We know that Donald Trump and his administration are not supporters of climate science but the extent of their denial and the steps that they are willing to take to suppress the science may be even more than anticipated.
Scientists and researchers work on climate change science is being sidelined by the Trump administration, says a climate change scientist and former senior executive staffer at the Interior Department.
A a hearing with the U.S. Natural Resources Committee last week, several people detailed how their work has been stifled, delayed, questioned, and even retaliated against.
One women, Maria Caffrey, a research assistant and partner of the National Park Service (NPS), who worked on a report on how coastal parks were impacted by sea level rise, said that not only was her report delayed but that NPS officials made “explicit attempts to get me to remove references to anthropogenic or human-caused climate change from my report.”
When Caffrey’s work finally was published last year, mainly due to the investigative reporting from The Center for Investigative Reporting that brought her research into the public eye, her access to research funding was cut off.
A former career official at the Interior Department, Joel Clement, testified before the committee about how he was reassigned after “speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities.”
Clement had been outspoken about the need for the department to address climate impacts but resigned after the Trump administration reassigned him to an auditing office, for which he had no experience.
The Trump administration “has sidelined scientists and experts, flattened the morale of the career staff, and by all accounts is bent on hollowing out the agency,” Clement told Congress.
Although the committee asked a represented from the Department of Interior to testify at the hearing on the Trump administration’s attack on science, they refused.
Republicans on the panel dismissed the hearing as “public theater” according to Rep. Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat. Indeed Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) called the hearing “cute” and accused Democrats of pushing “partisan propaganda.
The Trump administration has been under fire since the day Trump took office. Within six months scientists were already accusing him of threatening public health by sidelining science. But the administration, which is friendly with the oil and gas industry that stands to lose billions of dollars if true climate-saving policies are put into place, is particularly aggressive against squashing climate science and any mention of climate change. In addition to removing mentions of climate change from government websites, recent reports say that Trump officials are deleting mentions of climate change from, U.S. Geological Survey press releases and Trump failed to mention climate change completely in his recent environment speech.