Trump Assault on Climate Scientists Begins at Energy Department

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

UPDATE: Department of Energy officials have defied Trump and refused to answer the more intrusive questions on the questionnaire. Meanwhile, the president elect has selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to run the Energy Department. When Perry ran for president, he promised to eliminate three government agencies during a primary debate; he named two of them but could not remember the name of the Energy Department.

This whole year has just gotten stranger and stranger. I must be in a very surreal dream or a coma or hallucinating….or something.

With Donald Trump reportedly set to name the head of America’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil, as the nation’s chief diplomat, the president elect’s “carbon today, carbon tomorrow, carbon forever” strategy is becoming ever clearer.

A man who believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese is filling his government with like-minded conspiracy buffs. It’s clear that it will be virtually impossible for the United States to address global climate change in any meaningful way over the next four to eight years.

Over at the Energy Department, Trump’s paranoid campaign has taken an interesting turn: the targeting of individual civil servants for doing their jobs.

Donald Trump’s transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department, asking agency officials to identify which employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output.

The questionnaire requests a list of those individuals who have taken part in international climate talks over the past five years and “which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

Trump and his team have vowed to dismantle specific aspects of Obama’s climate policies, and Trump has questioned the reality of climate change. The questionnaire, which one Energy Department official described as unusually “intrusive” and a matter for departmental lawyers, has raised concern that the Trump transition team is trying to figure out how to target the people, including civil servants, who have helped implement policies under Obama.

Thousands of scientists have signed petitions calling on the president-elect and his team to respect scientific integrity and refrain from singling out individual researchers whose work might conflict with the new administration’s policy goals. This potential clash could prompt a major schism within the federal government, with many career officials waging a battle against incoming political appointees….

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy, called the memo’s demand that Energy officials identify specific employees “alarming.”

“If the Trump administration is already singling out scientists for doing their jobs, the scientific community is right to be worried about what his administration will do in office. What’s next? Trump administration officials holding up lists of ‘known climatologists’ and urging the public to go after them?” Halpern asked.

This move has some major implications at NASA, which Trump advisors have accused of pursuing “politically correct” science on global warming. The administration wants to cut the space agency’s Earth science budget and transfer what is left to NOAA.

It may only be a matter of time before NASA officials get a similar list of questions targeting scientists, if they have not already received one.

This is a mistake. The evidence for human-created climate change is overwhelming; its consequences will be severe for the nation and the world; and a government that cherry picks what science to believe and not to believe based largely on ideology and conspiracy theories is leading its people down a path of rapid decline.

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  • Paul451

    Listen if you are interested about the future of the climate panic fraud: It will quickly cease to exist! Once the money flow from US tax payers (who else did you think paid for the whole circus?) stops, all the doomsday prophets will shut up. They lie only because they are paid to lie. Not because their fraudulent deluge scam is actually happening.
    Call me back in a couple of years if I’m not correct in saying that the climate panic will now completely cease to exist.

    So how much are you willing to bet?

    24 months is a nice fixed term for the bet. Say 1/1/2019? And “It will quickly cease to exist”, “All the doomsday prophets will shut up”, “will now completely cease to exist.”, can be turned into a reasonably concrete wager.

  • patb2009

    well let’s see.

    Given McConnell and Ryan have said his Tax plan is dead on arrival, and they won’t fund his infrastructure plan, it’s going to be something

  • Dave Huntsman

    I can see the Trump appointees and the Republic congressional committees calling people in front of them: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a climate researcher?
    And what are the names of the other climate researchers we haven’t found yet?”

  • Douglas Messier

    For his next trick, Kapitalist (aka, J. Bruce Ismay) will now explain how God himself could not sink the White Star Line’s newest passenger liner. Take it away, Bruce!

  • Kapitalist

    Certainly! It is happening. The doomsday fraudsters are having panic themselves now. Trump couldn’t have appointed more anti-climate panic people. My gain from the bet is the preservation of industry, energy, transports and agriculture which the doomsday fraudsters will not be able to destroy in order to prevent their imagined deluge.

  • Kapitalist

    The lying climate fraudsters is a closed little sect. Their activities are dominated by hate and denial, deep inside they know that they are completely wrong and also that they were unlucky when they made their ignorant bet on future weather 20 years ago. The 1 mm a year deluge catastrophy didn’t happen.

    Climate science is completely irrelevant when it comes to individual value judgements about economic and political decisions. Their desperate lie that their draconian political “ideology” of death is “scientific” is just a plain copy of Marxism. Another Soviet project which also failed and has disappeared. This gang never learn. And when the tax money is taken away from them, they will all suddenly forget about the climate fraud, just like they forgot about the Soviet Union over night. They’ll instead jump on the astrological Nibiru train and lie about another cause of the doomsday they fear monger.

  • Paul451

    Are you willing to bet that your prediction will come true in 24 months?

    I say it will not.

    How much are you willing to bet? Actual money.

    (You’re so confident, you must be willing to give odds as well? 2:1? 5:1? 10:1?)

  • Paul451

    One of Trump’s pets has already called for the reopening of the actual HUAC.

  • Aegis Maelstrom

    Yada Yada. Do you have anything scientific to prove your statements, other than your feelings?

    Because you know, I heard the same story about Vaccine Conspiracy (TM), Cigarettes Scaremongers (TM), Secret Ultimate Cure for Cancer, AIDS and diarrhea etc. etc.

    All of it is still delivered by shills and snake oil marketers.

  • Insane. Concerned. Insane concern troll.

  • Kapitalist

    Don’t you think that Trump will cut off all financing of the climate fraud? Perry as minister of energy, Rex Tillerson. These appointments show that he is very serious about abolishing the climate panic fraud. It is not as if the doomsday parasites are capable of financing their failed forecasts themselves. They will have to get real jobs instead.