Scientists are really, really worried about Donald Trump

Dec 1, 2016

By Sarah Kaplan

As soon as the election result became clear — Donald Trump would be America’s next president — ecologist Kelly Ramirez began reaching out to friends and female colleagues. Over email, the scientists anxiously discussed what the election would mean for scientific research and for the diverse group of people who conduct it.

“The hateful [campaign] rhetoric towards minorities, women, LBGTQIA, immigrants, and people with disabilities, coupled with the barrage of anti-science and anti-knowledge sentiment was difficult to take,” Ramirez wrote in a blog post for Scientific American. “Especially alone.”

By the weekend, the email group had grown to 100 women. Then 200. They drafted an open letter in defense of inclusivity and the scientific process — including the need to fight climate change — and posted it online nine days after the election. As of Tuesday night, more than 10,500 people have signed it.

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18 comments on “Scientists are really, really worried about Donald Trump

  • I’d like to think his ego would get a huge boost out of saving the planet. Singlehanded. But he doesn’t seem to be collecting a team that will let him hear advice to go that way.

    Maybe if he could be told the only way to save his golf courses is to tackle climate change?

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  • If only it were just scientists. What about, oh I dunno, like the whole world worried about him? Three weeks in and it’s a steady stream of clusterfucks. An appalling unscripted conversation with Pakistan’s Sharif who he praised unreservedly which will have riled India no end. Leaving the UK’s Teresa May low on the list to speak to after his victory. Meeting Japan’s leader Abe with just his daughter there and no advisors. He’s utterly clueless and only really does “hyperbolic”. On the one hand with people he likes it’s Jimmy Fallon on steroids, “you’re great, just so great, bigly great” and on the other with people he doesn’t it’s “dopey, ugly, crooked”. Nothing in between.

    He doesn’t do “measured” because he doesn’t have the normal human emotions that give us discipline and self control. It’s just a 5 year old alternating between “I love you mummy” and “I want my sweeties NOW, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you”.

    No world leader will ever be able to trust him because he lies pathologically and just says whatever he wants people to hear in that instant.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #5
    Dec 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    If only it were just scientists. What about, oh I dunno, like the whole world worried about him?

    . . . and with very good reason!

    Trump names Gen James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as defence secretary

    US President-elect Donald Trump has named Gen James Mattis, a former marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as his defence secretary.

    “He’s our best,” Mr Trump said, as he announced his pick in a speech in Ohio.

    Gen Mattis, who is known as “Mad Dog”, was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy, particularly on Iran.

    He has referred to Iran as “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East”.

    Mr Trump made the announcement in Cincinnati at the start of a “USA Thank You Tour 2016” for his supporters.

    “We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defence,” he told the crowd.

    “They say he’s the closest thing to General George Patton [World War Two commander] that we have.”

    Mr Trump has previously described Gen Mattis, 66, as “a true general’s general”.

    However, a legal hurdle must be overcome before he can be appointed.

    Under US law, a retired officer must be out of uniform for at least seven years before he or she can serve as defence secretary.

    The Republican-controlled Congress will need to approve legislation bypassing the requirement so he can take up the role.

    But at least one Democratic senator, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, says she will not approve a waiver.

    “Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy,” Ms Gillibrand said in a statement, “and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”

    Gen Mattis retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the US Central Command.

    . . . which means that according to the present US law, he cannot take up the appointment for another 4 years!

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  • More troubling than simply yelling “Trump” is the alignment of a republican house and senate. Here’s the thing, with this alignment, they CAN get things done.

    Now, it has been my experience that very little actually gets done. Words v actions and all that. But, in two years, the people will have another chance at bumping some of these people out of office. Unless the majority aligns with them and re-elects them. This whole democracy and representative gov’t thing has it’s real pros and real cons as well.

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  • crookedshoes #9
    Dec 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    But, in two years, the people will have another chance at bumping some of these people out of office. Unless the majority aligns with them and re-elects them.

    I would suspect that some Republican congress members are already regarding Trump as a liability!

    @#7 link – However, a legal hurdle must be overcome before he [Mad Dog] can be appointed.

    Under US law, a retired officer must be out of uniform for at least seven years before he or she can serve as defence secretary.

    The Republican-controlled Congress will need to approve legislation bypassing the requirement so he can take up the role.

    The obvious questions are:
    “Did Trump simply blab out this appointment without seeking legal advice?

    Does he care what the law says, or see ANY requirement for presidents to obey the constitution or the law?

    Does he think that a Republican Congress AND Senate are just noddy rubber-stamps for his whimsical decisions?

    and . . . Will the majority of the Republican congressmen and senators go along with being treated as noddy rubber stamps?”

    . . . and that is before we even look at the need to understand and comply with international laws, treaties, and use discrete language in the course of international diplomatic relations!

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  • Alan4,
    My view is that this job has complexities and intricacies that are unknown to civilians/non-politicians/ citizens/reporters/foxnews/CNN… and Trump. He used disgraceful tactics to get elected and made brash but flawed and impossible promises. These things occurred when he was “outside the know”… So are/were many of his supporters. He is now “in the know” where there are forced interactions and actions that are rigid and non-negotiable. His “damage index” if you want to call it that has been significantly curtailed by the reality of the world he has stepped into.

    Now, I am not declaring that he can do no damage, he can and most certainly he will. But, law binds him and stepping outside that law can be actionable and be cause for removal from the office, no matter how popular he is. He is scary for a lot of reasons and if every policy he proffers is adopted, we are going to be in a shit world. But, again, in my experience, very little actually gets done and as much as I spit on the politicians, there are vocal voices of reason out there and watchdog groups that would love nothing more than to remove him from office (please don’t — Pence scares me more).

    And, having said that… the areas I fear that he will impact most negatively are public education (very bad for me), the environment (very bad for everyone), and race relations (very bad for everyone). Outside of these areas, I see very little changing outside these three areas. Even reproductive rights of women, although threatened, I do not think he has the juice to get his agenda passed there. Foreign trade acts and relations are way outside my sphere of understanding, but, I currently do not really know how the existing accords affect me, so it would be disingenuous of me to claim that I understand how changing them would be good or bad.

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  • Hello

    You’ve heard about this right?—He’s now considering appointing the CEO of Exxon Mobil to be Defense Secretary! And he hired a climate change denier to lead his EPA transition team! The Republicans in Congress have a once in a life-time opportunity now, and they will not oppose him. It’s a terrifying time. Trump and his team are sick. Love of money is the greatest evil. Jesus was right about that. But there’s more to it than that. There seems to be a fatalistic and masochistic aspect to all this; perhaps the Republicans, in addition to wanting to maintain and increase concentrated wealth and concentrated power, are trying to bring about the Rapture. Biblical prophecy. I wonder just what percentage of these Republicans are not making decisions based on their belief in biblical prophecy.

    Let’s all be realistic. This is the most perilous time in the history of the world.

    We are an adaptive species, and we are also a self-deceptive species.—A fine line. We tend to think that existence is a carpet under our feet, that everything will be okay, that we will make it through this, that we will wake up tomorrow and again the next day…. and that American Democracy will be able to withstand anything. Not necessarily true!

    Read this, please:

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  • Dan,
    I see why you are shouting that the sky is falling, really, I do. I am just not sure that any of these people can actually do anything. If each were their own dictatorship, yes, I get it. And, putting these shit heads “in charge” is scary as hell. But none of them unilaterally decide anything at all. Remember that these folks have clearly demonstrated their incompetence and inability at multiple tasks and at multiple levels. They just don’t get it. And I would rather, MUCH rather, someone else be the figure head of each of these “committees” … However, I have not seen any of these people’s predecessors do anything remotely close to threatening the existence of humankind (as you imply) and have a hard time visualizing this flock of garbage getting anything done.

    Trying to talk you off the ledge here. There are pathways through this where the damage is minimal and the impact these incompetents have is small. Multiple roads lead to catastrophe (in this, you are correct)…. multiple lines of thought demonstrate that you are also right about our times being “perilous”… But, it’s not like the lava is approaching Pompeii, Nero is not fiddling, yet. None of your projections is inevitable. None. I am not saying you or anyone else should be complacent and sit back as if all is going to be well. But, to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, because the popcorn is a little burnt, can be every bit as dangerous as an actual fire.

    These people are idiots and there is reason to be wary and on guard. In reality, none have even been approved yet. Your level of alarm may be warranted, but it also may be a little premature. I sincerely hope I am right, here, and down the road you get to exhale.

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  • Crooked and Dan

    I think that at the first sign of catastrophic incompetence the Democrats will launch and impeachment and resignation attack against Trump. The Republicans will not defend him and will welcome that snake in the grass Pence. Yes Crooked, he’s absolutely frightening and he has minions who will be thrilled for the opportunity to send us all back to the dark ages. Be afraid!

    Pence gives the impression of stability and even tempered good leadership, that is, until we dig deeper to find his real views. But how many people do that? We know him to be a brainwashed automaton soldier for Jesus and we certainly know enough to be frightened of him for that and all that it entails. To the general gullible public he’s a good Christian man with solid Christian values. Woe is us!

    General Mad Dog and all of his military hawks have Iran solidly in their sights now and are frothing at the mouth just waiting for inauguration day.

    With what Trump has done so far when he isn’t even President yet, I see WWIII on the horizon.

    Crooked, I do appreciate words of reassurance but every time I watch the news I become more alarmed than ever. Of course, I hope you are proven right and I so want to be wrong.

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  • @#13, #14

    Crooked Hilla… er, Crooked and Laurie—


    Laurie, you and I (and others too) think alike. It’s surprising at times, and comforting.

    Crooked, I too hope that you are right. Thank you, again, for your comment and your concern.

    As I said elsewhere, Crookedshoes, I remind myself of a character in one of Woody Allen’s movies. In that movie (which wasn’t so hot), he’s on the phone with his doctor. The doctor gives him the “best and most likely case scenario.” You are like the doctor. Woody’s character asks what the worst-case scenario is. “A brain tumor,” he says. That is then assumed by Woody’s character to be the only scenario.

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  • P.S. My grandfather left Germany in November, 1936. He saw the writing on the wall. Other assimilated and affluent german Jews were in denial. He had courage and foresight. I hope you’re right, but I think I learned something from my grandfather. The unthinkable can happen.

    And this situation is bad, as good old Hemingway would say. This is not Germany and this is not about persecution of Jews, but this situation is very bad.

    I do hope you’re right, Crooked. I do hope you’re right.

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  • Trump just hired Ben Carson to be in charge of HUDD (Housing an Urban Development). Carson said that the poor choose to be poor and is opposed to low-income housing (Section 8, etc.) Awful! Worst possible choice. Same with the EPA appointee and the education lady (DeVos). These people that will hurt the environment, hurt public education, and hurt people who rely on publicly funded and affordable housing!!

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