Monday, February 20, 2017

TRUMP AGENDA - Science Under Siege

aka "Trump Trying to Hide Truth of Science"

Lord Trump:  'The peons don't need science, all they need is my guidance from on high.'

"How scientists are scrambling to safeguard vital environmental data" PBS NewsHour 2/15/2017


SUMMARY:  Since the election, members of many scientific and research groups have been archiving government data they believe could be jeopardized by the new administration.  Their fear is that without data, you can't have environmental regulation.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien took a look at one of those efforts underway at New York University.

JEROME WHITINGTON, New York University:  Psyched to see everybody in the room.  Really exciting.

MILES O'BRIEN (NewsHour):  It's early, cold, and Saturday, and yet this room at New York University is standing room only.  A few hundred volunteers are here to download and save scientific data created and curated by the federal government.

JEROME WHITINGTON:  Without the data, you don't have environmental regulation.

MILES O'BRIEN:  Anthropology Professor Jerome Whitington is one of the organizers of this data rescue event, the eighth in an ongoing, open-ended series which began after the election.

JEROME WHITINGTON:  Now, one of the things we're going to accomplish at this event is, we're going to do a lot of work to get hard-to-access data sets, things that previous events have struggled to get.

MILES O'BRIEN:  They are focused primarily on the essential science used to create environmental regulations.  They worry the Trump administration's anti-regulatory bent and outright denial of peer-reviewed climate science might put the data in jeopardy.

JEROME WHITINGTON:  We're less worried about it being outright deleted and disappearing, and more worried about it becoming unusable or inaccessible in specific ways.

MILES O'BRIEN:  So, they are systematically building a data refuge in the cloud on servers hosted by Amazon.

Bethany Wiggin directs the University of Pennsylvania program in environmental humanities.  She is an organizer of the data refuge project.

BETHANY WIGGIN, University of Pennsylvania:  We have always thought of data refuge as providing an insurance policy.  The situation is quite urgent.  Events on the federal level are moving quickly.  The changes being made to programs is happening quite fast.  The situation is very uncertain.

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