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One year into the Trump Administration, where do we stand?
Friday January 19th 2018, 7:22 PM

The Trump administration’s attacks on science and the environment have been met with an increase in civic engagement and resistance.

[News Source]

‘Science Guy’ Bill Nye to be Jim Bridenstine’s guest at State of the Union address
Friday January 19th 2018, 6:42 PM

The invitation seems designed to bolster Bridenstine’s scientific credentials as he struggles to get the Senate votes necessary for confirmation. Opponents have charged the former military pilot lacks sufficient background

[News Source]

In Trump Era, author ponders what Teddy Roosevelt would do
Friday January 19th 2018, 6:30 PM

The environmental legacy of past presidents tells us much about the current White House, whose occupant author Douglas Brinkley calls “a used car salesman of the worst kind.” In this “Between the Lines” Q&A, the historian talks about what we can learn from TR and FDR, the future of the environmental movement and the role of journalists.

[News Source]

One-stop shop launched to keep track of federal efforts to stifle science
Friday January 19th 2018, 4:38 PM

Having a hard time staying on top of changes to federal science regulations and actions? A new website launched today has you covered.


Silencing Science Tracker

—a joint project from Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund—has a running tally of federal government attempts to “restrict or prohibit scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information,” since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016.

So far the Tracker has 96 entries, including:

  • 41 of government censorship
  • 11 of self-censorship
  • 15 budget cuts
  • 20 personnel changes
  • 5 research hindrances
  • 8 bias and misrepresentation
“Political and ideological attacks on science have a long and shameful history, and such attacks are the most dangerous when carried out or condoned by government authorities,” said Lauren Kurtz, executive director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, in a statement.

The Tracker draws from news stories and contains some well-known changes, such as climate change references being deleted from multiple government websites, but also some changes that may have flown under the radar.

For instance, the most recent entry outlines how The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is investigating Linda Birnbaum, the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, for possible violations of anti-lobbying rules. Birnbaum, an award-winning, highly respected toxicologist and microbiologist co authored an article on U.S. toxics regulations that concluded “existing U.S. regulations have not kept pace with scientific advances showing that widely used chemicals cause serious health problems at levels previously assumed to be safe.”

Representatives of the House Committee said the study pushes citizens to lobby for policy changes, which could violate anti-lobbying rules.

The Tracker labeled the entry—logged just this week—as “government, censorship, research hindrance.”

“The vital work of scientists must be supported, made public, and listened to. When government officials block this, we plan to shine a harsh light, said Michael Gerrard, faculty director of the Sabin Center and a professor at Columbia Law School, in a statement.

Gerrard said a government that ignores science is like “a truck driver who wears a blindfold and drives based on what is whispered into his ear — dangerous and intolerable.”

See the full

Silencing Science Tracker here

, which also has option to sign up for daily or weekly updates.

There’s also a

Climate Deregulation Tracker

, focused specifically on climate change rollbacks.

[News Source]

Population dynamics (and women and water) top list of our most popular posts
Friday January 19th 2018, 4:25 PM

Our top posts of all time share a remarkably consistent theme: What is the role of

population dynamics

fertility rates



, and impacts on

water and food

—in shaping the future, particularly for people living in the most

poorest and most vulnerable countries


[News Source]

Most U.S. states lost coal mining jobs in 2017
Friday January 19th 2018, 2:25 PM

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. coal producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.

[News Source]

One year in, Trump’s environmental agenda is already taking a measurable toll
Friday January 19th 2018, 1:55 PM

One year into the Trump administration, the impact of its environmental policies is being felt in communities across the country. Power plants have been given expanded license to pollute, the dirtiest trucks are being allowed to remain on the roads and punishment for violations has dropped sharply.

[News Source]

Dearborn residents express concern over possible air pollution increase
Friday January 19th 2018, 12:09 PM

On Jan. 16, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held an informational meeting regarding a nuclear power plant’s request to

increase the amount of toxic waste they pump into the air


[News Source]

Women sow seeds, not division to build climate resilience in Senegal
Friday January 19th 2018, 12:06 PM

International experts are asking for NGOs and governments to include women in their initiatives to fight against climate in agriculture.

[News Source]

It’s not the food deserts: It’s the inequality
Friday January 19th 2018, 12:05 PM

Access to higher-quality grocery stores doesn’t significantly improve people’s eating habits, a new study finds.

[News Source]

Evian joins big brands in race to bin plastics
Friday January 19th 2018, 12:02 PM

Evian became the latest big brand to turn its back on polluting plastics on Thursday, pledging to make its water bottles from recycled materials by 2025.

[News Source]

Trump Administration deserts science advisory boards across agencies
Friday January 19th 2018, 12:01 PM

While top-level science positions remain vacant, scientific advisory panels have been quietly diminished, disbanded or replenished with industry scientists.

[News Source]