The pushback against Trump begins

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Articles today in the science journals Science and Nature give us a taste of the upcoming resistance by the science community to any policy changes put forth by the new Trump administration.

Both articles assume that the Paris climate agreement is already the law of the land, despite the basic fact that the Senate has not approved it. In fact, if Trump and Congress decide to cut all American ties with it, they can. Right now it is merely something that Obama has agreed to, and under our Constitution, the legalities binding us to that agreement are weak, at best.

This quote from the Science article outlines how the science community plans to structure its resistance:

With oilmen like Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, and Forrest Lucas, the founder of Lucas Oil, named as potential candidates to lead the Departments of Energy and the Interior, respectively, in a Trump administration, the mostly likely historical analogue for the next few years could be the start of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, when he appointed senior officials who were often hostile to the policies of their own agencies. For example, Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, wanted to sell off public lands and reduce forest protections, and his EPA head, Anne Gorsuch, moved to soften clear air and water rules. Some agency staff fought back, and there were frequent leaks, resignations, and lawsuits. Both Watt and Gorsuch ultimately resigned amidst political chaos, and were replaced by less polarizing appointments. If Trump follows a similar path, “there could be a whole lot of churn,” Victor predicts.

Indeed, Trump may quickly learn the limits of the presidency, Victor adds. “The Oval Office will be a lonely place,” he says, if the White House attempts to make radical changes that agency professional staff fiercely opposes. [emphasis mine]

And then there is this quote from the Nature article:

“Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had,” says Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in Washington DC. “The consequences are going to be very, very severe.”

Calling Trump “the first anti-science president” is the kind of name-calling that is typical of the left and the Democratic Party. Not only is it a silly statement, based merely on the partisan hatred of Republicans by scientists, almost all of whom are Democratic Party loyalists, it has nothing to do with reality. Scientists have no more right to a blank check from the government than anyone else. They need to justify their research, and show that it is worthwhile. Since the 1990s they have not had to do this, which has resulted in blooming budgets and a lot of questionable results. And I say this as a science guy. Unlike these partisans, however, I also recognize that there is a gigantic amount of needless spending in the science budgets of numerous government agencies. Their budgets have grown significantly since 2000, with little to show for it. It is time to bring that spending under some control.

This is only the first shot across the bow. I have no doubt that the science community plans to link up with the partisan mainstream press to create a full-court press against any policy changes or budget cuts that either Trump or Congress may propose. These people do not respect the concept of democracy, and will resist the will of the public in every way they can.



  • LocalFluff

    At the time of the Paris climate agreement, I read skepticals celebrating that it is non-binding. That it replaced the binding Kyoto agreement with a non-binding yada yada. The climate panic is on great retreat now with 18 years without any global warming, with al Gore’s hockey stick forecast disproven well beyond any scientific margin of error. President Trump is certainly the end of the whole circus.

    It is truly amazing how a bright professor professor can hold a lecture about relativistic vortici in quantum super fluid quark cores of neutron star remnants, and then suffer from climate panic and hope for Hillary Clinton as president. Being a brilliant scientist says nothing at all about the ability to judge policies or politicians. A homeless pothead could easily have a much sounder political insight. Some brilliant physicists even defected from the US to Stalin’s Soviet Union. There’s no limit at all to their political naivety.

  • wodun

    Scientists and academics who get their funding through governments, grants, or tuition do not understand where that money comes from and often have no understanding, respect, or empathy for the people who make their lifestyles possible.

    It is easy to have socialist leanings when you are disassociated from the means of production and the struggles of the producing class.

    Eisenhower referred to this as the research industrial complex.

  • Tom Billings

    “Scientists and academics who get their funding through governments, grants, or tuition do not understand where that money comes from and often have no understanding, respect, or empathy for the people who make their lifestyles possible.”

    I would emphasize that using the term “Scientists and academics” is looked upon as redundant now, far too often, by both sides of the dispute, for the last 40 years. I have had scientists from universities tell me openly that they do not consider “real scientists” to work anywhere but in academia. Anyone else are “second-raters”, and industry shills, and any other sneer they can think of. Worse, academics completely outside science often attempt, successfully, to gain the prestige of scientific knowledge by simply declaring their work to be “scientific”, because it was produced inside academia.

    What the denizens of “Science” magazine and AAAS do not want to face is that they have too often succeeded in convincing the rest of the US population that “scientists” and “academia” are congruent sets. As a result, a continuation of the betrayals of the Republic by academics over the last 50 years is willingly ascribed by far too many to *any* work done in science. When you add in the use of “climate science” to alarm people to justify hundreds of billions of dollars of money being shifted politically, instead of by markets, you get demands for cutting back all science funding, because scientists have become seen as being the standard academic whores to government that academia has shown us since at least the 16th Century.

    That was when Henry VIII bought the opinions of the Universities of Europe that his marriage to Catherine of Aragon was properly null and void. Government politicians have done the same thing in cooperation with academics again and again over the last 500 years. Between 1650 and1950, Science stood out from the rest of academia’s endeavors. That ended with the atomic bombs. It took 25+ years for politicians to learn how to bring whole disciplines to heel, such as climate science, but learn they have.

    In general, progressivism has been an ideology concerned with bringing the rest of society under the “guidance” of the academically certified. Even if that would have worked, what has happened is the subordination of academia, and too much of Science, to the politically connected, by control of their funding.
    Lost in the maze of progressivism, science politicizers are about to find out how meager the wages of betrayal are, in the end.

  • wodun

    Tom Billings
    November 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Well said.

  • eddie willers

    Eisenhower referred to this as the research industrial complex.

    Funny how liberals never mention that part of his Farewell Address.

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