Bob Woodmansee: Beware of the “hoax” diversion
During the past week, there has been a media and political frenzy questioning whether President Trump believes human-caused climate change is a hoax. His belief is not the point. He withdrew us from the Paris Climate Accords.
The ensuing White House-provoked frenzy, including, Scott Pruitt’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows is likely a deliberate attempt to divert attention from their immediate goals of defunding and dismantling climate research and silencing its “inconvenient truths.” This is clearly demonstrated by analyzing President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.
Severe budget cuts and/or program elimination related to climate change and green energy proposed by the Trump administration are many and affect numerous federal agencies. I’ll cite only a few examples.
NASA’s Carbon Monitoring Program, responsible for developing carbon accounting methodologies to support the Paris Accords, is eliminated. The Department of Energy’s budget for biological and environmental science is cut by 43 percent, and climate research funding is even more severely cut or eliminated.
Programs to research energy efficiency and renewable energy are also on the chopping block. Cuts to NOAA would deeply gouge their climate research, laboratories and competitive grants programs.
EPA cuts — another topic unto itself — would decimate that agency’s climate change research and climate monitoring programs. Other agencies impacted by the proposed budget cuts are the National Science Foundation, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the USDA.
The polar regions are the areas most severely impacted by global warming on the planet. Yet the proposed budget would terminate vital Arctic climate and sea ice research. In the game of winners and losers, who gains most by ending this research and opening Arctic landscapes to further drilling: Russia – a “petrostate” with vast oil and gas reserves in the Arctic?
Many analysts agree with the conclusion in an article in Bloomberg View (see below) – “Who would win from a retreat in the war on climate change? Oil, coal and gas industries around the world, obviously, as well as coal-burning power companies. But the biggest winner probably would be another country: Russia.”
If you agree that climate change is real, that withdrawal from the Paris Accords is detrimental to the environment and economy of the U.S. and the planet, and that science is imperiled by the current administration, then call or write to our elected officials. Ask them to reject the Trump Administration’s budget proposals and to fully fund climate and renewable energy research. Senator Michael Bennet can be contacted at 202-224-5852, Senator Cory Gardner at 202-224-5941 and Congressman Scott Tipton at 202-225-4761.
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I am a proud and retired Steamboat Springs Middle School teacher. My out-of-town friends roll their eyes when, yet again, I highlight a former student leading a noteworthy life.