What the effort to pack the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board can teach us.
Many people distrust environmental science, though for different reasons. Progressives may discount science that they see as supporting business interests. Meanwhile, conservatives may think scientists come to “politically correct” conclusions in order to get grants. It’s reasonable to think that these things may sometimes happen. But how strong are these effects? Unwittingly, the Trump Administration …CONTINUE READING
Surprise, surprise, EPA has tried to stonewall an investigation.
EPA’s Acting Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan took the extraordinary step last week of notifying Congress that EPA was stonewalling his investigation of potential misconduct involving EPA’s Chief of Staff. This was a gutsy move for Sheehan, especially given the extra vulnerability created by his Acting status. Sheehan, it is worth noting, is a career …CONTINUE READING
We can’t tell yet what role science will play in the new administration’s policy choices, but there is reason for concern
There has understandably been a great deal of hand wringing in the environmental policy world since the US presidential election, including on this site (see, for example, Sean’s post here, Dan’s here, and Ann’s here). There are so many hands to be wrung, however, that we’re nowhere near through them all. One topic that …CONTINUE READING
Yes, this post is about the House GOP. How did you guess? Lamar Smith, chair of the House science committee, has opened an unprecedented investigation into five NSF research projects, demanding copies of peer reviews and other information in a letter to the NSF director. I looked up the abstracts for the five projects that …CONTINUE READING
Cross-posted at CPRBlog. NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco has announced that she will leave her post at the end of February. Her letter to NOAA employees, reprinted in the Washington Post, cites the difficulty of maintaining a bi-coastal family life. Dr. Lubchenco, a distinguished marine biologist, has put in four years at the helm of NOAA, …CONTINUE READING
Climate denialists contend that climate science is either the result of a conspiracy of some kind or of groupthink plus institutional incentives to support alarmist predictions. The conspiracy theory makes even less sense than most conspiracy theories, because there would have to be hundreds, perhaps thousands of people involved, scattered across the world at numerous …CONTINUE READING
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has formalized the Department’s guidelines on scientific integrity and created the new position of Scientific Integrity Officer, to be filled by Dr. Ralph Morgenweck, Senior Science Advisor at the Fish and Wildlife Service. The guidelines are the first agency effort out of the blocks after the White House Office of Science …CONTINUE READING
Early on in the Obama administration, promoting scientific integrity in government decisionmaking seemed to be a high priority. Less than 2 months after his inauguration, the President issued a memorandum giving the Office of Science and Technology Policy 4 months to “develop recommendations for Presidential action designed to guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch.” …CONTINUE READING
Those three can make for a toxic environment, literally and figuratively. Take the case of methyl iodide, a material so obviously toxic that scientists use it to induce cancer in laboratory experiments. Arysta LifeScience Corporation has obtained a federal pesticide registration from EPA for use as a fumigant, despite a letter from 50 scientists, including five …CONTINUE READING
As reported in the L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has petitioned EPA to hold a trial-type hearing before finalizing its proposed finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. (We blogged about the proposed endangerment finding here.) The main argument in the petition is that a formal …CONTINUE READING