congressional and Senate decision makers are using.

Engineers, architects and applied sciences will have as much, if not more problems with data and scientific facts being made over in the image of political and business ideologies as it is happening now. These disciplines rely on the underlying sciences, scientific principles, accurate data and facts as known quantities to use in their work. Without accuracy, anything engineered, built, created by applied science disciplines is in jeopardy. No one wants loosy-goosy data building a structure that is intended to house people and their lives, contain businesses and their activities that is intended to be safe.

Right now, the Trump and GOP in federal administration and legislature positions of unfettered power, are changing not only scientific access and resources, they are changing the way data is collected at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, included what data will no longer be collected. The forensic science arm of the Department of Justice is being changed, de-funded and in some ways disbanded. Research at the EPA and NOAA, NIH and other federal agencies are being de-funded of grant allotments, in fact entire programs of study and research are disappearing. Part of this is being done through budget cuts, Trump appointed agency heads and liaison teams within the agencies, through the OMB and by Congress and Senate rolling back programs from the previous administration plus cutting programs through the upcoming budget legislation.

For some years, it has been the case, that a portion of propaganda and lobbying has been aimed at falsifying facts, dismissing facts, undermining facts and data, discrediting scientific facts for the purpose of politics and business. In some ways, this right wing thinking is desperate for science and scientific facts to accomplish business purposes and political projects, but desires control over what facts, how those facts are interpreted, and now – having come full circle, are exerting control over supporting only what agrees with what they believe to be the case whether any facts support that or not. Then those facts that do not support what they believe are discarded and discredited as a lie becomes the only allowable truth. That’s where we are now.

Scientists and engineers, architects and the general public, academics and scholars, educated and non-educated citizens alike, need to stand with us to support science for the March for Science, April 22 and for the Climate March on April 29, because science is important and evidenced-based facts are critical to good decision making.

Yes, we need more diversity in science. Yes we need more inclusion in engineering and the fields of architect, developer, builder. Yes, we need more science education across our entire population including our adult population. Yes we need more support for science, engineering, technology, mathematics – and the arts. Yes we need an education system that pulls all of us into a higher level of direct education that we don’t have now.

And, yes we need decision-makers to accept scientific facts as facts, that evidence-based factual information are the facts we accept and work with and agree upon as facts, that we do not accept lies as facts to suit the politics or business needs of the moment, and that decision-makers grounded in reality are critical to good policies, good administration, good thinking and sound judgment.

And, yes – we need to stand together and say that science is important and scientific facts are not constructs of politics, nor will we allow them to be.

  • cricketdiane, 04-16-2017

**

**

**

A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment

The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy—and we’re tracking them here as they happen.

 

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-gop-backed-rein-science-epa.html

**

Trump’s Continuing War on Science Hits the Justice Department and Other Federal Agencies

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Changes being made by the Trump dictatorship in America –

Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy

April 10

In a statement Monday, Sessions said he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a roughly 30-member advisory panel of scientists, judges, crime lab leaders, prosecutors and defense lawyers chartered by the Obama administration in 2013.

{ . . . }

The action marked the latest break by Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, with Obama-era priorities. The former senator from Alabama last week announced that top aides will review agreements reached with troubled police forces nationwide to ensure the pacts to overhaul departments do not counter the Trump administration’s goals of combating violent crime and promoting police safety and morale .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/sessions-orders-justice-dept-to-end-forensic-science-commission-suspend-review-policy/2017/04/10/2dada0ca-1c96-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.a47e75b60b3d

//**

This could mean that efforts to have community policing programs that are more appropriate to the communities they serve – are being altered or even ended. The Trump administration’s war on science, scientific fact, documentary evidence and scientific fact collection with its inherent checks and balances of peer review continues obviously unabated – now at the Justice Department as well as at the EPA, NOAA, BLM and other agencies.

  • cricketdiane, 04-13-2017

**

Also noted from the article above – this warning from scientists involved in the forensic commission at the Justice Department –

Even before the announcement not to renew the national commission, several commission members from outside the Justice Department warned against ending its work, saying the Trump administration has made several moves to reduce the role of science and independent scientists in policymaking.

In a letter Thursday, six leading research scientists on the panel urged re-upping the commission for an additional two years, saying, “for too long, decisions regarding forensic science have been made without the input of the research science community.”

[ . . . ]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/sessions-orders-justice-dept-to-end-forensic-science-commission-suspend-review-policy/2017/04/10/2dada0ca-1c96-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html?utm_term=.a47e75b60b3d

**

Trump Administration Seeks Big Budget Cuts for Climate Research

Its targeting of climate science goes beyond the work of NOAA and EPA

The administration is seeking a nearly 20 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget, including to its satellite division, The Washington Post reported. That includes significant cuts to the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which has produced research that disproved the notion of a global warming pause. NOAA’s satellites provide invaluable data on climate change that are used by researchers throughout the world. The NOAA cuts target the Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research, which conducts the bulk of the agency’s climate research.

That’s on top of proposed reductions to climate research at U.S. EPA, including a 40 percent cut to the Office of Research and Development, which runs much of EPA’s major research. The cuts specify work on climate change, air and water quality, and chemical safety. The Trump administration also has proposed 20 percent staffing reduction at EPA.

[ . . . ]

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-administration-seeks-big-budget-cuts-for-climate-research/

**

Research is an afterthought in first Trump budget

The plan covers $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending. (The more detailed May budget will also cover changes to mandatory social welfare programs and interest payments on the national debt.) The discretionary pot is now roughly split between defense and nondefense agencies. But Trump wants to hike spending on defense and national security by 10%, and pay for that $54 billion increase by cutting spending at all other agencies. To get there, Trump would cut nearly 20% at NIH and DOE science programs, and make even larger research reductions at EPA and NOAA. In contrast, NASA overall would receive only a 1% cut, although its earth sciences division would shrink by 6%.

[ . . . ]

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/research-afterthought-first-trump-budget

**

Trump Lays Groundwork for Federal Government Reorganization

April 11, 2017, 11:00 PM EDT April 12, 2017, 7:48 AM EDT
President Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a rethinking of the entire structure of the federal government, a move that could eventually lead to a downsizing of the overall workforce and changes to the basic functions and responsibilities of many agencies.
The order, which will go into effect Thursday . . .
(etc.)
**

Bureau of Land Management Changes Website Homepage to Coal Bed Photo

The Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Interior Department, recently quietly changed its homepage website photo to a large bed of coal.

The photo was first posted around 6 p.m. on March 31, agency spokeswoman Kristen Lenhardt told NBC News on Thursday.

Before the switch, the website showcased a picture of two people wearing backpacks while standing atop a grassy mountain.

[ . . . ]

Trump may make major changes to the way we measure the strength of the US economy

 

Bob Bryan

Feb. 21, 2017, 12:34 PM

The new way of thinking would leave out what are known as re-exports, or exports of goods originally imported from another country, from the exports side of the equation while still counting the good as an import.

For instance, if a widget was imported from China, that would count toward the deficit as an import. If that widget is then sold from the US to a retailer in the UK, it would not count as an export in the ledger, making the deficit increase.

The effect of this would be a massive ballooning of the current US trade deficit, according to economists, which would allow the Trump team to paint the US as a loser in the international economy.

“Transparently a stunt to make the numbers look worse in order to shout at trading partners,” Pantheon Macro chief economist Ian Shepherdson told Politico’s Ben White about the change. “There’s no clamour for this shift among economists, and assuming the BEA continues to publish the data on the old (current) basis, I don’t think anyone will take any notice of the new data. Haven’t they got anything better to do?”

Additionally, the Journal said that non-political appointees at the Federal trade Commission strongly objected to the new idea but submitted updated figures using the new measure anyway.

(etc.)

According to reports on Friday from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, the official White House projections were set at 3% to 3.5% GDP growth in the coming years – much higher than the 1.9% projected by the Congressional Budget Office and 1.8% from the Federal Reserve.

The Post’s Catherine Rampell and the Journal’s Nick Timiraos reported that staffers at the Council of Economic Advisors were told to start with the 3% to 3.5% projections and work backward from there, rather than building their assessment from the current economic conditions.

[ . . . ]

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-changing-unemployment-rate-trade-deficit-economic-data-2017-2-1001769296-1001769296

**

Trump budget proposes big changes in Forest Service, Interior spending

 

The Department of Agriculture would absorb a 21 percent, $4.7 billion reduction. The Department of the Interior, headed by former Montana congressman Ryan Zinke, would see a 12 percent, $1.5 billion cut.

Both agencies would see reduced funding for new federal land acquisitions through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that’s been consistently supported by Montana’s congressional delegation. The budget document was unclear whether the $120 million in offshore oil royalties that now go to LWCF would be diverted to other areas or shifted to maintaining and investing in existing parks, refuges and public lands.

[ . . . ]

The Agriculture budget would also reduce funding for USDA statistical capabilities and Service Centers while encouraging “private sector conservation planning.” It plans to save $95 million from the Rural Business and Cooperative Service and eliminates the International Food for Education program, stating it “lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.”

It would eliminate $498 million in duplicative USDA water and wastewater loans and grants, saying rural communities could be served by private-sector financing or other federal investments such as the EPA’s state revolving funds. However, the EPA has its own budget slated for a 31 percent, $2.6 billion cut.

(etc.) – worth reading all of it, my note.

http://missoulian.com/news/local/trump-budget-proposes-big-changes-in-forest-service-interior-spending/article_4fff9c2e-ead0-5487-965f-95d6bf982b65.html

**

Trump’s plan to dismember government

Updated 6:01 PM ET, Tue March 14, 2017

Dan Kanninen, formerly the Obama administration’s White House liaison at the EPA, said Trump nominees at the EPA, Education, and Housing and Urban Development, which Ben Carson now runs, are “ideologically bent against the mission and against the agency but they have no idea what the agency does.”
“It is certainly ideological and it is certainly ignorance and it is disdain for the fundamental institution of government — what Steve Bannon means by tearing down our institutions,” said Kanninen, now vice president for issues and advocacy at the Smoot Tewes group.
“What Mr. Trump does across the board is create doubt about our institutions,” he said. “It is to his advantage to tear down institutions.”
**

Trump Budget Would Abolish 19 Agencies, Cut Thousands of Federal Jobs

 

With the aim of “making government work again,” the Trump White House on Thursday unveiled a $1.1 trillion budget blueprint for discretionary spending in fiscal 2017 and 2018 that would abolish 19 agencies and eliminate thousands of agency jobs.
[ . . . ]

The agency-by-agency plans include eliminating dozens of grant programs at the Education and Commerce departments—many of them related to climate change. And Trump would eliminate the following agencies:

The African Development Foundation;

the Appalachian Regional Commission;

the Chemical Safety Board;

the Corporation for National and Community Service;

the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;

the Delta Regional Authority;

the Denali Commission;

the Institute of Museum and Library Services;

the Inter-American Foundation;

the U.S. Trade and Development Agency;

the Legal Services Corporation;

the National Endowment for the Arts;

the National Endowment for the Humanities;

the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation;

the Northern Border Regional Commission;

the Overseas Private Investment Corporation;

the United States Institute of Peace;

the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness;

the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Many of those agencies have been on the target lists of conservative budget hawks for many years.

[ . . . ]

While applauding the Trump plan to offset spending hikes in fiscal 2018, she warned that debt and deficits would continue to rise. And “such aggressive domestic discretionary cuts will be hard to sustain given that this area of the budget has already undergone large cuts and is projected to grow more slowly than inflation,” she said.

One agency facing elimination under the Trump budget, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, sent Government Executive the following statement: “Museums and libraries throughout the nation provide critical resources and services that contribute significantly to Americans’ economic development, education, health and well-being. The grants and programs that IMLS administers are helping libraries and museums make a tremendous difference in the communities they serve, whether by facilitating family learning, sustaining cultural heritage or by stimulating economic development through job training and skills development.”

Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said in a statement, “The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions for Americans in rural and urban communities alike.”

 

**

Asking for you to make a difference and continue CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Art and Design

Tags

, , , , , , ,

https://www.gofundme.com/support-living-artist-cricketdiane

**

**

Lies Make Reasoning Based on Facts Irrational – the War on Science, War on Facts in America

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donald Trump voters: We like the president’s lies

Donald Trump supporters in hardscrabble Ohio have finally figured out that he is lying — a lot. The truth is, they don’t care.

On the whole, Trump has never been viewed more negatively on matters of truth. A Quinnipiac University poll this week found that 60 per cent of Americans think he is dishonest, a new high. Time ran a cover story on Trump with the headline “Is truth dead?” The Wall Street Journal editorial board, long Trump-friendly, accused him of damaging his presidency with a “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”

Yet Trump has also managed a remarkable feat: maintaining a reputation among millions of Americans as a man of rare honesty at the same time as he launches an unprecedented daily barrage of Oval Office lies.

[ . . . ]

Charlie Sykes, the Trump critic and former conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin, says there is an “alternative reality bubble” within the right, created in part by conservative media. Trump, he said, is both developing and exploiting this “post-truth environment,” elevating once-fringe conspiracy theorists and propagandists who will then amplify his lies.

https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2017/03/26/donald-trump-voters-we-like-the-presidents-lies.html

Well worth going over and reading the entire article – explains it very well with quotes from people expressing why they believe Trump even though they know he is lying.

**

These articles from 2010 and 2014 are examples of the right wing war on facts that has been ongoing for decades. An alternative fact bubble has not only been created but maintained that now alters what many Americans perceive as the facts about various subjects including science, history, the value of education and academics, economics, among many others.

An idea that has been promoted as well, is that facts are a matter of opinion and that one’s opinion changes what the facts are. In application, this means we have, in America, radio stations, right-wing controlled cable news / entertainment shows that have been telling Americans that facts are not only open to interpretation as to their value and meaning, but also that the facts themselves are based in opinion or essentially no more than an opinion and consequently, not facts at all.

Obviously, whether a person decides by opinion that rain is occurring – rain is nonetheless a fact and without some protection from it and good judgment based on that fact, that rain will continue as a fact with whatever dangers it represents. The only real thing that will happen considering rain that is occurring to be only an opinion, is for the person believing that to put themselves in unnecessary and predictable difficulties of getting wet, driving too fast for conditions and maybe harming their life and health or that of others – as a result.

In the two articles below, there are indications of this thrust to change facts, alter facts that are available concerning subject matter and erase the substantive value of facts as a critical foundation of reasoning and judgment. In climate science, the removal of the subject from text books, policy, agencies, websites, government research – does not change the facts about its impacts and dangers. It only makes our country less capable of mounting successful efforts to either positively influence those changes or to mitigate damages and harms that will occur as a result.

In economics and macro-economics, the same is true when the facts are deleted, altered, dismissed, discredited or denied. And, facts in every other arena and focus tend to the same result when treated as mere opinion rather than substance of reality.

  • cricketdiane, 03-26-2017

Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change

**

As Trump targets energy rules, oil companies downplay their impact

Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 | 11:08 AM ET

President Donald Trump’s White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil.

[ . . . a discussion from oil industry financiers that regulation change doesn’t impact them]

Refiners have also long complained that environmental regulations have stymied attempts to build new refineries and that they have borne the brunt of costly rules requiring them to blend biofuels into their gasoline.

Still, some energy analysts and regulation experts point out that the biggest drivers for these industries, too, tend to be supply and demand — not regulation.

The abundance of cheap natural gas is seen as the biggest obstacle to reviving coal country, since both fuels compete for space in the furnaces of U.S. power plants. For refiners, the key driver for profitability is the differential between the price of their raw material, crude oil, and the fuels they make with it.

“Supply and demand are the fundamental forces driving markets,” said Coglianese, the University of Pennsylvania law professor. “Regulation is relatively trivial.”

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/23/as-trump-targets-energy-rules-oil-companies-downplay-their-impact.html

**

Trump’s ‘energy independence’ order expected to be pushed back another week

 By JOHN SICILIANO 3/20/17 7:15 PM

 

The order is expected to end a de facto ban on building new coal power plants in the country, a moratorium on coal mining and the end of far-reaching climate regulations on states.

According to a draft copy of the “Energy Independence” executive order reviewed by the Washington Examiner, the first target on the menu will be the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and New Source standard for power plants.

The draft order states that the power plan would cost $39 billion a year, based on a previous industry-funded study by NERA Consulting that the draft order cites to justify ending the Obama administration’s version of the plan,

[ . . . ]

The order also looks to rein in the New Source power plant standard, which the coal industry refers to as EPA’s de facto ban on building new coal plants. The regulation requires that all new coal plants be outfitted with expensive carbon capture technology, which the industry argues is cost prohibitive and makes building new coal plants next to impossible.

But since both climate rules are being reviewed in federal court, the Trump order also directs the attorney general to request all courts reviewing the climate rules to hold the cases in abeyance, or remand them back to EPA while the administration reviews them.

In addition, the order directs the Interior Department to lift its moratorium on issuing new coal leases to open up mining again.

It also calls for an interagency working group to “reconsider” the Social Cost of Carbon, which is the metric the Obama administration used to justify the cost of its regulations, while directing the White House Council on Environmental Quality to rescind an agency-wide directive by the Obama administration to include climate change in all environmental reviews of projects.

(etc.)

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-energy-independence-order-expected-to-be-pushed-back-another-week/article/2617933

**

WHITE HOUSE

The Clean Power Plan is gone — and there’s no ‘replace’

Solve for ‘X’: Trump’s war on facts extends to undermining key federal statistics

How do you run an economy without statistics? Poorly, that’s how. But that’s what we’re in for if we muzzle and starve the agencies that gather this context — a fate that seems likely under the current management.

Why the Facts Matter and Science is Important

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on

Citizens Must Hold Government Accountable on Climate

A spokesman for the White House said last week that the federal government was no longer going to “waste money” on climate research. Money to maintain even existing climate satellites is disappearing. NASA has been told to stop worrying about our home planet and focus on Mars.

[ . .  . ]

Which means that the rest of us need to add our weight to the political balance. Upset by EPA chief Scott Pruitt and his assertion that carbon dioxide isn’t driving global warming? Scared by Trump’s insistence that climate change is a Chinese hoax? Inspired by the plucky local officials determined to try and keep the fight alive? Then show up in Washington on April 29, for the next great mobilization of the cresting resistance. More than 100,000 people have already RSVP’d for the People’s Climate March — it’s our chance to say we won’t stand silently by as the planet melts.

A few things that happened this week: one set of researchers announced that February was the planet’s fourth-warmest month on record, which is especially bad news since the El Niño that produced last year’s record-breaking heat is over and we’re supposed to be cooling a little.

Another group of scientists published data showing that, for the third year in a row, Arctic ice has set a new record winter low. Still other statisticians showed that, to date, this has been by far the worst wildfire season on record in the United States — two million acres burned against an average of 200,000.

In Peru, last fall’s record drought has given way to record flooding, with dozens dead and 100,000 homes damaged. In Namibia, the worst flooding in history . . . I could go on.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/25/citizens-must-hold-government-accountable-climate?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

**

For years, some scientific data was classified as businesses, corporations, oil companies, politicians and the Republican Party pursued a war on information about climate change, ecology, pollution, pollutants, harm from pollutants, health and community damage from specific pollutants and pollution, climatology, sea level rise, arctic and glacial ice loss, CO2 levels, smog, rivers and ocean pollution, global warming, and resource removal damages from mining and drilling to refining and shipping / transportation of those natural resources.

Yes, disinformation and sequestering of scientific data created harm during the decades when this war on science occurred in the United States and around the world where US political and business leaders got their way. Today, we face the same disinformation efforts on a massive scale that threaten to sidetrack, derail and even to decimate data and research that have been collected as well as to alter those facts beyond recognition in pursuit of invalidating their merit in order to support a political and business agenda.

Unfortunately, when these political and business agendas are served this way, as we have seen before – the facts do not change. The basis of the facts do not change. The reality suggested by the facts do not change. Good sound reasoning that would have been based upon those facts does not change, but that reasoning and the judgments for actions that would come from it cannot be adequately and appropriately made when facts are altered to suit, or when facts are deleted or withheld.

Inasmuch as that is the purpose of political and corporate interests to call lies as facts and facts as lies – without realizing it, they are causing immediate and long-term harm to themselves, their businesses and efforts as well as to others, to our country, our world and to future generations. Without accurate data and research openly available, it is not only science that cannot reasonably make sound research and discoveries, but also that every applied science will err and pursue unsound practices as well – from engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering, materials engineering to architects, builders, developers, academics, teachers, professors, project managers, and every kind of scientist and scientific discipline or focus.

Businesses and corporations along with their products and services being offered in the marketplace rely on these disciplines whether they are truly aware of it or not.Without accurate demographics and financial data or only part of it in order to make the picture look better, businesses will be hindered as they will also fail when their buildings are not built on sound principles of structural engineering based upon real and complete scientific data, scientific research and peer reviewed for accuracy.

When a politician looks at a smokestack pouring pollutants into the surrounding communities and says it is not pollution, or it is not happening, or that those are not the facts, altering scientific data or withholding scientific data or preventing the collection of that data – does not change the facts about those pollutants coming into the air, water, soil, surrounding communities and the people who live there. But, that is what politicians and businesses are trying to do and currently making a war on science once more to try and accomplish their short term agenda without understanding the consequences.

In a small way, it is obvious where harm has been done and lives damaged or lost by denying facts whether it is to see people drown when they drive across flooded streets rushing with water, or pretend that a windchill of two degrees and an air temperature of twelve doesn’t make any difference running for the subway to go to work. The facts were the same regardless of how they were interpreted to be something different than they were in each case. In more massive ways, efforts that could have been made for very small amounts of money to diminish the level of pollutants in streams, rivers, the ocean, the air, the soil – were not made because facts were altered and withheld for decades that indicated those pollutants. It didn’t change the harms being done nor did it change the need to fix it – but doing it that way certainly made fixing it and those harms done into a much more massive problem with an exponentially greater price tag and necessity.

  • cricketdiane, 03-25-2017

**

U.S. releases unclassified spy images of Arctic ice | Reuters

Jul 17, 2009U.S. releases unclassified spy images of Arctic ice … A satellite image released by the Interior Department shows ice on the East Siberian Sea in 2000. … The images were derived from classified images made as part of the ..

**

1960’s satellite imagery of polar ice discovers “enormous holes” in the sea ice

http://www.zetatalk.com/theword/tword15x.htm

**

And one more from Scientific American – 

CLIMATE

Arctic Sea Ice Sets Record-Low Peak for Third Year

Sea ice was also thinner this winter than in the past four years

Constant warmth punctuated by repeated winter heat waves stymied Arctic sea ice growth this winter, leaving the winter sea ice cover missing an area the size of California and Texas combined and setting a record-low maximum for the third year in a row.

[ …]

“I have been looking at Arctic weather patterns for 35 years and have never seen anything close to what we’ve experienced these past two winters,” Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which keeps track of sea ice levels, said in a statement.

Definitely go read this one – and share –

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/arctic-sea-ice-sets-record-low-peak-for-third-year/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_ENGYSUS_NEWS

**

 

Trump’s War on Facts, Information, Trust, Truth, Science, Media and Us

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Attacks on Science

The Trump Administration and 115th Congress have sent clear signals that they intend to dismantle science-based health and safety protections, sideline scientific evidence, and undo a decade’s worth of progress on scientific integrity.

Government Data Disappears Across Multiple Agencies

Scientific content has been changed on several agency websites in the early weeks of the Trump administration—and the alterations share some common themes. Read more >

EPA Grants and Scientific Studies Reviewed by Political Appointees

Transition Team Restricts EPA Staff Attendance at Alaska Conference

The Congressional Review Act: A Radical Threat To Science

“Two-for-One” Rule Is Absurd, Illegal, and Anti-Science

Communication from Multiple Agencies Restricted after Trump Takes Office

CDC Cancels Climate Change Conference

Trump Transition Team Temporarily Halts Grants and Contracts at EPA

from

http://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/attacks-on-science#.WNUyQzvyuM9

**

Endangered Species Act: get ready for big changes, says GOP

Republican lawmakers are preparing to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, arguing that the law is an unnecessary hindrance to economic development.

JANUARY 18, 2017 The Endangered Species Act may soon be, well, endangered.

[ . . . ]

“There’s a lot of evidence that some species are conservation-reliant,” J.B. Ruhl, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, told the AP. Political fights over some species have taken decades to resolve, he added, because recovering them from “the brink of extinction is a lot harder than we thought.”

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0118/Endangered-Species-Act-get-ready-for-big-changes-says-GOP

14 animals declared extinct in the 21st century

 

**

Trump’s NASA budget cuts earth, climate science programs

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0311/Trump-vs.-the-media-the-war-over-facts

**

March 16, 2017

White House Urged to Suspend, Investigate Sebastian Gorka

“If the allegations prove accurate, Gorka needs to be removed from his position. A man who has sworn an oath to a group glorifying Nazi-era antisemitism has no business serving alongside those who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The Forward reported today that leaders of the “Historical Vitézi Rend” claim Gorka is an official member of the organization, which is a reconstitution of the World War II era Vitézi Rend group. The State Department lists Vitézi Rend as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany during World War II,” and classifies members of this group as inadmissible to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The original Vitézi Rend organization, of which the Historical Vitézi Rend organization claims to be an heir, was established as a nationalist group by Hitler collaborator Admiral Miklos Horthy. The Historical Vitézi Rend group ascribes to nationalist, racist, and antisemitic ideologies similar to those of the original organization.

Human Rights First continues to urge President Trump to make clear that he condemns all forms of antisemitism and intolerance, including by supporting a thorough investigation into allegations regarding Sebastian Gorka.

http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/white-house-urged-suspend-investigate-sebastian-gorka

**

Thank a Government Scientist

Federal scientists are working hard every day to make the food we eat, the medications we take, the air we breathe, and so much more safe for all Americans. Unfortunately, these same scientists are hearing harsh rhetoric attacking the safeguards they provide, some are being muzzled by orders prohibiting them to speak out about their research, and all are uncertain about what the Trump administration and Congress might due to cut science-based programs and their staff.

Help pushback against the anti-science rhetoric from the Trump administration with some appreciation: Take a moment to thank a government scientist today. Let them know how much you appreciate the crucial role they play in our daily lives and that you will advocate for science-based policies every day!

Send a tweet or Facebook message using the hashtag #ThankAGovScientist to the agencies of your choice—or a federal scientist you know personally—using one of the following handles:
Post on the Environment Protection Agency Facebook page

Tweet @EPA: Thank you @EPA for protecting my right to clean air and clean water. #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Facebook page

Tweet @NOAA: Thanks @NOAA for helping to protect my home from floods and other disasters! #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Facebook page

Tweet @NASA: Thanks @NASA for pushing science forward and developing products that my family uses every day! #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the Department of Energy Facebook page

Tweet @ENERGY: Thank you @ENERGY for reducing nuclear risks and demonstrating the momentum of clean energy. #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the US Department of Agriculture Facebook page

Tweet @USDA: Thank you @USDA for standing for science-based standards for nutrition and agriculture. #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the Food and Drug Administration Facebook page

Tweet @US_FDA: Thanks to @FDA for making sure my medicine works and my food is safe #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the Consumer Product Safety Commission Facebook page

Tweet @USCPSC: What a relief to know my home products won’t hurt my family thanks to @USCPSC #ThankAGovScientist

Post on the US National Weather Service Facebook page

Tweet @NWS: Thanks @NWS: keeping us safe and aware of severe weather threats like hurricanes and tornadoes! #ThankAGovScientist

Not on Twitter or Facebook?

If you don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account, write a thank you card to one of the agencies listed above with a message of appreciation and encouragement and mail it to the following address—we will deliver it for you:

Attn: Center for Science and Democracy
Union of Concerned Scientists
1825 K St NW, Ste. 800
Washington, DC 20006-1232

(I hope they will forgive me for putting the whole thing here because I believe it is so important right now.)

http://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/thank-a-government-scientist?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=tw&utm_medium=social#.WNVx4zsrKM9

**

Do you have a superpower? Because we do! Check out the new collection and tell us yours! !

**
 Please follow – March for Science on twitter and show up for one of the many April 22, 2017 Marches for Science happening throughout the world to support science, scientists and non-politicized scientific facts, data, accuracy and research being undermined today by Trump administration and GOP controlled House and Senate in America, in right wing media outlets, and in many state legislatures.
**

When I March for Science, I’ll March for Equity, Inclusion, and Access

, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND DEMOCRACY | MARCH 22, 2017, 11:06 AM EDT
We are on the verge of something big. Scientists as a group are politically engaged like never before. They are communicating with decisionmakers, ready to march, and ready to run for office. The March for Science—an event that formed organically by a few enthusiastic people on Reddit and snowballed from there—is slated to be the largest demonstration for science that this country has ever seen. I’ve personally been blown away by the unprecedented support for scientists in the streets.
(etc.)
**

Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump

December 13, 2016
{. . . }
In recent weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a growing list of Cabinet members who have questioned the overwhelming scientific consensus around global warming. His transition team at the Department of Energy has asked agency officials for names of employees and contractors who have participated in international climate talks and worked on the scientific basis for Obama administration-era regulations of carbon emissions. One Trump adviser suggested that NASA no longer should conduct climate research and instead should focus on space exploration.

Those moves have stoked fears among the scientific community that Trump, who has called the notion of man-made climate change “a hoax” and vowed to reverse environmental policies put in place by President Obama, could try to alter or dismantle parts of the federal government’s repository of data on everything from rising sea levels to the number of wildfires in the country.

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views.

[ . . . ]

“What are the most important .gov climate assets?” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and self-proclaimed “climate hawk,” tweeted from his Arizona home Saturday evening. “Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don’t want to see disappear?”

Within hours, responses flooded in from around the country. Scientists added links to dozens of government databases to a Google spreadsheet. Investors offered to help fund efforts to copy and safeguard key climate data. Lawyers offered pro bono legal help. Database experts offered server space and help organizing mountains of data. In California, Santos began building an online repository to “make sure these data sets remain freely and broadly accessible.”

Climate data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been politically vulnerable. When Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, and his colleagues published a study in 2015 seeking to challenge the idea that there had been a global warming “slowdown” or “pause” during the 2000s, they relied, in significant part, on updates to NOAA’s ocean temperature data set, saying the data “do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus.’”

In response, the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee chair, Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.), tried to subpoena the scientists and their records.

That effort launched by Holthaus is one of several underway to preserve key federal scientific data.

In Philadelphia, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, along with members of groups such as Open Data Philly and the software company Azavea, have been meeting to figure out ways to harvest and store important data sets.

[ . . . ]

From

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/scientists-are-frantically-copying-u-s-climate-data-fearing-it-might-vanish-under-trump/?utm_term=.2ad458ce6195

Please go read this article from its original source and share it as much as possible – the more people that help protect the data, research and information now and going forward, the better as Trump and the GOP begin dismantling as much as possible from the inside of every US government agency.

**