Go science!

My niece coined a marvelous phrase in response to her finding out my three children also attended the March for Science on Earth Day. She said, “Go science!”

I applaud her enthusiasm as it is needed to countervent the poor stewardship of scientific responsibility being conducted out of the White House. Truth be told, while I have many concerns for the future, my greatest concern under this President has always been backtracking on climate change interventions and environmental progress. With appointments of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA and Rick Perry as head of Energy, we do not have leaders that hold the environment as a key priority. And, with the deletion of science data and links from federal websites and proposed reduced funding on scientific research, we are punting on our prominent global role in scientific thought.

I still am having a hard time ascertaining what “make America great means.” But, one thing is for certain, dumbing down America is not the path to keep up us competitive and the world safe. With NASA and NOAA, we hold significant roles in climate change data and planning. With our passing the tipping point on renewable energy, we hold an important place in the movement to cleaner energy.

When I hear folks like the President counter with jobs, we should let the data speak. Renewable energy jobs are growing at double digit rates. To compete in an ever advancing technology world which is cutting far more jobs than international investment, not investing in science and cutting Visas for talented students hinders future job growth around advancement since jobs are created around the initial innovation.

Ignoring or belittling science is not the answer for a robust and growing country. The President said yesterday that science should not be ideological and open to debate. He is right. Deleting data and papers does not sound very open to me, nor is squelching debate on folks that disagree with your position.

25 thoughts on “Go science!

  1. Trump wasted no time in reversing key elements of our commitment to reverse the environmental damage that humans have created, and by all indications, he isn’t done yet. Nonetheless, I was very encouraged by the turnout at the Marches for Science around the globe yesterday … the turnout was further proof that the people of the U.S. and other nations support environmental protections and are aware that we need to stop the madness. Now if people will continue protesting Trump’s policies by calling and writing their congressional representatives … there might just be hope for a return to sanity. In the words of Bill McKibben, teacher of environmental science at Middlebury College, “Tax cuts and executive orders can easily be reversed. The effects of climate change policy cannot.” Good post, Keith!

    • Thanks Jill. It encouraged me as well. Bill McKibben is so correct. Plus, the climate scientists note the importance of acting in the next ten years. Fortunately, the President cannot derail the train, but he certainly can slow it down. Keith

      • Yes, he certainly can slow it down. I do not know what LePen’s views on climate change are, but if she is of the same mind as Trump, that can only spell even more trouble.

      • Jill, their opinions are important, but as the numbers have gotten so compelling for renewable energy, the math will tell investors and utilities where to go. Coal is on the demise and rhetoric cannot pull it off that path. Keith

    • Lisa, the hope is the President’s ego not liking that his actions are being scoffed at. Even Exxon-Mobil is trying to dissuade him from leaving the Paris climate deal. Keith

  2. Dear Keith,
    This is an issue that cuts across party lines. There are conservative groups that are supportive of science and the science behind climate change. There is no sound reason for DDT TO turn back the clock on climate change reforms except that he is catering to certain special interest entities like the fossil industry.


    Ciao, Gronda

    • Gronda, when you step back and look at this from a risk management approach, don’t you think a leader would want to at least guard against the fact the climate scientists being right? Looking at Florida Goverbor Rick Scott who asked his staff not to use climate change or global warming in print or speeches, his state is surrounded on three sides by water. Neither leader will be remembered well if only for these poor decisions. Keith

    • Janis, he cannot derail some activities, but can slow them down. Pence will likely replace him before his term expires, but I don’t know how much better he will be. He will at least be more rational. Keith

    • Hugh, I am hopeful he will get shamed into doing things through the negative publicity. Gronda cites some good survey statistics in her post of today on Americans feelings about the environment. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: Former New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg has come out with a new book in concert with the Sierra Club on fighting climate change. In essence, he says Washington can only influence the climate change battle so much, as it is being fought by companies and people. He said if Donald Trump does not support the fight to ignore him. What he would hate to see the US pull out of the Paris agreement as that sends a bad message to the rest of the world.

    • Some local and state governments (as well as companies and ordinary people) are also realistic about slowing and ameliorating climate change. Can the various scattered efforts avoid the worst-case consequences of criminally willful ignorance at the highest levels in the US? That remains to be seen.

      • Excellent point. I saw Bloomberg interviewed this morning on CBS and he reiterated the same theme. Cities are leading the charge. He noted we are making progress on the US on our carbon emissions goals of 2025.

  4. What chagrins me the most (and just because chagrin has “grin” in it doesn’t mean I’m smiling) is that the gassy golf-playing orangutan we put in charge of our country isn’t reversing our climate and environmental policies because of any scientific or religious belief. He is doing it just to erase every accomplishment of his predecessor, simply out of jealous, racist spitefulness. Waste from coal mines and coal treatment plants gets to go back into rivers simply because Obama was against it. The big fussy baby wants to poop on the plates of everybody he didn’t personally invite to the feast.

    • Mickey, I am chagrined as well. I do think he has been poorly advised on these issues and will be leaving a legacy no one should be proud of. As
      Michael Bloomberg noted, how would you like to live downstream from where DT has allowed coal miners to dump waste? They definitely won’t be grinning. Keith

  5. A rather curious mindset can arise where Science can be viewed as a conscious and deliberate political opposition if it keeps bothering someone with facts….

    • Roger, you raise the point that troubled many scientists about marching. They did not want to come across as political, but when they realized they argued for facts and researched science versus rhetoric, they felt they had to speak out. Keith

      • This is good.
        In the very long view of world history we are but another species (?) in a temporary predominance with the gift to turn that into a benevolent stay. However we also run the risk of becoming just a smear on the fossil record.
        This can be viewed from a purely scientific view, or even from one of many religious views; basically if we don’t wise up the dynamics of this planet will just flip us out….simple as that.

      • “A smear on a fossil record.” I love this phrase. The context for the movie and book “Interstellar” is we can no longer produce crops on our planet and must leave the planet. Water is so very dear right now and we still are not talking about the problem. Keith

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