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USA. Watchdog and Advocacy Coalition Report Warns of Systemic Attacks on Science 

Government Accountability Project USA      https://www.whistleblower.org/blog/034224-urgent-action-requested-sign-petition-below   Watchdog and Advocacy Coalition Report Warns of Systemic Attacks on Science  The Report Exposes Chronic Interference With Federal Science and Public Health and Safety Measures Under the Trump Administration and Makes Critical Recommendations to Congress 

A report released today by a coalition of prominent watchdog and advocacy groups – including Government Accountability Project – chronicles a litany of recent attacks on federal science and scientists by Trump administration officials intent on undermining the critical regulatory role government plays in safeguarding public health and safety. The report, “Protecting Science at Federal Agencies: How Congress Can Help,” arose out of mounting concerns that some of our elected officials are chronically crippling key science programs, and ignoring, suppressing, censoring, and distorting scientific information in order to weaken regulatory functions that serve to protect human health and the environment but disadvantage certain industry interests. Government Accountability Project was the lead contributor to the chapter on whistleblowing and scientific integrity, as well as a contributor to the chapter on reduced communications. The report concludes that widespread, politically-motivated interference in sound science causes unsound policy decisions, and Congress must act swiftly and decisively to reverse this dangerous trend to get the nation back on course.

The new report walks through countless troubling examples of deliberate efforts by Trump administration agency heads and political appointees to dismantle federal science programs, discredit scientific data, disconnect scientific fact from decision-making, and destroy public trust in government. Many current high-level political appointees lack adequate experience and credentials for the positions they are assigned to manage and often bring with them serious conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, Congress has been lax, even negligent, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities. This must change.

The watchdog and public interest groups who authored this report share a strong concern that we are witnessing an epidemic of intentional ignorance and scientific blind spots at the highest levels of government, at a time when all Americans face escalating threats to our health and wellbeing – such as a broken health care system and runaway climate change. Collectively we put forth a set of thoughtful recommendations for the incoming 116th Congress to consider that include specific legislative proposals as well as a call for greatly improved oversight to hold government officials accountable to the public they serve.

The U.S. government invests well over $100 billion a year on scientific research and technology development, and federal agencies have traditionally relied heavily on scientific findings to support complex regulatory and policy decisions. Now, science itself is under attack: this administration is systematically dismantling a host of science advisory committees and hampering them from providing scientific information and guidance to federal regulatory program managers. Blatant disregard of fact-based evidence – even wholesale rejection of facts themselves – fostered by the Trump White House place all of us at greater risk by exposing us to toxic chemicals, polluting our air and water, eroding and blocking access to adequate health care, compromising national security, and raising the risk of exposure to dangerous climate change impacts.

Climate Science & Policy Watch, a flagship program of Government Accountability Project, is especially troubled by the enormous disparity between the alarm bells rung in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and the tepid U.S. response. As President Trump promotes a coal industry come-back and calls for fewer regulatory checks on rampant oil and gas extraction – thereby ramping up carbon emissions when we most need to be making significant cuts – we face the increasingly imminent threat of runaway climate change and its dangerous impacts. Global climate disruption is happening now, as evidenced by western-wildfires-turned-raging-infernos sweeping across California incinerating entire towns and communities; more hazardous hurricanes and unprecedented rainfall and flooding; storm surges and sea level rise inundating coastal areas. Our Environment, Energy, and Climate Change team members are increasingly troubled by the hundreds of regulatory rollbacks of environmental protection provisions across the federal government and the corruption in key agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Interior (DOI), and the National Park Service (NPS). The EPA, FEMA, and NPS have all removed references to climate change on their respective websites. One EPA official has even taken it upon himself to weed out grant proposals with the words “climate change” from those eligible for funding. ………..

 

Contributors to and supporters of the report include:

  • Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Democracy Forward
  • Environmental Integrity Project
  • Environmental Protection Network
  • Government Accountability Project
  • Greenpeace
  • Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health
  • National Center for Health Research
  • National Federation of Federal Employees
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Women’s Health Network
  • Power to Decide
  • Project on Government Oversight
  • Union of Concerned Scientists       https://www.whistleblower.org/blog/092315-watchdog-and-advocacy-coalition-report-warns-systemic-attacks-science

 

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November 17, 2018 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA

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