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Some things that have recently been changed to insanity – plus a first quick note about one thing that can be done about it – something called Salons or Paris Salons where people meet and strategize to combat these inappropriate and in some cases, insane policies from the Trump administration and GOP power drunk Congress and Senate.


Salons first gained fame in France during the Enlightenment, with citizens gathering to engage in political conversations and arguments; they acted as a place to plan revolution and discuss philosophy. The concept has continued ever since, with the author Gertrude Stein and the former secretary of state Madeleine Albright both known to have hosted them.

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March for Science – on twitter

April 22, 2017

From Washington, D.C. to wherever you are and around the world

The Academy is proud to support & . Find the march nearest to you.


The March for Science demonstrates our passion for science and sounds a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists. The incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by the support of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.


We are people who value science and recognize how science serves. We come from all races, all religions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.

The March for Science is an international movement, led by organizers distributed around the globe. This movement is taking place because of the simultaneous realization by thousands of  people who value science in their lives that staying silent is no longer an option. There are marches being planned across the United States and internationally.

from – (please visit this page link below to find March for Science events near you throughout the world and across the United States April 22, 2017.)


Senate repeals Obama-era workplace safety regulation


Federal Agencies Told to Halt External Communications

US science agencies face deep cuts in Trump budget

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health are big losers — but planetary science at NASA stands to gain.

16 March 2017 Updated:



When it comes to science, there are few winners in US President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal. The plan, released on 16 March, calls for double-digit cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also lays the foundation for a broad shift in the United States’ research priorities, including a retreat from environmental and climate programmes.



Senate votes to block Obama coal rule


GOP begins public land overhaul

In the last two weeks, the House has passed several Congressional Review Act resolutions undoing Obama-administration environmental regulations, including several opposed by industry groups and land reformers.

One of those resolutions ends a Bureau of Land Management rule restricting venting and flaring at natural gas drilling sites on public land. The rule would limit methane pollution, but industry groups say it would be duplicative, unnecessary and costly.

[… ]

Activists pushing their allies to hold the line against the GOP are working to kick up grassroots opposition to public land changes, an effort that they say has had at least some success so far.

Conservationists blistered a House rule change in January that makes it easier for the government to shed its public land holdings. And, earlier this month, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was forced to rescind a bill to sell off millions of acres of federally owned land after a backlash from sportsmen’s groups.




DEC. 9, 2016, 11:37 A.M.

Trump said to pick drilling advocate Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior


Donald Trump has chosen Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), a member of the GOP congressional leadership and a strident advocate for increased oil and gas drilling on federal lands, to head the Interior Department, according to multiple news reports.

McMorris Rodgers, the highest ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives, would take the helm of a 70,000-person agency that manages hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands, including the National Parks system. She would be charged with implementing Trump’s plan to aggressively roll back many of the environmental restrictions the Obama administration has placed on federal lands, which the president-elect wants to open up for substantially more drilling and mining.

[ . . . ]

“Selling off our public lands to the highest bidder and opening them to drilling, mining and logging is not in the best interest of our country,” said a statement from Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, “but that is exactly what Rep. McMorris Rodgers has voted to do over and over again.”




4 Major Environmental Rules That the GOP Congress Is Overturning in Massive Gift to Polluters

Congress is considering eliminative more than 40 Obama administration environment and energy-related rules.



Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump

AT 10 AM the Saturday before inauguration day, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians were hunched over laptops, drawing flow charts on whiteboards, and shouting opinions on computer scripts across the room. They had hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day—all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the incoming Trump administration.

Their undertaking, at the time, was purely speculative, based on travails of Canadian government scientists under the Stephen Harper administration, which muzzled them from speaking about climate change. Researchers watched as Harper officials threw thousands of books of aquatic data into dumpsters as federal environmental research libraries closed.

But three days later, speculation became reality as news broke that the incoming Trump administration’s EPA transition team does indeed intend to remove some climate data from the agency’s website. That will include references to President Barack Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan and the strategies for 2014 and 2015 to cut methane, according to an unnamed source who spoke with Inside EPA. [ . . .]


(Yeah, go read this one too – seriously important)


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

  December 13, 2016

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.

[ . . . ]



How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

[ . . . ]

Magerman told the Wall Street Journal that Mercer’s political opinions “show contempt for the social safety net that he doesn’t need, but many Americans do.” He also said that Mercer wants the U.S. government to be “shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.” Several former colleagues of Mercer’s said that his views are akin to Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Magerman told me, “Bob believes that human beings have no inherent value other than how much money they make. A cat has value, he’s said, because it provides pleasure to humans. But if someone is on welfare they have negative value. If he earns a thousand times more than a schoolteacher, then he’s a thousand times more valuable.” Magerman added, “He thinks society is upside down—that government helps the weak people get strong, and makes the strong people weak by taking their money away, through taxes.” He said that this mind-set was typical of “instant billionaires” in finance, who “have no stake in society,” unlike the industrialists of the past, who “built real things.”

Another former high-level Renaissance employee said, “Bob thinks the less government the better. He’s happy if people don’t trust the government. And if the President’s a bozo? He’s fine with that. He wants it to all fall down.”

[ . . . ]

Press accounts speculated that Robert Mercer may have targeted DeFazio because DeFazio had proposed a tax on a type of high-volume stock trade that Renaissance frequently made. But several associates of Mercer’s say that the truth is stranger. DeFazio’s Republican opponent was Arthur Robinson—the biochemist, sheep rancher, and climate-change denialist. The Mercers became his devoted supporters after reading Access to Energy, an offbeat scientific newsletter that he writes. The family has given at least $1.6 million in donations to Robinson’s Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Some of the money was used to buy freezers in which Robinson is storing some fourteen thousand samples of human urine. Robinson has said that, by studying the urine, he will find new ways of extending the human life span.

Robinson holds a degree in chemistry from Caltech, but his work is not respected in most scientific circles. (The Oregon senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, has called Robinson an “extremist kook.”) Robinson appears to be the source of Robert Mercer’s sanguine view of nuclear radiation: in 1986, Robinson co-authored a book suggesting that the vast majority of Americans would survive “an all-out atomic attack on the United States.” Robinson’s institute dismisses climate change as a “false religion.” A petition that he organized in 1998 to oppose the Kyoto Protocol, claiming to represent thirty thousand scientists skeptical of global warming, has been criticized as deceptive. The National Academy of Sciences has warned that the petition never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, though it is printed in “a format that is nearly identical to that of scientific articles.” The petition, however, still circulates online: in the past year, it was the most shared item about climate change on Facebook.

[ . . . ]

By 2011, the Mercers had joined forces with Charles and David Koch, who own Koch Industries, and who have run a powerful political machine for decades. The Mercers attended the Kochs’ semiannual seminars, which provide a structure for right-wing millionaires looking for effective ways to channel their cash. The Mercers admired the savviness of the Kochs’ plan, which called for attendees to pool their contributions in a fund run by Koch operatives. The fund would strategically deploy the money in races across the country, although, at the time, the Kochs’ chief aim was to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. The Kochs will not reveal the identities of their donors, or the size of contributions, but the Mercers reportedly began giving at least a million dollars a year to the Kochs’ fund. Eventually, they contributed more than twenty-five million.

[ . . . ]

The Mercers’ investment in Breitbart enabled Bannon to promote anti-establishment politicians whom the mainstream media dismissed, including Trump. In 2011, David Bossie, the head of the conservative group Citizens United, introduced Trump to Bannon; at the time, Trump was thinking about running against Obama. Bannon and Trump met at Trump Tower and discussed a possible campaign.

[ . . . [

David Magerman, in his essay for the Inquirer, notes that Mercer “has surrounded our President with his people, and his people have an outsized influence over the running of our country, simply because Robert Mercer paid for their seats.” He writes, “Everyone has a right to express their views.” But, he adds, “when the government becomes more like a corporation, with the richest 0.001% buying shares and demanding board seats, then we cease to be a representative democracy.” Instead, he warns, “we become an oligarchy.”

(You’ve just got to go read the whole thing – )

These heroic guerrilla scientists and librarians are racing to save environmental data from Trump


Jerome WhitingtonVisiting assistant professor of anthropology, NYU

Already, some of our fears are being realized. On Monday, federal staff leaked news that the EPA had frozen its grant funding program, while USDA scientists have had their research funds frozen and were initially told to stop speaking to the media (although that order has since been rescinded.) Meanwhile, the EPA has reportedly been instructed to remove the climate change page from its website.

The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) has formed as an organized response to the Trump administration’s plan to undermine federal environmental science resources. Because access to and control over data is a key piece of effective regulation, we have taken action to systematically archive valuable environmental datasets, create usable nongovernmental data access, and preserve records of wide-ranging, ephemeral, web-based policy and program information. This monitoring and tracking work has also created an opportunity for providing rapid analysis of environmental regulation during the transition.

Trump has also hand-picked a wide range of extremists when it comes to environmental policy, from climate-change-denier Scott Pruitt, his nominee to head the EPA, to ex-Koch Industries lobbyist Thomas Pyle, who is the transition leader for the Energy Department transition. These are not just pro-business conservatives trying to keep environmental costs down. These are hardcore anti-environment appointees, many of whom have strong records of anti-science denial and obstructionism. This, coupled with indications that the administration will be working rapidly to roll back federal environmental policy, points toward a wholesale attack on environmental governance, with federal environmental science a key target.

This is where EDGI comes in. Formed as a decentralized team of about fifty social scientists and researchers immediately after the election, EDGI has focused on these two primary goals: documenting and analyzing the transition, and publicly archiving federally maintained data.