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Trump claimed on Earth Day: ‘Rigorous science is critical to my administration’

Apr 23, 20174 mins
Data and Information SecuritySecurity

Tens of thousands gathered in cities across the globe for the March for Science on Earth Day; scientists and science supporters protested President Trump's science and climate policies.

earth explosion
Credit: Thinkstock

If you had been living under a rock, then you might actually believe that President Trump plans to protect the environment and support science.

Trump’s Earth Day statement began:

Our Nation is blessed with abundant natural resources and awe-inspiring beauty. Americans are rightly grateful for these God-given gifts and have an obligation to safeguard them for future generations. My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.

The statement was too little, too late as thousands of scientists and science-lovers gathered to celebrate science and protest Trump’s views on science. The March for Science, which occurred on Earth Day in more than 600 cities around the globe, included a crowd of about 40,000 marchers in DC; Reuters estimated that about 15,000 people gathered on Washington’s National Mall. Even though it was raining, it was said that more people showed up for DC’s March for Science than did for Trump’s inauguration.

(FYI: Yes, that tweet is from the Twitter user who is critical of the Trump administration and who sparked on internal investigation by the DHS Inspector General after the feds tried to “unmask” the account owner. Twitter filed a lawsuit and Senator Ron Wyden called it “witch hunt” and a “disturbing threat to free speech and whistleblower protections.” DHS backed down and withdrew its demand for Twitter to release the information.)

There were tens of thousands of clever signs to be seen during the March for Science, which was theoretically a nonpartisan event. Chicago Police estimated that about 40,000 people participated; NYPD estimated that at least 20,000 participated; Reuters reported that over 12,000, of the expected 50,000, marched in Los Angeles.

In DC, Bill Nye “the science guy,” told to the crowd, “Today we have a great many lawmakers — not just here but around the world — deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science.”

Although Nye didn’t come right out and blame President Donald Trump, Trump has been leading the charge for attacks on science.

President Trump did not mention the March for Science crowds in his Earth Day statement, even though he passed demonstrators on his way to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. There, he awarded the Purple Heart to a wounded soldier; even that met with criticism.

In his Earth Day statement, Trump also failed to mentioned climate change. Unfortunately, that is not surprising when you consider that in March, Mick Mulvaney, the head of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, said of climate change, cWe’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”

Among the many actions the Trump administration has taken on environmental issues, one included the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology removing the word ‘science’ from its mission statement. Yet if you took Trump’s Earth Day statement as factual, you would think Trump is a fan of science. He said:

Rigorous science is critical to my Administrations 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.

He attempted to defend his environmental and economic policies, saying, “Economic growth enhances environmental protection.” Trump later took to Twitter to echo that sentiment, tweeting, “I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!”

Science and the planet matter too, Mr. President.

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.