The Chilling Fields: The New Suppression of Science and Scientists
Today I ran into an old friend. That friend is a climate scientist working for the federal government. They looked to me as though someone in their family had died. I asked them, ” what is the matter”?
They told me that last night they got the word that Trump had ordered these government agencies: The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The National Science Foundation, The U.S. Geological Survey, and the Energy Department among others for the names of all climate scientists.
This person also told me that Trump had demanded not just the scientist’s names, but all records of all of the seminars these scientists have attended, all of their publications, any and all scientific papers on climate they have written. The meetings they have attended. Who was in those meetings. The salaries of all of the scientists, and their affiliations. Not just current information.
All of the requested information.
…..for the last 5 YEARS.
I have known my friend for around twenty years. They have always been calm and level headed. Gentle-natured. This scientist has a family member that is a Holocaust survivor. I have Jewish family. This list gathering feels to them and to me like the beginnings of Nazi Germany. We are not exaggerating. Directives like this seem to be solely focused on making an “enemies list”.
Rounding up the scientists who disagree with Trump’s proclaimed agenda of climate change denial? Is this the prelude to suppressing valid scientific information? It seems scientists are all now at risk if their valid research or opinions disagree with the anti-science agenda currently being promoted by the President-elect and his proposed administration.
Putting out thinly veiled threats against scientists will also affect their families, friends and colleagues and as a result the science itself. Purposefully instigating uncertainty, intimidation and fear can only be the calculated result of such a pointedly threatening “investigation”.
My reaction to this information?
Those are just a few of the feelings I felt when this information was shared with me. My father fought against the Nazis in WWII. He like so many fought for truth and freedom. My dad fought against suppression, against terrorist activities, against a climate of fear and retribution. So did many of your fathers. What the hell happened to our America? At what point did we spiral down into these beginnings of fascism?
Is this really what we have come to? Making enemies lists? Looking to subvert science in favor of personal gain at the expense of our American people and of valid scientific research that may affect the world? The United States seems to be all too quickly taking on the color of cold war Russia in the 1950’s. The Eastern bloc of the 1960’s. Enveloping itself in the scent of every petty dictatorship in every sad backwater third world country that ever was.
So, what can we do?
Republican or Democrat. Green, Libertarian or Independent: Write your Representatives. Call your Senators. Contact every damn government agency you can think of. Rounding up our scientists with the purpose of censoring science and terrorizing scientists? Stamping out research? Erasing facts and replacing them with self-interested fiction?
Americans should be outraged, scandalized, horrified. We should all be out in the streets taking up pitchforks and torches in the form of emails, calls and letters.
Call. Write. Not just your own Representatives. ALL OF THEM. Burn up their phone lines and their email inboxes. Let them feel our wrath, our fear, our refusal to accept this threat to science and our scientists.
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