“Our house is on fire” and the Trump Administration war on science is fanning the flames. In 2019, Donald Trump continued his war against science, public health, the environment and climate awareness On November 4, 2019, two years after Trump announced his intentions, the United States began the official process of withdrawing from 2015 Paris Climate Accord. In September, when sixteen-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations demanding climate action, Trump dismissed her on his twitter account. He cyber-bullied her again after she spoke at a U.N. Climate Action Summit in December.
While withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord was definitely Trump’s most publicized and probably most dastardly attack on the world’s future, his administration and his twitter account also attacked science and environmental safety in the United States during 2019 through smaller, lesser known, but damaging claims and decisions. These are documented on the website Silencing Science Tracker, a joint initiative of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund and at other sources. What follows are some of the Trump Administration low points from 2019 in chronological order. It is a very long list and very frightening.
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Trump’s 2019 War Against Science, Public Health, the Environment and Climate Awareness
January 20, 2019: Trump tweets that cold winter weather disproves climate change.
January 28, 2019: In another winter cold wave tweet, Trump calls on global warming to “Please come back fast, we need you!”
March 1, 2019: White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs deleted references to “climate change” from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document “Planning for Natural Disaster Debris.”
March 11, 2019: Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 cut funding for the National Science Foundation by 9%, the National Institutes of Health by 12.6%, the Agricultural Research Service by 9.5%, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) by 14.4%.
March 12, 2019: Trump reposted a tweeter claim that climate change is “Fake Science” and that increasing carbon dioxide emissions benefit society.
March 21, 2019: A runway and dozens of buildings at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska are inundated by record Missouri River flooding.
April 8, 2019: Sixteen out of twenty-two Land Conservation Cooperative Network research centers have been placed on indefinite hiatus or completely eliminated. These research centers addressed issues like conservation, energy security, and climate resiliency.
April 10, 2019: Trump executive orders cut "unnecessary red tape" for American energy companies by making it difficult for states to block oil pipelines using the Clean Water Act.
April 11, 2019: David Bernhardt, a former lawyer and lobbyist for the oil industry, was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of the Interior despite a series of ethics violations.
April 24, 2019: In a move to block research critical of Trump administration policies, the White House Office of Management and Budget issues new guidelines on the use of “influential scientific, financial, or statistical information” by federal agencies.
April 25, 2019: 1.6 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska are opened up for oil drilling.
May 6, 2019: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describes the rapidly warming Arctic as a land of “opportunity and abundance”
May 8, 2019: EPA officials ignored the advice of agency scientists when developing new rules for the use of asbestos. Exposure to asbestos causes several cancers and diseases including mesothelioma.
May 13, 2019: The EPA announces it will no longer participate in the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Program.
May 27, 2019: Scientists at the USGS are ordered to use computer-generated models that only project climate change impacts through 2040, before more catastrophic events take place.
June 1, 2019: White House officials order a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of State not to submit written testimony on the threats posed by climate change to the House Intelligence Committee.
June 5, 2019: In a televised interview, Trump disputes the scientific consensus on climate change and evidence of more extreme weather. He asserts weather patterns have “changed both ways.”
June 14, 2019: Trump executive order directs federal agencies to terminate up to a third of their advisory committees.
June 19, 2019: EPA Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule delays limits on coal plant pollution for three years.
June 24, 2019: Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) claim the agency deliberately fails to publicize research that addresses the impact of climate change.
July 18, 2019: The USDA buries a plan detailing how agriculture can adapt to climate change. The EPA announces it will not ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that its own experts link to serious health problems in children.
July 22, 2019: The Department of the Interior (DOI) removed all reference to climate change from its WaterSMART web page. The EPA reclassified research categories on its website to remove the climate change group. The USGS removed all links and references to climate change from its Science Explorer section.
July 31, 2019: Rod Schoonover, an analyst with the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, resigned in protest and accused the Trump Administration of systematically suppressing science and objective analysis on climate change and its threat to national security.
August 7, 2019: The U.S. Navy terminates its Task Force on Climate Change.
August 9, 2019: The EPA no longer opposes the Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska, disregarding its own environmental impact studies.
August 12, 2019: The DOI announces revisions to wildlife conservation law that ensured the survival of the bald eagle grizzly bears, and other endangered species.
August 21, 2019: Federal officials suppressed a report detailing how an administration plan to divert water for agriculture in California injures salmon runs.
August 27, 2019: Trump instructs Agriculture Department to exempt Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre Tongass National Forest from logging restrictions impacting on more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.
August 29, 2019: The EPA announces plans to weaken regulation on climate-changing methane emissions. Methane has 80 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide.
August 30, 2019: The Trump administration limits scientific input into the USDA’s new 2020 dietary guidelines.
September 3, 2019: Trump declares that Alabama is threatened by Hurricane Dorian even though government weather forecasts do not predict any impact will be felt in the state.
September 4, 2019: An Energy Department ruling permits continued use of old-fashioned energy-intensive incandescent lightbulbs adding to greenhouse gas emissions.
September 11, 2019: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross instructs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to publicly rebuke weather forecasters who insisted that Alabama was not at risk from Hurricane Dorian.
September 12, 2019: The Trump administration announces repeal of clean water regulations that placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water.
September 18, 2019: Trump announced roll back of a waiver to the 1968 Clean Air Act allowing California to set higher emission standards for cars than the federal government.
September 25, 2019: The Bureau of Land Management environmental impact statement for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge concludes that there is no Climate Crisis.
October 1, 2019: The White House deletes references to climate change from a proposal limiting California’s ability to set stricter vehicle emissions standards. The DOI’s Invasive Species Advisory Committee and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee are discontinued.
October 7, 2019: Anti-environmentalists appointed as advisory panel on the future of Bears Ear National Monument in Utah.
October 10, 2019: New regulations on lead and copper in drinking water slows replacement of dangerous water pipes.
November 4, 2019: The United States State Department starts the process to officially withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
December 11, 2019: Trump cyber-bullies Greta Thunberg after she is named Time magazine person of the year – instead of him.
December 16, 2019: The EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee rejects findings by agency scientists that existing limits on fine particulate matter may not adequately protect public health.
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