Climate Report Leaked To Prevent Trump From Smothering It

Once upon a time before America was ruled by a superstitious religious cabal reminiscent of 13th Century church attacking purveyors of science, the United States Congress mandated that a National Climate Assessment would be conducted every four years. On Monday last, the New York Times published a copy of the ‘special science section’ of 2018’s draft version of the comprehensive study. The Times felt, as did the scientists who conducted the study, that it was crucial to publish the “leaked copy” of the report because they and the scientists feared the Trump administration and EPA chief Scott Pruitt would “smother it in its crib.

The congressionally-mandated study was conducted by 13 federal government agencies that concluded no matter what dumb Donald or his anti-science EPA director claim, global warming “has had a verifiable impact on the environment.” And, being good scientists, the researchers referenced thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists over 30-plus years that documented climate change on land and in the air. The scientists wrote:

Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.”

The scientists also noted that this is not some kind of future problem. Americans, like the rest of the Earth’s population, are feeling the devastating effects of global climate change right now. The report states:

Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”

The lengthy scientific report makes an oft-heard conclusion that even if human beings immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the Earth would still face increased temperatures over the next century. Every 8th grade student learns in junior high school science class that greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane remain in the atmosphere for decades and can take 200 years to eventually dissolve in the oceans. Those eighth-graders also learn that a even a minor global temperature increase as small as .30 degrees Celsius has a monumental effect on the climate that affects the weather. It is noteworthy too that those same 8th graders learn the difference between climate and weather. Unfortunately, the current administration is not nearly as smart as an eighth grader.

As Gizmodo reported, the draft report reflects federal government scientists’ “unshaken and continued belief” that human industrial activity is the primary driver of climate change. Trump is unimpressed with the scientists’ conclusions and still regards the idea of climate change as a hoax perpetrated by China; his proof is that there is cold winter weather and snow, and he’s seen it with his own eyes.

The superstitious Trump has claimed, at least 53 times, that literally thousands of climate scientists conducting decades of research and studies are dead wrong because if there is cold weather anyplace on Earth, then the preponderance of climate science research and study results are automatically “debunked.”

EPA anti-science moron Pruitt believes that human-caused CO2 emissions have had no impact on climate change. It was the two idiots’ opposition to scientific facts that prompted some patriotic scientist to leak the results of the study to the Times. And, it is noteworthy that the NYT sent out a “breaking news” alert directly after reviewing study’s results saying it was “an alarming draft report” on climate change that federal scientists feared would be instantly suppressed by the Trump administration.

The executive summary of the comprehensive report is more alarming than the Times let on and it informs why it was “leaked” to prevent it being buried by the anti-science Trump cabal. It is a blunt pronouncement that Trump or his science-denying EPA chief do not want released to the public because the American people have seen for themselves exactly what the scientists have been, and are currently, warning is the result of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. The summary says:

Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea level; and an increase in atmospheric water vapor. … The last few years have also seen record-breaking climate-related weather extremes, as well as the warmest years on record for the entire globe.

There are no alternative explanations to human industrial activity being the cause and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate.”

Thus far, neither the Trump nor his science-denying EPA director have commented on the release of the report they certainly intended to conceal from the public. However, there is little doubt they will go to great lengths to keep it as far away from the people as possible and begin anew a dastardly crusade to demonize science and scientists as disreputable and un-American.

For this author and anyone concerned about the fate of the future for Earth’s population, whichever scientist(s) did expose the document should be hailed as heroic and their identity kept a carefully guarded secret; especially with a vindictive piece of anti-science work in the White House doing his best to imitate the 14th Century church and punish purveyors of science.

 

Trump Taps Science Skeptic to Oversee Scientific Integrity at USDA

Most human beings in a technologically advanced nation would expect the people in charge of specific agencies to have an extraordinarily high level of expertise related to the job they hold.  No-one in their right mind would expect an expert grave digger to be chosen to lead the Centers for Disease Control, or an avowed pacifist picked to run the Department of Defense, but these are strange times in America and “right minded” does not apply to anyone running the government.

In keeping with his practice of appointing people with no expertise whatsoever in the departments and agencies they intend to lead, Trump picked an avowed science skeptic, Sam Clovis, for the number two position at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to the 2008 farm bill, the USDA undersecretary serves as the agency’s “chief scientist” and it specifies that any appointee to the post should be chosen “from among distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.” That 2008 farm bill also makes special note that the undersecretary is “responsible for the coordination of the scientific research, education, and extension activities of the Department.”

In past administrations, going back long before the 2008 farm bill’s specifications, the undersecretary post has been occupied by a “string of individuals with advanced degrees in science or medicine.” Obviously, Trump choosing a science skeptic to oversee and coordinate scientific research is his idea of what it takes to “make America great.”

Naturally, Trump taps a science skeptic who was an ultra right-wing teabagger talk show host and worked as an “advisor to Trump on all things Russia during the presidential campaign.” Sam Clovis, the science-skeptic is the Trump advisor who brought Carter Page into the Trump campaign after a typical Trump-approved vetting; a quick Google search. Page is just one of Trump’s cohorts under investigation by the FBI. But that’s another story unrelated to Clovis’ gross lack of qualifications to pick fruit, much less be undersecretary and “chief scientist” at the USDA responsible for ensuring there is “scientific integrity” at the agency.

The former USDA undersecretary, Catherine Woteki, an acclaimed nutrition scientist explained why the 2008 farm bill required a “distinguished scientist with specialized training” to fill the USDA undersecretary position. Ms. Woteki said:

There’s a huge amount of science that goes into the setting up of the programs, implementation of various policies, and the chief scientist role is to coordinate those policies across the entire department and to represent agricultural science in the decision making that goes on with other departments and is coordinated with the White House science office.”

Clovis should fit right in with Trump’s administration and especially with the Agriculture Department Secretary, Sonny Perdue, who labeled mainstream climate science “so ridiculous and so obviously disconnected from reality.” Not far from Perdue’s appraisal of climate science, Clovis just doesn’t accept climate science as “a thing” and considers himself to be “extremely skeptical.”

Clovis’ qualifications to be the USDA’s chief scientist and ensure scientific integrity at the agency is serving 25 years in the Air Force, teaching college economics for ten years, and running a right-wing talk show. He has “no background in any hard science or in agriculture” and has not “published any work in peer-reviewed scientific or agricultural journals.” But he did work for Trump’s campaign advising him on all things Russia, including the aforementioned recruiting Carter Page.

It is easy to imagine what Clovis will bring to the position when, not if, he is confirmed by the anti-science Republican Senate, but an informed voice, Jessica Huseman at ProPublica, provided a fair estimation of what Clovis will do as “chief scientist” at the USDA.

Ms. Huseman reported that last October when Clovis represented the Trump campaign at the Farm Foundation Forum he told E&E News that the Trump administration is not interested in the impact of climate change on American agriculture. Instead, they will be focusing all their energies on eliminating regulations and boosting trade. As an aside, the American agriculture industry is already suffering trade losses due to the Trump administration’s so-called trade expertise and no amount of deregulation will convince our foreign trading partners to engage with America again; especially with agricultural products.

Trump is bound and determined to put the least qualified human beings in charge of the most important federal agencies whether it was an anti-public school evangelical to run the Department of Education or an anti-environmental protection champion to run the Environmental Protection Agency or an anti-civil rights advocate to run the Department of Justice. Trump seeks out the least qualified people in America to lead important departments and it is just another sign that he has no kind of business acumen. No accomplished and successful business man would ever hire unqualified people to perform even menial tasks, much less to lead a department.

More than incompetence, Trump’s choice of Clovis, like Perdue, is another signal that this administration is Hell bent on attacking science reminiscent of the Dark Age Catholic Church. With Trump in the White House and Republicans controlling all three branches of government, these are the dark ages for America, and dark times for science and research.