A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists lays out in shocking detail the scale and depth of the Trump administration’s assault on science and scientists.
It describes how the Interior Department has single-mindedly pursued an agenda of handing over the public lands it manages to oil and gas and other polluting and extractive industries, brushing aside concerns raised by its own scientists about climate change and other ecosystem impacts.
Leadership at Interior has disbanded scientific advisory committees, attempted to alter the content of reports that mention climate change, and placed a political appointee with no scientific degree as gatekeeper for all science grants of over $50,000. They’ve ended research projects on the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining and on safety inspections of offshore drilling, without convincing explanations.
They’ve pushed regulatory changes to weaken endangered species protections with utter disregard for scientific evidence. They’ve retaliated against agency scientists who’ve blown the whistle on these attacks. And in one particularly egregious instance, Secretary Ryan Zinke personally berated the superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park for tweeting about climate change.