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Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:05 AM

Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior

A new report documents suppression of science, denial of climate change, the silencing and intimidation of staff

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/monumental-disaster-at-the-department-of-the-interior/?sf203621390=1

This is a tough time to be a federal scientist—or any civil servant in the federal government. The Trump administration is clamping down on science, denying dangerous climate change and hollowing out the workforces of the agencies charged with protecting American health, safety and natural resources.

At the Department of the Interior (DOI), with its mission to conserve and manage America’s natural and cultural resources, the Trump administration’s political appointees are stumbling over one another to earn accolades for disabling agency operations. I should know; I was one of dozens of senior executives targeted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for reassignment in a staff purge just six months into the new administration.

From that day onward, Zinke and his political staff have consistently sidelined scientists and experts while handing the agency’s keys over to oil, gas and mining interests. The only saving grace is that Zinke and his colleagues are not very good at it, and in many cases the courts are stopping them in their tracks. The effects on science, scientists and the federal workforce, however, will be long-lasting.

In a new report, Science Under Siege at the Department of the Interior, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has documented some of the most egregious and anti-science policies and practices at the DOI under Secretary Zinke. The report describes suppression of science, denial of climate change, the silencing and intimidation of agency staff, and attacks on science-based laws that help protect our nation’s world-class wildlife and habitats.

It is a damning report and required reading for anyone who values public lands, wildlife, cultural heritage, and health and safety.

..more..

30 replies, 8032 views

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior (Original post)
G_j Wednesday OP
Achilleaze Wednesday #1
Soxfan58 Wednesday #5
lastlib Wednesday #7
pangaia Wednesday #20
Honeycombe8 Wednesday #27
usaf-vet Wednesday #8
hatrack Wednesday #2
2naSalit Wednesday #3
spanone Wednesday #4
llmart Wednesday #6
watoos Wednesday #9
gademocrat7 Wednesday #10
Fuzzpope Wednesday #11
world wide wally Wednesday #12
Nitram Wednesday #15
pangaia Wednesday #21
Nitram Wednesday #13
certainot Wednesday #14
MontanaMama Wednesday #16
yonder Thursday #29
mountain grammy Wednesday #17
kirby Wednesday #24
mountain grammy Wednesday #25
panfluteman Wednesday #18
yonder Thursday #30
Mr. Sparkle Wednesday #19
Mr.Bill Wednesday #22
BigmanPigman Wednesday #23
Hermit-The-Prog Wednesday #28
Scurrilous Wednesday #26

Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:07 AM

1. KGOP republicans are making war on American democracy & government

republicans hate America, and are working systematically and treasonously to undermine all that is good, honest, decent, moral, ethical, and honorable about this nation. The draft-dodging casino hustler they are so pathetically submissive to is leading them, and America, off a cliff and into the filthy, reeking garbage heap of history.

Sick.

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:34 AM

5. ...

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:37 AM

7. These people MUST be stopped!

tRumpism and tRump policies are destroying all that is sacred in, and about, America. All for the almighty dollar. They must be repudiated so completely that they can never rise to power again. Come on, Mueller, your country needs you to work faster!

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Response to lastlib (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:27 PM

20. It is NOT trump. It is republicans...

I know you mean that,,,

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Response to pangaia (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:52 PM

27. It starts w/Trump. He apptd the head of the Interior Dept.

It was always in Trump's agenda to dismantle steps to curb climate change. He is anti-environmental. Those laws interfere with him building his buildings and golf courses wherever he wants.

The National Parks are opened up to mining, now, too.

If Trump didn't want this, it wouldn't happen. He wants it, and appointed the people to make it happen.

This is the extreme faction of the Repub Party. The establishment Republicans are not anti-environmental. Though they're not as environmentally concerned as those on the left.

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:41 AM

8. It depends on what your definition of America is......

They love the wealth and the ability to procure (steal) the wealth and power of their "America" that is theirs for the taking.

To them the riches of America is a giant ATM machine. Which they want exclusive access!

To accomplish that they have to deprive the rest of us of the benefits they want to pillage. The benefits we have all worked to build.

Their long dream to steal the riches in Social Security accounts and to stop the expenditures of Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare (ACA). If those monies are used as intended they know it won't be their for them to pillage.

To them America is just a big piggy bank... their piggy bank.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:07 AM

2. Which should surprise . . . . absolutely no one . . .

.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:09 AM

3. K&R

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:10 AM

4. I grew up in an America that revered it's scientists and civil servants. Shame on the GOP.

Shame, Shame, Shame.

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Response to spanone (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:37 AM

6. I grew up in an America...

that valued and revered its intellectual individuals across the spectrum of knowledge, but the willfully ignorant portion of our population decided that they should label that "intellectual elitism" to make themselves feel better about their ignorance. There truly was a time when the people who weren't that smart were at least smart enough to know to leave the decision making to those who knew what they were talking about. This is true also of the privilege of voting.

I clearly remember more than one person saying to me years ago, "I didn't vote because I had not had the time to look into that particular candidate's background and stand on issues, so I'd rather not vote than to vote for someone I know nothing about." In some ways I respected that. In fact, I've actually done that once or twice myself in my fifty years of voting. Once was when I had just moved to a new state and had no idea who the candidates for governor were or what their background was or their stand on the issues, so I declined to vote for governor that year.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:51 AM

9. Johnny Mahall,

back in the 60's. "Nature's Disappearing."

"Nature's disappearing, lakes and rivers stagnant, soon the dumps will be to your back door."

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:01 AM

10. Zinke is a despicable man.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:07 AM

11. It's crystal clear

Trump is re-tooling these agencies into devices of mass murder and environmental destruction. There is no other rational motive other than <To Harm>.

This could not be more obvious.

And it's not surgical, precision harm, it's universal; the federal government is very close to a blunt instrument of population control at this point, and it blows my fucking mind seeing his supporters cheer on actions that inevitably will injure or outright kill them and their families and friends.

Long after Trump is rendered, these people will remain, patiently awaiting the next Great Destroyer they can dance into the meat grinder supporting.

This festering ill must be mitigated somehow, some way.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:17 AM

12. Even China and Russia do not that aggressively against nature.

Trump is #1

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:27 AM

15. Um, I'm not sure I would agree with that. China's asault on the environment is the worst in the

world. 79 Chinese cities just reported air pollution alerts, and given the fact that the siutuation has to be really dire to trigger reports in the first place, this is evidence off an ongoing environmental disaster. They've also built enormous dams causing huge damage to both the environment and the people livingtg in the areas to be inundated. I once read that spraying of agricultural pesticides was so severe that songbords and insects virtually diappeared from many areas.

Granted, if Trump became dictator and managed to carry out all of his disastrous "policies" without interference by the courts, we'd probably catch up to China. So far, the law has held firm, delaying or blocking many of Trump's disastrous threats to the environment. I hope Mueller's report comes out in time to prevent even more damage.

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:29 PM

21. Uh, China? Worse..

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:21 AM

13. I can see why Trump supporters love him. He really has done everything he could to shrink

the federal government's size and authority with a frontal attack on every federal department, office, and agency. He appointed enemies of each department's mission to run them - into the ground. No politician in either party ever had the balls, chuztpah, and ignorance of government necessary to do what he has done. The good news is that much of it was a great deal less effective than it would have been had it been done in a smarter, craftier way that would avoid injunctions by the courts.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:27 AM

14. and we continue to let 88 institutions of higher learning support 260 limbaugh stations

- which are all working for trump/putin

those 88 publicly funded universities need to reread their mission statements and start looking for alternatives to broadcast sports on

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Response to certainot (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:31 AM

16. THIS

is an excellent resource. Thank you for posting this.

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Response to certainot (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 03:01 AM

29. On my desktop, thanks

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 10:13 AM

17. Zinke is a Nazi. A fucking right wing zealot.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:20 PM

24. And a geologist... /s

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Response to kirby (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:33 PM

25. That's what he calls himself

But he’s not. What he is is a Nazi.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 11:07 AM

18. Add the Department of the Interior to the Long List of Federal Agencies

That the Trump administration has hollowed out. Another key government agency that was hollowed out real early on in the Trump administration was the State Department. This really irked me to no end, since my dear departed father was a career ambassador and foreign service officer. He was one of those language and regional experts who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations alike over his long career - and these are some of the most useful and helpful people that any government can employ. When Trump's former Secretary of State and Putin buddy Rex Tillerson fired all those career diplomats, he was only doing what Putin wanted, to weaken US diplomacy, moral leadership and "soft power" throughout the world. Heck, even "Mad Dog" Mattis said that the better our diplomacy and soft power, the less ammo and hard power is needed by the Defense Department. My dad was definitely rolling over in his grave.

And now the hollowing out and bastardization of the DOI has entered the spotlight. Trump's crusade against science, and even against a sensible and decent environment and quality of life for the citizens of our country is probably rooted in two things: business ties to the fossil fuel industry and being beholden to them; and 2) his political wooing of the Christian Right, which is anti-science and denying climate change and global warming. Heck - these rabid Jesus freaks sincerely believe that the sooner the planet is destroyed, the sooner Jesus will return. With Trump, there are two things that trump (pun intended) everything - money (fossil fuel interests) and politics (wooing the Christian Right and playing them for the suckers and hypocrites that they are).

It is very hard to understand, indeed mind-boggling at times, Trump's incredible rejection of and adversion to genuine knowledge and expertise of any kind - it's almost like he's strongly allergic to it. Is it just because he's a total narcissist as well as phenomenally ignorant himself, and surrounding himself with genuine experts would only put his own monumental stupidity into the spotlight by contrast and make him look bad?

In my mind, there seem to be three basic golden rules of governing effectively: 1) Put the country's interests ahead of your own. 2)The buck stops here - step up to the plate and take responsibility now! and 3) Follow the sage counsel of genuine experts and people in the know to supplement your own personal knowledge and experience where it is lacking. And Trump has failed miserably at all three.

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Response to panfluteman (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 03:04 AM

30. +1. nice post!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 11:22 AM

19. The headline should be " Monumental Monster at the head of the Department of Interior"

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:40 PM

22. The difference is clear.

Democrats want you grandchildren to work in a solar panel factory.


Repulicans want them to work in a coal mine.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:57 PM

23. The fake pres has been doing this since he was inaugurated.

I thought this was common knowledge.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:54 PM

28. getting more competent: wheeler in epa

The buffoons are getting weeded out, leaving the more competent destroyers to do the job.
I hope the new House can put some pressure on these agencies for all our sake.

See "The President's Coal Warrior" https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211429756
(OP I posted a couple weeks ago)

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 09:47 PM

26. K&R

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