President-elect Donald Trump has appointed a host of the worst imaginable climate deniers to positions of authority in his administration. He seems determined to put them in control, and they seem determined to stop all U.S. action to help with the climate crisis. They may also work actively, not just to deny climate truth, but to cripple the world’s ability even to know what’s going on.
That’s because for years the U.S. has been the world’s leader in gathering climate data. It’s something we could rightly be proud of. But with climate deniers in control of NASA, of NOAA, and a host of other agencies, and with them already seeking to make “lists” of the people who have been doing climate-related science, they seem hell-bent on a a witch-hunt against those people, and to destroy the data-gathering supremacy which the U.S. worked so long, so hard, and so well to establish.
For instance: two of the three best-known and most-trusted global surface temperature records are U.S. government efforts: from NASA and from NOAA. I fully expect that they will either be halted altogether, or worse yet, will be deliberately altered to hide the truth. The U.S. satellite programs provide a wealth of information, and that too may be abandoned or tampered with in order to change the truth into a lie. For years, climate deniers have accused honest scientists of altering data for political purposes — it’s one of the hallmarks of the dishonest that they are not only eager to accuse others falsely, but to do exactly the sin that they falsely accuse others of.
The greatest tragedy may be that just when the world needs quality climate data most, the Trump administration will either put a stop to it, or change it to paint a rosy picture which is as far from reality as possible.
I expect it will be just like putting tobacco companies in charge of the data on the health effects of tobacco.
I hope the Europeans will step up, fill in as many gaps as possible, and assume the mantle of leadership in gathering and disseminating honest climate data. Because the U.S., under the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled congress, won’t.
We’ll be watching.
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