What has Scientists Worried?
President Trump’s science agenda has many scientists worried.
After the 45th President was sworn in, any mention of climate change on the official White House website was deleted. What was left was a promise to eliminate the “harmful and unnecessary” Climate Action Plan.
Mr. Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in global warming. He argues that climate change is a hoax and those who are advocates of climate change are wasting our countries resources.
Climate science isn’t the only type of science that President Trump has weighed in on. During the campaign trail he spoke out against vaccines.
“We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.” Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally.
President Trump’s embrace of the modern anti-vaccine movement has allowed these interest groups to gain momentum. In Texas, a group called Texans for Vaccine Choice has over 1,000 members and is expanding everyday.
Another reason scientists have found themselves in the unusual position of advocating for their jobs is President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA: Scott Pruitt.
The term “climate denier” may not be a phrase you’re used to hearing in relation to the Environmental Protection Agency, commonly known as the EPA; however, the new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, identifies as such. Pruitt argues that the idea of climate change is more of a political device than it is a reality.
“You have the administration using climate action as a way to wedge Republicans and Democrats, win presidential elections, congressional seats, and to go on this worldwide Al Gore type of tour to get the applause of international folks. And what it’s doing, it’s hurting our country.” Pruitt said in a 2016 appearance on Exploring Energy.
Before Pruitt was the head of the EPA he was Oklahoma’s Attorney General. In 2014, after he was elected he immediately dissolved the Environmental Protection Unit in the Attorney General’s office. In its place he created the “Federalism Unit,” which was dedicated to fighting against President Barack Obama’s agenda. It sued the Obama administration over a number of issues including the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
As the Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA on a number of occasions. In 2014, Pruitt’s office sued the EPA in hopes of blocking the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States Rule. Both policies were created by the Obama Administration.
By 2017, Pruitt sued the EPA a total of 14 times.
In Pruitt’s Linkedin bio he describes himself as a “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
Over the month of April, scientists have been participating in rallies and protests across the country like the March for Science. The march is designed to send a message to the Trump administration and act as a unifying force that brings scientists and politicians together.