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The great US climate scientist witch hunt

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, December 11th, 2016 - 15 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, International, science, us politics - Tags:

Some on the left thought we had nothing to fear about Donald Trump.  He was just all bluster.  He was saying things to get support amongst his base.  He would never actually do the things he said he would.

As a for instance it was said that there was no more than 5 ppm between his and Hillary Clinton’s policies on climate change. That Trump was merely exploiting a gap left in the political market by the democrats with their fancy science talk and their insistence on fact based policies.  That he would never do what he said he would and the system was broken anyway.

Recent events suggest that these views were overly optimistic and that Trump is going to be as bad as most of us thought, if not worse.  News has broken that the Trump team have been quizzing Department of Energy employees about their research and attendance at climate change conferences with one possible reason being that a pogrom of those who accept the science is to follow.

From the New York Times:

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team has circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire at the Department of Energy that requests the names of all employees and contractors who have attended climate change policy conferences, as well as emails and documents associated with the conferences.

In question after question, the document peppers Energy Department managers with pointed queries about climate science research, clean energy programs and the employees who work for those programs. More broadly, the questionnaire hints at a significant shift of emphasis at the agency toward nuclear power, and a push to commercialize the research of the Energy Department’s laboratories, long considered the crown jewels of federal science.

Energy Department employees, who shared the questionnaire with The New York Times and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, described the questionnaire as worrying.

To add to the sense of doom Trump has selected Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.  It seems that a desire to protect the environment is no longer a prerequisite for holding this position.  For Pruitt is at the nut job end of the spectrum as far as climate change deniers goes.  Again from the New York Times:

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

Mr. Pruitt has been in lock step with those views.

“Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” he wrote in National Review earlier this year. “That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”

The only disagreement I can see between scientists is between those who think that the world is stuffed no matter what and those that think that urgent major action may slow down the effects sufficiently so that the human race can adapt.  We are well past the Houston we have a problem stage.

But blind indifference to clear evidence of peril is starting to become a feature of the Trump Whitehouse.  They are refusing to accept security briefings from the NSA.  And in particular they are refusing to even investigate the possibility that interference from Russia and the hacking of Democratic servers helped get Trump elected.  It has been reported the CIA has concluded that Russian hackers broke into both Republican and Democrat servers but that only information embarrassing to the Democrats was released in an attempt to sway the election.

The refusal to even investigate is astounding.  Republican dominated houses conducted 33 congressional hearings into Benghazi in an attempt to embarrass Hillary Clinton but show no signs of wanting to investigate the possible corruption of America’s electoral system by one of its strongest opponents.

Watching events unfold from afar gives the impression of a particularly dark and twisted offshoot of House of Cards is being rolled out.  But this is reality.  At least for the next four years.

 

15 comments on “The great US climate scientist witch hunt”

  1. Bill 1

    To be fair Micky, 5ppm is a huge amount of carbon – something like the total global output over 5 years. Yes, the claim was made( by CV) and is entirely accurate and utterly irrelevant in terms of global warming. (Did some people think 5ppm was a significant number? A small number?)

    That the CIA is finger pointing the FBI so that in effect one security agency is accusing another of being Russian collaborators (or some such) is either hugely funny or desperately frightening. Possibly or even probably both.

    And I’m one who maintained that Trump was and is a blowhard. he will not deliver anything on the “making america great” front. That’s not to say, and was never to say that he won’t be entirely reactionary on a number of fronts.

    As for exploiting some gap left by a Democrat penchant for fact based policies – I can’t recall anyone saying any such thing or even claiming that on behalf of the Democrats. To be honest, I can’t quite make sense of the claim. Anyway, I do recall reading (and said so myself) that he was tapping into deep felt resentment and disillusionment. And that he was a shyster, a snakeoil salesman, a blowhard etc etc.

    edit – the liberal establishment is in a flap. It’s done. It should exit stage triangulated centre or whatever. If it doesn’t, the risk is that people turn to the Trumps of the world (and worse) because that’s the only option in a world where any ‘left’ has been stymied or silenced by discredited and fairly reviled liberals seeking to cling to power. Not a popular message that. But probably true…

  2. Anne 3

    When the survival of the planet and all who live on it is at stake, there is only one solution: take the megalomaniac out by fair means if poss. but if not…

    After all, history has set many precedents.

  3. dukeofurl 4

    The be more correct the Russian ‘interference’ seems to be hacking Democratic AND Republican operatives and officials but only releasing the democratic emails.

    US and Russia of course routinely interfere in other countries democratic processes, including bribery, funding political parties and other such things.

    • red-blooded 4.1

      Trump is a disaster. Even more worrying – enough Americans support him to have seen him elected (even though he lost the popular vote). There’s no way he can “make America great again” – that’s all bluster. He can make his mates even richer, though, and he can dismantle what was already a pretty tentative step towards addressing the issue of climate change.

      As for the US interfering in other countries – yep. Since when did people on this site agree with that, though? And since when did a US leader accept Russia (or anyone else) interfering in their electoral process?

    • Bill 4.2

      Occam’s Razor an’ all of that…

      No, America, it wasn’t Russia: You did it to Yourself

      http://www.juancole.com/2016/12/america-russia-yourself.html

      • red-blooded 4.2.1

        What do you think this link proves, Bill? This guy agrees that Trump’s a disaster and he doesn’t give any evidence for or against the idea that Russia hacked and leaked material to influence the election (in fact he agrees they probably did); he just opines about why he thinks people voted against their own interests and elected a person whose main qualities he describes as: “hatred for uppity or “nasty” women, his racism, his prickliness, his narcissism, his rich white boy arrogance and entitlement (apparently even to strange women and other men’s wives), his cronyism and his fundamental dishonesty”.

        Does any of this make it OK for Trump to refuse to investigate the Russian influence, or to push deniers into key environmental positions? Because that’s what’s being discussed here.

        • garibaldi 4.2.1.1

          Who knows what the truth is? I reckon anything coming out of either side needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Americans are very divided now and the bullshit flies thick and fast.
          I can’t understand how the Democrats can’t grasp the fact that they lost. The answer is obvious…. Hillary Clinton.
          As for Trump … perhaps the World will see how crap the USA really is with a blithering lying idiot at the helm. He certainly makes a day in politics a long time!

        • Bill 4.2.1.2

          It isn’t up to Cole to provide any evidence with relation to leaked info either one way or the other. He didn’t make the claim. And he isn’t a major news outlet running with the claim.

          And fuck. Is anyone suggesting that the info shouldn’t have been made public? And is anyone still insisting (nice piece of ‘fake news’ from the Dems btw) that the wikileak email dump was full of forgeries, fakes and lies?

          And what kind of investigation into the leaks are we looking at when ‘every man and his dog’ has already decided, with not a shred of publicly available evidence, it was those pesky Ruskies anyway? (You’re aware there’s probably no fucking ‘private’ or ‘confidential’ evidence either, yes?)

  4. Coolas 5

    Welcome to the new world order … predicted by George Orwell in 1948? … adapted …

    The man who heads the Environmental Agency concerns himself with Environmental Destruction. And the Secretary of Defense concerns himself with War, The Secretary of The Homeland Security with Torture, The Secretary of Education with Brainwashing,
    The Secretary State of State with Commerce, and the Secretary of Commerce with the interests of the Trump Corporation.

  5. Poission 6

    It has been reported the CIA has concluded that Russian hackers broke into both Republican and Democrat servers but that only information embarrassing to the Democrats was released in an attempt to sway the election.

    Anonymous leaks to the washpost and nyt from anonymous security sources LOL.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence/

    The same sources as the clinton disinformation manufacturing company that said the hacks were fictions.

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/a-clinton-fan-manufactured-fake-news-that-msnbc-personalities-spread-to-discredit-wikileaks-docs/

    What is truth in syria?

    http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/syria-civil-war

    • In Vino 6.1

      A flood of too much false crap drowns out the few publications of actual truth.

      Now who does that situation favour?

  6. swordfish 7

    .
    The Ruskies are Coming !!! … the Ruskies are Coming !!!
    Run for the Hills !!! … Run for the Hills !!!

    Nothing like a good ole Red Scare. Especially useful for smearing Left-leaning media outlets in the US critical of the Centre-Right (Neo-Con, Washington Consensus, Corporate Shill) status Quo at the top of the Democratic Party.

    Most days, driving into Wellington, I pass below a little hillock above Ngauranga, overlooking Wellington Harbour. It was originally a military fort with large gun emplacements constructed in the 1880s (during an earlier Russian Scare) in anticipation of an expected Ruskie naval invasion that, strangely enough, never came.

    Looks like we’ll need to recommission that Fort, eh Mickey ?

    Glad to see you holding the disturbing Mr Trump (and some of his nutter colleagues) to account / Sad to see you falling for the Clintonistas’ new Cold War tactics in the process. Expected it from our little band of smug Stewie Griffin Liberal Centrists, but not from a smart Left-Progressive like you. Still, on the bright side, you do have the Blairite intelligentsia like Phil Quin backing you every step of the way. Something to be proud of, I guess.

  7. swordfish 8

    Gio Tiso tweets:

    The Russians have interfered with your election, CIA? I feel so bad for you, knowing how much you hate interfering in foreign elections.

    And

    Updated list of reasons Trump won
    1 The FBI
    2 Fake news/Macedonian teenagers
    3 Facebook
    4 The electoral college
    5 The Russians.

  8. JonL 9

    With the last 15 yrs of anti Russian propoganda and hysteria churned out by the establishment, it’s all we expect from the yanks. Most of them wouldn’t recognise reality now, if it hit them over the head with an iron bar.
    Most of what I’ve heard was that the leaks were internal, from disgruntled Republicans and Democrats. There is currently an internicine battle going on between the FBI and the CIA, so anything and any claim is suspect………or not….
    The cleaning out of climate change scientists sounds a lot like the actions of the demented right wingers in Aus.

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