Former EPA scientists to Trump: ‘Evidence does not change when the administration changes’

Mar 3, 2017

By Chris Mooney

The Trump administration’s proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency is looking dramatic indeed. The plans call for laying off thousands of staff, eliminating entire programs and making deep cuts to the agency’s research office, the Office of Research and Development (ORD), according to recent reporting by The Washington Post.

That’s not to say all of this will happen — or that any of it will. Congress makes the final decisions on funding the government. But it’s a stunning proposal to researchers familiar with the workings of the EPA.

“I think a deep cut would be devastating to the nation’s capacity to do environmental health and ecosystem research,” said Jonathan Samet, a former chair of the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee who is now a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

11 comments on “Former EPA scientists to Trump: ‘Evidence does not change when the administration changes’

  • Why am I reminded of Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s play, blaming the messenger for bad news ? It appears Trump’s administration would all be happier wearing Zaphod Beeblebrox shades. Sod the reality !



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  • @OP- The Trump administration’s proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency is looking dramatic indeed.
    The plans call for laying off thousands of staff, eliminating entire programs and making deep cuts to the agency’s research office, the Office of Research and Development (ORD), according to recent reporting by The Washington Post.

    This demonstrates the fundamentally flawed perceptions of the ideological right, that a small bunch of pseudo-scientific amateurs, can run government better than the large body of scientific and administrative expertise which built up experience and knowledge over the years.

    Trump has been sufficiently deluded and stupid to try to actually put this into operation – with perverse toxic appointments of people incompetently opposed to the proper operation the departments where they have been put in charge.

    The cascade of blunders from this foolish experiment, is inevitable, – starting with the failure to properly check the conflicts of interest, security risks, and the lack of competence arising from these appointments.

    As the cascading blunders escalate, the objective reporting becomes progressively more embarrassing to the Trump Administration and its supporters, but lacking both numbers and expertise, it can only sit in aggravated denial, feeding its own propaganda back to its self, while making up lame excuses and chanting “fake-news” at critics!

    The cheerleaders of little brain and short memories, will lap this up for a while, but even they will eventually become disenchanted as political in-fighting ensues within their own ranks as reality hits sections of their number!

    Given the persistence of Trump’s inflated ego, false confidence, and loud mouth, these destructive blunders are going to continue to be in the public eye world wide!



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  • @OP – link –
    The plans call for laying off thousands of staff, eliminating entire programs and making deep cuts to the agency’s research office, the Office of Research and Development (ORD), according to recent reporting by The Washington Post.

    That’s not to say all of this will happen — or that any of it will. Congress makes the final decisions on funding the government.
    But it’s a stunning proposal to researchers familiar with the workings of the EPA.
    Research and Development as the “preeminent environmental research organization, a cornerstone of our global leadership in environmental science, and a key player in the training of environmental health scientists.” The ORD had a budget of $521 million in 2015 with a staff of 1,755.

    And the Post reported Wednesday that the administration is considering a proposal to cut this office by “up to 42 percent.”

    As Congress scrutinises Trump’s so-called plans for vast military expenditure and wall construction and the associated Trumponomics, of budget cuts in vital services, I wait the Trump claims of “fake mathematics” when he is told his figures don’t add up!



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  • Mr DArcy #4
    Mar 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    And don’t forget the “fiscal cliff’ that a few of Trump’s enterprises fell down!

    I think it is more than a few!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_affairs_of_Donald_Trump

    An analysis by USA Today published in June 2016 found that over the previous three decades, Trump and his businesses have been involved in 3,500 legal cases in U.S. federal courts and state court, an unprecedented number for a U.S. presidential candidate.[1] Of the 3,500 suits, Trump or one of his companies were plaintiffs in 1,900; defendants in 1,450; and bankruptcy, third party, or other in 150.

    The Trump lawsuits[5][6] have attracted criticism from Trump’s opponents, who say that this is not a trait that conservatives should support.[5] James Copland, director of legal policy at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, states that “Trump clearly has an affinity for filing lawsuits, partly because he owns a lot of businesses” and has sometimes used litigation as a “bullying tactic”.[5]

    Although Trump has said that he “never” settles legal claims, Trump and his businesses have settled with plaintiffs in at least 100 cases (mostly involving personal injury claims arising from injuries at Trump properties), with settlements ranging as high as the hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars[1] and recently as high as the tens of millions of dollars.[7]

    Among the most well-known Trump legal cases was the Trump University litigation. Three legal actions were brought alleging fraud, one by the New York State Attorney General and the others by class action plaintiffs.[8] In November 2016, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle the litigation



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  • @OP – ‘Evidence does not change when the administration changes’

    The problem with the Trump administration is not only that most, or all of his team, do not know what the evidence is – and are in denial of it, but they also do not know what the administrative procedures are for managing and using the information.

    Consequently, not only are their attempts at operating policy by knee-jerk executive order ridiculous, but the excuses they make up about the supposed activities of the previous administration, and the “superior operation” of their own, are transparently fictitious, because they are concocted propaganda made up by people who have no idea how government works or how its agencies keep records!

    Their “plan”, is to sack expert people who tell Trump and his selected ignorant team, things they don’t want to hear, or which give the lie to Trump’s twitter babblings of “alternative facts”!

    Of course once officials are sacked, or give up talking to the closed mind of a “brick wall” and retire, they are then free to comment in the press about matters where they were constrained as employees!



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  • @OP – ‘Evidence does not change when the administration changes’

    The sequel to this is:-
    “Evidence does not appear out of thin air, when Trump blabbers assertions on Twitter!”

    However: – Follow up contrived and contorted fantasy stories do appear out of the White House!



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  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/us/politics/climate-change-trump.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    On one side of that debate is Mr. Bannon, who as a former chief executive of Breitbart News published countless articles denouncing climate change as a hoax, and who has vowed to push Mr. Trump to transform all his major campaign promises into policy actions.

    Mr. Bannon – One of Trump’s collection of science illiterate carbon industry stooges, from his “White House Department of Fake News”! !

    “President Trump Must Not Wobble on Climate Change — No Matter What Ivanka Says …,” blared a Breitbart post on Monday written by James Delingpole, who is close to Mr. Bannon and who leads the website’s coverage of climate-change policy.

    No wonder Trump’s climate policy is “up the Delingpole”!

    Dedicated science illiterate, media denialist, James Delingpole, who never had any credibility with scientists, is working for Breitbart, now that he no longer has any credibility with the quality reputable press!

    On the other side are Ms. Trump, Mr. Tillerson, and a slew of foreign policy advisers and career diplomats who argue that the fallout of withdrawing from the accord could be severe, undercutting the United States’ credibility on other foreign policy issues and damaging relations with key allies.



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  • @OP – Former EPA scientists to Trump: ‘Evidence does not change when the administration changes’

    . . . . . . and evidence collecting will continue, and be available, – with or without US participation regardless of Trump and the science illiterates of Breitbart!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39183353

    One of the key spacecraft in Europe’s new multi-billion-euro Earth observation programme has launched from French Guiana.

    Sentinel-2B carries a large camera to image all land surfaces and coastal waters in visible and infrared light.

    It joins an identical spacecraft, Sentinel-2A, already in orbit.

    The duo will be flown on the same path but 180 degrees apart so that they can provide a complete map of Earth – clouds permitting – every five days.

    The Sentinels constitute the space segment of the European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring programme.

    A suite of sensors is being lofted over the next few years to gather critical information on the state of the planet and to acquire the data needed to inform and enforce EU policies.

    Applications range from urban planning and air-quality monitoring to tracking deforestation and glacier retreat.

    Sentinels 2A and 2B are, in many senses, the centrepiece of this effort because their free and open picture resource will almost certainly find the widest use.

    “To say they are the ‘heartbeat’ is a good way to describe them because they take the images that are most easily understandable,” Josef Aschbacher, the director of Earth observation at the European Space Agency (Esa), told BBC News.

    The colour cameras on the Sentinel-2 pair are designed to see features as small as 10m across.

    Sensitive to 13 bands of light, the instruments will observe a range of properties in the things they see, allowing for example the distinction to be made between different types of crops and for an assessment to be made about their health.

    Together, they will be producing something like four terabytes of data daily. It is a prodigious volume that will lean on the assistance of a laser relay link.

    For a 10-minute spell on each orbit, the spacecraft will each fire their images not down to Earth but higher into the sky, to a geostationary satellite that will then bounce them to the ground.

    Thousands of users have registered to have access to the pictures. Downloading them from the various distributed servers has been made easier by chopping the “scenes” up into more manageable chunks.



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  • https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/09/epa-scott-pruitt-carbon-dioxide-global-warming-climate-change

    Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, has dismissed a basic scientific understanding of climate change by denying that carbon dioxide emissions are a primary cause of global warming.

    Pruitt said on Thursday that he did not believe that the release of CO2, a heat-trapping gas, was pushing global temperatures upwards.

    “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he told CNBC.

    “But we don’t know that yet … We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

    Actually it merely shows that Pruitt has yet to start to study and understand the evidence from scientists, rather than lazily and incompetently, parroting propagandist rubbish from the likes of Breitbart!
    Obviously this know-it-all ignoramus has made no attempt to learn anything from the experts in his department, before making public pronouncements!

    This stance puts Pruitt at odds with his own agency, which states on its website that carbon dioxide is the “primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change”.
    This finding is backed by Nasa, which calls CO2 “the most important long-lived ‘forcing’ of climate change”.

    Scientists have understood for more than a century that CO2 traps heat. Atmospheric concentrations of the gas have increased by more than a third since the industrial revolution, driven by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from 2014, which summarized the findings of 2,000 international scientists, states it is “extremely likely” that the steep rise in CO2, along with other greenhouse gases such as methane, has caused most of the global warming experienced since the 1950s.

    Pruitt’s comments were quickly condemned by scientists, environmental activists and even his immediate predecessor as EPA chief, Gina McCarthy.

    “The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs,” said McCarthy, an appointee of Barack Obama.
    “When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high.

    “I cannot imagine what additional information the administrator might want from scientists for him to understand that.”

    Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said: “Pruitt has demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency. There is no doubt whatsoever that the planet is warming, and it is primarily due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels.

    This simply further illustrates Trump’s criteria of reactionary ignorance, as a qualification for office in his administration!



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  • @#10 – Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said:
    Pruitt has demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency.

    Appointments do not confer capability, but they may confer a poser’s platform for the ignorant to posture as fake experts to their fellow ignorant, – while being regarded as laughing stocks by educated informed opinion!



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