US bill restricts use of science in environmental policymaking

Apr 4, 2017

By Brian Owens

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a future in which its hands will be tied on making many policies if a new bill becomes law.

Last week the US House of Representatives passed a bill, the HONEST Act, that would prevent the EPA from basing any of its regulations on science that is not publicly accessible – not just journal articles themselves, but all of the underlying data, models and computer code.

“The HONEST Act requires EPA to base new regulations on sound science that is publicly available, and not hidden from the American people,” said Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chair of the House science committee, who sponsored the bill, in a statement. “The days of ‘trust me’ science are over.”

“Allowing EPA’s data to be independently reviewed promotes sound science that will restore confidence in the EPA decision-making process,” said Smith.

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5 comments on “US bill restricts use of science in environmental policymaking

  • @OP – Last week the US House of Representatives passed a bill, the HONEST Act,

    When a pack of pseudoscientific obstructive nonsense is presented – with a desperate need by its promoters for the con to wear a fake “HONEST” label, it is still a pack of dishonest pseudoscientific obstructive nonsense!

    that would prevent the EPA from basing any of its regulations on science that is not publicly accessible – not just journal articles themselves, but all of the underlying data, models and computer code.

    Of course what they really mean IS:- “that would prevent the EPA from basing any of its regulations on science”, and give obstructionists a pretext for concocting spurious prevaricating arguments!

    Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chair of the House science committee, who sponsored the bill, in a statement. “The days of ‘trust me’ science are over.”

    The days of “trust me” politicians was over EVEN before they took a further nose dive with the election of Lamar Smith.

    Given that all the evidence indicates that Lamar Smith still cannot understand basic school science books which have been available for decades, this is just the ignorant denialists playing another round of the “ink-blot interpretation through their bias blinkers” game, on the basis that they can make up any lies they like – because the vast majority of the public could not understand the complex scientific studies and calculations involved in reaching conclusions on environmental issues!

    There are of course many good reasons why “source codes” (of which these clowns have no understanding) are protected from the hackers of the world, and to protect intellectual property, patents, and copyright.

    Lamar Smith – “The days of ‘trust me’ science are over.”

    Smith is so scientifically illiterate, that he does not know that the fantasy of ” ‘trust me’ science” never existed – except in the minds of disinformed denialists, propaganda briefed stooge muppets, and in the field of pseudoscience quackery!

    When representative scientific bodies such as the IPCC make statements, it is of scrutinised peer reviewed and carefully evaluated and checked material.
    It is of course checked for accuracy and integrity of process, but not checked to see if science illiterates like Smith or his vested interest sponsors like it. His personal likes are irrelevant to its accuracy or verification!

    When a monkey is appointed to a management position with a fancy sciency title, and wears a badge “authority”, IT IS STILL A MONKEY with no understanding of science!



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  • I see that a court in Kenya has taken deregulation, and opposition to scientific measurement as a source of evidence, to a new level!

    Those “individual freedoms”- ERRR (commercial interests,) have to be protected from those seeking enforce personal responsible actions in the interests of public safety and welfare!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39537446

    A Kenyan court has banned random breathalyser tests as a way to catch drivers who are over the limit.

    The decision was made following a three-year battle by bar owner Kariuki Ruitha, who complained breathalysers were ruining his business.

    Mr Ruitha argued they violated Kenyans’ constitutional rights to make their own lifestyle decisions – including how much to drink.

    Kenya has some of the most dangerous roads in the world.

    In the first half of last year, 1,574 people died in accidents.

    However, sitting in the Court of Appeal, the three judges said drink drivers could still be charged under traffic laws – after which point a breathalyser can be used.

    According to local media reports, Mr Ruitha, who owns a bar in Nairobi, first brought the case to trial more than three years ago, when he sued the Minister for Transport.

    He had lost 80% of his business because customers were being breathalysed as they left the premises – leading to him lay off 44 employees, The Star reported.

    In 2014, his lawyer described the rules as “oppressive and unreasonable” if someone had not already committed a driving offence.



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  • I see that the Earth’s climate and the ecology of the planet remain unimpressed by delusional US legislation!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-39524196

    Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, aerial surveys have shown.

    The bleaching – or loss of algae – affects a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef, according to scientists.

    The latest damage is concentrated in the middle section, whereas last year’s bleaching hit mainly the north.

    Experts fear the proximity of the two events will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

    Prof Terry Hughes, from James Cook University, said governments must urgently address climate change to prevent further bleaching.

    “Since 1998, we have seen four of these events and the gap between them has varied substantially, but this is the shortest gap we have seen,” Prof Hughes told the BBC.

    “The sooner we take action on global greenhouse gas emissions and transition away from fossil fuels to renewables, the better.”

    Almost 800 coral reefs across 8,000km were assessed by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

    The findings showed only the southern section was relatively unscathed.

    Researcher Dr James Kerry said the damage was unprecedented.

    “The central third this year, I would say, was as severe in terms of bleaching as what we saw as the northern third last year,” he told the BBC.

    “For those reefs that were hit two years in a row, it is effectively a double whammy. They have had no chance to recover from last year’s events.”



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  • It seems that Trump does not bother with health sciences or regulations in his business dealings – not even for his very rich customers!
    Still a bit of deregulation could stop people from being upset about this, and help to cover up any arising problems!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39593754

    Trump’s Mar-a-Lago kitchen cited for food safety violations

    Health and safety inspectors have found more than a dozen violations in the kitchen of the Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, owned by President Donald Trump.

    The 13 issues included broken fridges which meant that meat and fish were kept at temperatures deemed unsafe.

    Tap water was not warm enough to properly sanitise employees’ hands, and a shelf in a walk-in freezer was covered in rust.

    Membership at the private club is $200,000 (£159,000) per year.

    The 13 violations were discovered shortly before the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Mar-a-Lago.

    Two fridges were not in working order, and had to be emptied and repaired.

    According to the report filed after a 26 January visit by state inspectors, fish that was “raw or undercooked has not undergone proper parasite destruction”.

    In addition to three “high priority violations” (which can cause illness), 10 other, lesser violations were found.

    According to the Miami Herald, Mr Trump was known in the past to have personally checked the Mar-a-Lago kitchens himself, as well as conducting staff inspections.

    The newspaper reports that inspectors last year found 11 violations, and two were discovered in 2015.

    How could this happen when Trump (with all HIS know-it-all pseudo-scientific expertise 🙂 ) had personally inspected the kitchens?



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