Trump’s budget: A new foundation for climate catastrophe

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney claims it targets “crazy” spending on climate change.

Credit: Tom Toles, reprinted with permission
Credit: Tom Toles, reprinted with permission

With its newly released budget, the Trump administration’s war on climate has turned into a scorched earth campaign — although Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says it only targets “crazy” climate change spending.

In fact, Mulvaney appears to have gone through every agency’s budget line by line to cut almost every program that has anything to do with science or climate change.

The National Institute of Health’s cancer research and disease prevention is slashed by billions. NASA’s Office of Education — which boosts workforce competitiveness — is zeroed out. Environmental enforcement is gutted.

While the pope and other world leaders are explaining to the president that we are doing far too little to prevent catastrophic climate change, this budget was written by people who think we are spending too much on the gravest preventable threat to the nation and the world.

Back in March, Mulvaney called climate change research “a waste of your money.” On Tuesday, he again told reporters, “We’re spending too much of your money on climate change, and not very efficiently.” He shrugged off questions about the administration’s approach to climate change funding. “Do we target it? Sure. Do a lot of the EPA reductions aim at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes.”

He said the Trump administration would not fund “crazy” climate programs.

Apparently “crazy” programs include efforts to improve our weather forecasting, coastal protection and adaptation, and clean energy.

While Trump’s budget is titled “A New Foundation For American Greatness,” Dr. Michael Mann told ThinkProgress it “would ensure that we fall behind the rest of the world” in the twin challenges of maintaining prosperity while preserving the environment.

The renowned climate scientist, who recently co-authored The Madhouse Effect with Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Tom Toles, said, “The punitive nature of the budget cuts for climate research constitute nothing short of a assault on science, the environment, and indeed the planet.”

The good news is that Trump’s budget is widely considered dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. The bad news is that the devastating cuts in this budget may make whatever “draconian” cuts the Republican Congress comes up with look reasonable by comparison, as Mann also tweeted.