Another day, another attempt by Trump officials to silence scientists.
The latest egregious example of censorship is the Environmental Protection Agency’s last-minute move to forbid three of their scientists from speaking on climate change at a long-planned conference focusing on the health of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed, the New York Times reported Sunday. Of course, the health of a major coastal watershed can’t be preserved without understanding and planning for climate change.
“These efforts by the Trump administration to stifle scientific research inconvenient to its corporate masters threatens all of us,” climatologist Michael Mann told Think Progress. “It must not be tolerated.”
EPA spokesperson John Konkus — an anti-science hatchetman — confirmed in an email to multiple outlet that “EPA scientists are attending, they simply are not presenting.” Konkus is a Trump political operative with little environmental expertise, who was given unprecedented oversight to vet hundreds of millions of dollars in annual EPA grants, as we reported in September. His primary focus is cutting grants that include the words “climate change,” and he has already axed such life-saving grants as a clean cookstove program.
You might think that the job of the EPA is to protect the environment — our clean air, clean water, and livable climate. But Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a completely different definition of the environment.
“True environmentalism, from my perspective, is using natural resources that God has blessed us with,” Pruitt told the Heritage Foundation last week.
While that is an Orwellian definition, it does explain why he and his appointees keeps muzzling climate scientists. He just sees them as obstructing his job of making climate-destroying resources like coal and other fossil fuels available for use.
Tragically, this axing and muzzling of all things “climate change” will cause countless people to die or to be sicker — with billions of people suffering for centuries to come if Pruitt and Trump succeed in their effort to undermine both domestic and global climate policy.
“This harkens back to the Lysenko era of Stalinist Russia,” Mann pointed out. “Pseudo-scientific theories about genetics, advanced by Lysenko, were embraced by Stalin.” Those theories ultimately worsened crop yields and starvation “when they were implemented as official soviet agricultural policy. Scientists who challenged Lysenkoism were imprisoned when they challenged Stalinist orthodoxy.”
Some places have already faced climate change-linked starvation, and more crop disruption is a predicted outcome of policies now being embraced by the president and his EPA chief. But they don’t want to talk about that.