Trump: “My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment”
Developments on Day 93 of the Trump Administration:
March for Science Rattles Trump
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world took part in the March for Science on Saturday, putting Donald Trump on the defensive over his approach to science and the environment.
The first-ever March, with more than 600 rallies, was planned for Earth Day. However, it took on added significance as the Trump Administration denied human-driven climate change, threatened to pull the US out of the Paris Accord on carbon dioxide emissions, removed environmental regulations, and proposed sharp budget cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency and scientific projects.
At the demonstration in Washington DC, Dr. Jonathan Foley, the executive director of the California Academy of Sciences, highlighted the denial of facts and scientific research in a politics that “amounted to oppression”:
They’re specifically targeting science that protects our health, our safety and the environment. Science that protects the most vulnerable among us.
Some people will suffer, some could even die.
Marchers held up placards depicting the President as an ostrich with his head in the sand: “What do Trump and atoms have in common? They make up everything.”
Members of the Union for Concerned Scientists, with Muppet character Beaker, in front of the White House (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty)
Trump responded in a statement on Saturday:
Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection.
My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks. As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.
But the President made no reference to any of his executive orders, such as the rescinding of the 2013 Climate Action Plan, the removal of the ban on dumping coal waste near streams, lifting the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands, and the authorization of oil pipeline projects that could cause environmental damage.
He said nothing of the EPA — now led by Scott Pruitt, who joined numerous lawsuits against the agency as Oklahoma Attorney General and denies a connection between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change — the proposed 31% cut to its budgets, and an Executive gag order on EPA announcements.
And later on Saturday, the President used Twitter to reassert his priority:
I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
Rally at the Science Museum in London
Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said that climate-change programs are “a waste of your money”:
I think the President was fairly straightforward. We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.
Top Photo by Reuters