Decades ago, industry scientists fought to get their bosses to pay attention to climate change.
Decades ago, their own scientists told car companies and oil companies about climate change, information the companies chose to ignore. The scientists were voices crying out in the corporate wilderness. Sadly, they were ignored at the time, but companies are starting to pay the price for that in lawsuits. Those scientists advocated for the truth, …CONTINUE READING
It’s not just the White House. We also have to repair the way agencies operate.
Donald Trump prided himself on his contempt for established norms of presidential action. Whole books have been written about how to restore those norms. Something similar also happened deeper down in the government, out in the agencies like EPA that do the actual work of governance. Trump appointees have corrupted agencies and trashed the norms …CONTINUE READING
The Trump Administration has essentially dropped enforcement of environmental laws and clinical trial requirements.
The easiest way to gut regulations is simply to stop enforcing them. That tried and true technique has been enthusiastically embraced by the Trump Administration. That’s been long suspected in terms of environmental law. Shockingly, the Administration has also mostly given up on enforcing the standards for conducting clinical drug trials. The breakdown in FDA …CONTINUE READING
Much of environmental law is about protecting public health. But the Trump Administration won’t listen.
During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health, while even Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental area. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation …CONTINUE READING
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