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Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:21 PM

The Trump Administration Is Just Flat-Out Lying About Climate Change

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/the-trump-administration-is-just-flat-out-lying-about-climate-change

Climate Change
The Trump Administration Is Just Flat-Out Lying About Climate Change
As the president guts environmental regulations, an Interior Department official has been found sneaking misleading and debunked claims in government reports.
By Eric Lutz
March 2, 2020


Donald Trump has insisted that he’s worked “harder” than any of his predecessors on environmental issues, despite the fact that he’s spent the past three years all but personally taking a blowtorch to the world’s glaciers. “The United States under President Trump’s leadership and policies has made the air, water, and environment cleaner,” an administration spokesperson said last year. But the president and his White House have given ample evidence to the contrary, from his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord to his and Steve Mnuchin’s mockery of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.

In the latest example of the Trump administration’s reckless climate change denialism, a Trump Interior Department staffer has reportedly been sneaking misleading and debunked claims into the agency’s scientific reports to give the impression that “increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial” and there is a “there is a lack of consensus among scientists that the earth is warming,” according to the New York Times. Known within the administration as “Goks uncertainty language”—in reference to staff to Indur M. Goklany, a staffer in the office of the deputy secretary—the misleading material has been embedded in at least nine significant reports, including “environmental studies and impact statements on major watersheds in the American West that could be used to justify allocating increasingly scarce water to farmers at the expense of wildlife conservation and fisheries,” the Times's Hiroko Tabuchi writes.

In Interior Department emails, she adds, “Goklany pushed misleading interpretations of climate science, saying it ‘may be overestimating the rate of global warming, for whatever reason;’ climate modeling has largely predicted global warming accurately. The final language states inaccurately that some studies have found the earth to be warming, while others have not.” This is, as the Times notes, a big deal; such reports factor heavily into the department’s decision-making on policies impacting land and water. “Highlighting uncertainty is consistent with the biggest attacks on the climate science community,” Jacquelyn Gill, an associate professor of paleoecology and plant ecology at the University of Maine, told the Times. “They’re emphasizing discussions of uncertainty to the point where people feel as though we can’t actually make decisions.”

The embedding of such misleading information is one of many attacks by the Trump administration on science—and comes amid a broader assault on expertise, whether coming from the intelligence community or the press. Trump has spent his first term rolling back environmental regulations, appointing fossil fuel company executives to environmental positions, and fostering a sense of uncertainty about the facts on climate change. Such deception could further erode public trust in the administration, including its scientific assessments that should, in theory, be apolitical. The Trump administration's fraught relationship to science has recently come to the forefront in its disorganized response to the coronavirus, with Trump’s mixed messages and self-serving politics helping create confusion at a moment in which the public is seeking answers.

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Reply The Trump Administration Is Just Flat-Out Lying About Climate Change (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 2020 OP
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2020 #1
2naSalit Mar 2020 #2
spanone Mar 2020 #3
Doreen Mar 2020 #4
Caliman73 Mar 2020 #5

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:27 PM

1. replace "climate change" with "everything"

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:44 PM

2. +1

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:47 PM

3. I was just about to.....

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:55 PM

4. The trump administration is lying about EVERYTHING!!!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 08:18 PM

5. This is the plan.

That is kind of a long article to say what should be simple to say. Trump lies for the purpose of destroying the idea of truth. Last week I posted a video from Vox that discussed how both Putin and Trump use what is called a "firehose of lies" not to deceive but to assert power. Trump is attempting to "break truth" by continually asserting lies and either denying they are lies or not even caring whether people call them out. As the Vox video says, fact checking is useless against this tactic because Trump is trying to do away with the concept that there is truth or facts. There are only positions, and whoever's position is most powerful is what will be perceived to be the truth. It seems a perversion of postmodern thought. Postmodernists reacted against the modernist view that there was one single, completely objective truth (which happened to be very often, the view of the dominant social group. Something like the assertion that IQ tests, which were normed on the experience of White American and European Men, were predictive of the intelligence levels of all people without fault. Postmodernists would point out that IQ tests failure to take into consideration the very different experiences of women and people of color would taint the results and would not lead to reliable results therefore tests which account for those differences needed to be developed.

Trump is corrupting this idea, which he is want to do. He is trying to show that facts do not matter, even facts that postmodern thinkers would stipulate to like the idea that looking at an eclipse can damage your eyesight, are up for debate in Trump's world.

We need another tactic to dislodge this onslaught of lies. Debunking doesn't necessarily work. But perhaps point the strategy out may help somewhat.

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