It’s not just climate change folks.
Courtesy of The Guardian:
Donald Trump’s administration is cutting programs scientists say are proven to protect Americans, from pollution safeguards to teen pregnancy prevention and healthier school lunches, with effects that could last for years.
Experts who have worked in the federal government under Republicans and Democrats say both have sometimes put politics ahead of science but none have done so as blatantly as Trump. And they warn the consequences could continue long into the future.
“It’s as egregious as I’ve ever seen it, starting from the very top with the president just denying the existence of science, manipulating the system on behalf of special interests,” said the former surgeon general Richard Carmona, who testified to Congress that the George W Bush administration pushed him to weaken or suppress public health findings.
Trump’s high-profile denial of manmade climate change has occasionally overshadowed the many other ways his agencies are contradicting established research.
There are other examples:
The agriculture department last month rolled back standards for schools to serve more whole grains, less salt and non-fat flavored milk. Department officials claimed schools struggled with the programs because students wouldn’t eat healthier foods.
But research found the food changes didn’t deter students from getting lunch and didn’t cause more plate waste. And the healthier food requirements were projected to be effective: one study estimated they could prevent 1.8 million cases of childhood obesity over a decade.
Lack of respect for science also impacts teen pregnancy:
The Trump administration is also cutting short evidence-based grants for teen pregnancy prevention programs, favoring curriculum focused on abstinence instead, despite a large body of research that shows abstinence-only programs don’t work. A 2007 evaluation of four federal abstinence programs found that they had no impact on sexual activity or rates of unprotected sex among teens.
The Trump administration has also erroneously questioned the effectiveness of contraceptives in rules expanding exemptions for employers that don’t want to cover them under insurance plans.
Of course, climate science is ignored completely:
Climate change and environmental science have also been at the forefront of the battle between science and the Trump administration. Power plant and car standards are being rolled back, as are pesticide restrictions and wildlife protections.
The Trump administration has ignored climate scientists’ warnings that rising temperatures and more extreme weather will hurt the US economy and risk lives. The interior department initially sought to remove references to manmade climate change in a report about how sea-level rise might flood national parks.
The EPA typically relies heavily on scientific research.
One of the first major decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was to forego a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is associated with developmental delays and health problems in children and has sickened farm workers. Judges ordered the EPA to bar the substance, citing the science that shows it is dangerous. The agency is appealing the case.
Agency officials have also made fundamental changes to how the federal government weighs environmental and health research.
The former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt barred scientists working with EPA grants from serving on the science advisory panels that help shape policies. Instead, industries and states now have more sway over those boards.
There is a good chance that this administration will do so much damage before they are chased out of office that it will take decades to repair what they have done.