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'Part of a Disturbing Trend of Willful Ignorance,' Say Scientists, After Investigaton Shows EPA, Texas Rejected Air Quality Data Post-Hurricane Harvey

'Part of a Disturbing Trend of Willful Ignorance,' Say Scientists, After Investigaton Shows EPA, Texas Rejected Air Quality Data Post-Hurricane Harvey

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency and Texas state officials rejected an offer from NASA scientists in 2017 to use their state-of-the-art flying laboratory to evaluate air quality in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, new reporting by the Los Angeles Times reveals.

"This is disturbing," said Lina Hidalgo, judge for Texas's Harris County.

Willful Ignorance

has been a requirement on the Right for most of my life

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In the long run, all the willful ignorance in the world won’t save Texas from climate chaos.

Bury your heads in the sand all you want, but the long run is now measured in a decade or two.

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EPA said they wouldn’t be interested in the data (for all the usual wrong reasons). But NASA had planned on their own to fly on that date, long before they thought the EPA might be interested, so why was this a reason to cancel the mission? It involved dozens of staff who had been preparing for weeks so it was not a trivial thing. Didn’t NASA want the data for their own reasons? At what level was the decision to cancel made, and by whom?

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Interesting question. Here’s another, a three-parter:

What would have happened if NASA had chosen to fly the mission anyway? Would the Texas Air National Guard have received orders to shoot the plane down? And who would have the authority to give that order?

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Willful ignorance in the service of greed is killing us, literally. I live in about thirty miles south of Houston. The air here is often foul-smelling; sometimes you can taste it. I used to get notices from my kids’ schools that they couldn’t go out that day due to poor air quality. Many times, I have checked the EPA air quality report to find it described as good, when it smelled exceptionally bad. We’ll never know what this filth we breathe is doing to us, making it impossible to protect ourselves, and all so the energy corporations and their shareholders can have more money to hoard and to hide. It’s just obscene.