Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Is A New Purge On The Horizon?

Few of us will forget the disdain with which the Harper regime regarded science, especially the science around climate change. Virtual embargoes that prevented scientists from releasing and discussing with the public their findings were commonplace; the permission that was required from a labyrinthine bureaucracy essentially ensured that no information opposed to government ideology could be released.

It would seem that a similar situation in now shaping up in the United States under the incoming Trump administration, a situation that will also likely have students of history thinking of the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950's:



The Washington Post reports that these ominous signs are not being taken lightly:
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
How justified is this precautionary movement?
Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views.

“They have been salivating at the possibility of dismantling federal climate research programs for years. It’s not unreasonable to think they would want to take down the very data that they dispute,” Halpern said in an email. “There is a fine line between being paranoid and being prepared, and scientists are doing their best to be prepared. . . .
No one, of course, is sure of what will happen under a Trump administration. But the very fact that these measures are being enacted as a precaution is surely a potent indication of how unhealthy many perceive the new American 'democracy' to be.

UPDATE: It appears that the Energy Department has shown some spine, and is refusing to name names. But will they be able to refuse once Trump is sworn in?

6 comments:

  1. F**k! (Pardon my Frenglish/Franglais/pissedoffisness!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Entirely understandable, UU4077, given the provocation.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Far too many people don't want that ignorance disturbed, Owen. The current American situation surely attests to that. The same, of course, can be said about what you posted this morning on Israel's abuses of the Palestinians. If people refuse to acknowledge it is happening, their consciences can continue untroubled.

      Delete
  3. This is far more worrisome than the American public appear to understand. Depending on how far Trump went it could be treasonous. We'll know how malevolent this next government intends to be by whether it does in fact blind NASA's Earth sensing satellite network as it has threatened to do without the sort of backlash I had expected. I think most have a poor if any idea of how many satellites there are and what they do, the data they provide.

    BTW, Lorne, while I've got your attention, can you help me out?What's all this white stuff out in my yard, on my roof, in my trees? It looks a lot like that stuff that goes up on the top of the mountains. Whatever it is, I'm sure I didn't order it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prevailing ignorance seems to be what Team Trump is counting on, Mound. In that, I suspect they have little to worry about.

      Regarding the strange matter that has landed in your immediate environs, all I can say is try to remain calm and ignore it. That is my usual coping strategy for what we in the East call winter.

      Delete