Donald Trump is taking a dangerous step forward in his bizarre war on science. In so doing, the self-proclaimed scientist-in-chief is proving he cares as little about the planet as he does about our laws and procedures. Several recent reports, including the 2018 National Climate Assessment which involved over a dozen federal agencies and hundreds of experts, have urged bold action to fight climate change.
Donald Trump is indeed taking action, though not the type contemplated by any report. Instead, Trump is looking to piece together a team of climate change deniers and outliers to produce a new report that would contradict the findings of his own government’s scientists, as originally reported by The Washington Post. Rather than form a federal advisory panel, however, Trump wants to use taxpayer money to create a working group so that basic rules of transparency and accountability will not apply.
Trump pretends to be the world’s greatest protector of the environment. He repeatedly calls himself an environmentalist and even told Nevada business leaders in January 2017 that “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment.” In his next breath, he proceeded to lie about having “received awards on the environment.”
Trump also pretends to be the world’s foremost expert in science. In a word salad delivered to The Associated Press in October 2018, Trump boasted that he “has a natural instinct for science.” This was right after he mentioned an uncle who was a “great professor at MIT” only to admit they never discussed the environment. Trump has not even been able to show that he excelled in science while in school. Trump often points out how smart he is, claiming he “had good marks” in a 2011 Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly. Why, then, did Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, threaten his schools not to release any of Trump’s grades?
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to introduce legislation to defund Donald Trump’s latest run around his own government. When Galileo tried to convince leaders that the sun was the center of the solar system some 400 years ago, he was punished for it. We all believe him now, and we would like to believe we operate a bit more responsibly in 2019.