2017 will be known as the year of a concerted assault on science-based policies in federal government agencies. Read on for just a brief summary of the most significant actions taken by the Trump administration:
1/25/17: In response to a media blackout ordered for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entities such as “AltEPA” and “RogueNASA,” ostensibly created by frustrated federal employees, begin posting climate change data and other science-based information on social media.
2/3/17: The Department of Agriculture removes public access to animal welfare reports on thousands of facilities, including research labs.
6/1/17: The president announces plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.
8/7/17: 7: The Guardian reports that official emails, sent in the weeks after the inauguration to some USDA staff, advise use of terms such as “weather extremes” rather than “climate change.”
8/21/17: 21: The administration allows the charter for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate change assessment advisory committee to expire.
8/31/17: 31: The DOI limits most environmental impact studies to a year in length and resulting reports to no more than 150 pages. The studies previously lasted for years and could run 1,000 pages or more.
9/29/17: 29: The FDA delays required revisions to nutrition labeling by up to three years. The updates, which would have gone into effect in 2018, include more realistic portion sizes and the amount of added sugar in a product.
10/10/17: 10: The administration announces its intent to kill the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era initiative to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
10/12/17: 12: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announces the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural and scientific heritage protection body, effective at the end of 2018.
WE DEMAND GOVERNMENT POLICIES BASED ON GOOD SCIENCE, DEVELOPED BY SCIENTISTS AND BASED ON VERIFIABLE FACTS!
Dr. Richard D. Logan is a volunteer leader of Jews for a Secular Democracy; board president of the Society for Humanistic Judaism; and a retired Professor of Human Development. He has a BA in Anthropology from Harvard College and a PhD in Human Development from the University of Chicago where he studied under Bruno Bettelheim and Lawrence Kohlberg. Most of his career was at UW – Green Bay but he also had appointments at the University of Nairobi and Vassar College, and a sabbatical at the University of Kent in Canterbury England. He has published on adolescent identity, American individualism, the emergence of the self through Western history, and the state of higher education. He also authored a book on the psychology of solitary ordeals, and another on the true survival story of a young girl lost at sea. He also chaired the Faculty Executive Committee. Since retiring he has served on several non-profit boards.
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