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Is the Tide Turning on President Trump’s War on Science?

Is the Tide Turning on President Trump’s War on Science?

Elliott Negin

Douglas Costle, who helped create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then ran it during Jimmy Carter’s administration, died recently at the age of 79. If the Trump administration has its way, the agency as we know it will die along with him.

“Clean air is not an aesthetic luxury,” Costle said when he took the job as EPA administrator. “It is a public health necessity.”

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As one who spent much of his professional life studying issues related to water quantity and quality matters let me please implore all who will listen to understand just how difficult it is to perform environmentally relevant work. First, one has to get the physics of the processes well defined (almost always entailing detailed mathematical modeling). Next, one must get the pertinent (organic and/or physical) chemical processes defined (almost always entailing detailed mathematical modeling). Next, one must combine the physical and chemical models with ecological models (almost always entailing detailed mathematical modeling) along with anthropological implications (epidemiological, economic, etc.). Field studies are never completely reproducible and therefore require the use of sophisticated statistical models to interpret and extrapolate results to likely scenarios. All of this work entails a great deal of specialists cooperating in a peer-reviewed system. The scientific process is apolitical. In my humble opinion, it is also sacred. It is also the best bet we have to undergird decisions on how to manage our presence on this planet. It beats greed and superstition every time, which are the arch enemies of science as it pertains to the environment, which is simply treated as an externality to our economic models and something inherently to be exploited by humanity’s supposed penultimate (just under god) place in the universe. All the “holy” books in the world can’t soak up the excrement of industry. It is science or premature exit from this planet.


Sadly, the “War on Science” started long before Trump.
Trump has just perfected the nomination people who have the exact opposite goals as that of the organization they will be “leaded” (dismantling).

There has not been an agency that has not be affected by the “all politics, all of the time” philosophy.
EPA can barely regulate anything
FDA is wholly owned by agribusiness and the drug companies.
CDC - wholly own subsidiary of the Monsanto Corporation
NIST - So political that it needs to remove “Science” from its name - NIT
FBI - Can’t investigate anything
Department of Education - come on - Besty DeVos???
TSA - bringing the illusion of security to our airports
War Department - Peace is our Profession - Mayhem is just our hobby

Bureau of Public Roads, Langley VA. (aka the CIA) - At least it is an organization that is not controlled by politics. Instead, it controls the politicians.


I, too, spent my professional life as a biologist working on cleanup and prevention efforts (Superfund sites, etc.). WiseOwl has it right. The only modification I would make is that we’re past the point that science can help us. We waited too long and capitalism was too powerful. It will be a premature exit for our species.

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In my youth, I had a problem that dealt with prematurely… well, let’s just say that I got over that.

Now in my Silver and hopefully, Golden years, I prefer not being rushed to exit anything.

I’m sorry that I wasted so many years supporting the Status Quo, when I could have been making the Duopoly politicians lives, more like the Hell they’ve spawned on our nation.


Sounds like you have enough staying power to dig a few more sunrises. PB, I think the party system you loathe might be changing. “Delia’s Gone”, one more round.


I loathe the two-party system which allows them to prevent any contending parties from competing in a fair way.

I guess they don’t call it dirty politics for nothing.