How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise

Dec 4, 2016

By Ed Yong

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned 19 common chemicals from common antibacterial washes, because manufacturers hadn’t shown that they were safe in the long run, or any better than plain soap and water. In October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated a rule forcing dozens of states to reduce levels of ozone and other air pollutants coming out of power plants—a move that would protect hundreds of millions of Americans from lung diseases.  In the same month, the EPA and the United National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enacted a rule that limits the carbon dioxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and tractors.

In a few months, these regulations could vanish, along with over 100 others designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Americans.

To an extent, regulations are necessary. Laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and many others have been instrumental in improving health, saving lives, and protecting the environment. These rules are multiplying. Their opponents argue that they limit businesses, stifle innovation, add red tape, and cost jobs. Their defenders say that they boost efficiency, create employment in new sectors, and are moral imperatives regardless of costs.


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13 comments on “How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise

  • The bright side is this could be looked on a massive experiment to compare science and superstition. I would hope by the end of 4 years people will be utterly sick of the superstition that a mentally ill man pulls from his anus.

    It may also be clear why the government does not press some particular religion. The firestorms they start trying to do so will have people coming to the same conclusions the founding fathers did.



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  • To appeal to Trump supporters, follow these rules:

    Do not use more than ten words in a sentence.
    Minimize all multi syllable words, both in numbers of such words as well as their size..
    All statements must be simple to understand, nothing complex.
    Use GOD to explain anything that is difficult to understand.
    Shout your statements and “Say it as it is!”



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  • cbrown #2
    Dec 7, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Do not use more than ten words in a sentence.
    Minimize all multi syllable words, both in numbers of such words as well as their size..
    All statements must be simple to understand, nothing complex.

    Teresa May is using a similar strategy, for the benefit of the ‘kippers and brexiteer supporters.

    While the Supreme Court is having a complex presentation of the legalities of representative parliamentary democracy, Teresa May having earlier “explained” that “brexit means brexit”, – for the benefit of Express, Mail, and Sun readers, she has now elaborated to “further explain”, that “brexit” means “red, white and blue brexit”!

    Those darn judges just don’t get it, and keep the court discussing legal issues – but those “clever journalists” in these papers are busy telling them how to do better 🙂



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  • More madness and horror:

    From Dallas News. (Excerpts)

    WASHINGTON — Texas oilman Rex Tillerson was set to meet Tuesday with President-elect Donald Trump — a late entrant into the high-stakes jockeying for secretary of state, and one whose close ties to Russia have raised eyebrows.

    “Covering up climate science and deceiving investors qualifies you for federal investigation, not federal office,” said May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, an environmental group. “An oil baron as Secretary of State would do enormous damage. Tillerson could deeply disrupt international efforts towards climate action, take retribution against countries that defy the oil industry, and help write more international trade deals that put profit ahead of people and planet.”

    Tillerson apparently entered and left Trump Tower without passing journalists camped out in the main lobby. Trump aides said his appointment was in the morning.

    Senate Democrats see a Tillerson nomination as an opening to grill him over allegations that Exxon suppressed internal research about climate change and, in particular, the impact of fossil fuels on climate.



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  • Breaking News – and it couldn’t be worse!! This is a national crisis, a world crisis.

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.



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  • I know it’s blasphemy to quote scripture in the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science but when you read this… I think it’s worth a run.

    Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency,

    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do…



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  • cbrown

    I agree. I think the guy is quite stupid and in this thing way over his head. I feel the Republicans smirking behind his back knowing that they can jerk him around to suit their agenda.



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  • Laurie,

    I’ve heard that argument, but their agenda is Trump’s agenda. (I don’t mean his own private agenda.) How are “the Republicans” any better or different than Trump? Explain this to me. I don’t get it. They love his appointees, I think. The Republicans have been against medicare, SS, public education, minimum wage, regulations, abortion, etc, have always been. Trump is their man. They want to give tax breaks to the one percent too. They want to cut spending too. They want to privatize everything too. How are “the Republicans” any different than Trump? —And isn’t it sad that many feel that we have to rely on the republicans now to keep a president in check?

    I have a comment for you on the Clinton Unapologetic thread.



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  • “Trump’s capricious use of power to denigrate and even endanger his critics must end. He is not yet our President. When he becomes so, and has far greater power, our freedom and our democracy could be gravely jeopardized.
    We must join together to condemn these acts. We must ask: Has Trump no decency?” –Robert Reich



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