If Trump skews sci­ence, sci­en­tists must speak up

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Sci­en­tists must con­front cli­mate change de­niers and speak up if US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump tries to side­line cli­mate re­search, In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Sally Jewell said yes­ter­day. “If you see sci­ence be­ing ig­nored or com­pro­mised, speak up,” Jewell will tell a meet­ing of earth and space sci­en­tists in San Francisco, ac­cord­ing to a draft of the speech seen by Reuters.

Trump has called cli­mate change a hoax and sought to fill his cabi­net with oil in­dus­try al­lies like Texas Gov­er­nor Rick Perry, the En­ergy Depart­ment nom­i­nee. Last week, the Trump team asked the US Depart­ment of En­ergy to sup­ply names of of­fi­cials who took part in in­ter­na­tional cli­mate talks - a request that the agency has re­jected. The sci­en­tific fact of cli­mate change can­not be ig­nored no mat­ter who is in the White House, Jewell will say. And she will urge cli­mate ex­perts to pub­licly de­fend their work.

“Think about where to raise your voice and then do it,” Jewell will tell a meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Geo­phys­i­cal Union (AGU) - a global as­so­ci­a­tion of re­searchers. “The Amer­i­can peo­ple must be able to trust sci­ence.” As Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s top ste­ward for pub­lic lands, Jewell has helped man­age ter­rain that holds vast re­serves of oil, gas and coal. But over nearly four years in of­fice, Jewell has also warned that burn­ing fos­sil fu­els will ir­repara­bly harm the planet. Jewell will say that na­tional historic sites that she now man­ages - like the 17th cen­tury colo­nial out­post, Jamestown - could even­tu­ally be swal­lowed by rising seas.

Pol­i­cy­mak­ers must con­front cli­mate change re­al­i­ties, Jewell said. Chris­tine McEn­tee, head of the AGU, said her mem­bers were con­cerned that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion might not value sci­en­tific dis­cov­ery and rigor. Devel­op­ments at the En­ergy Depart­ment were par­tic­u­larly alarm­ing, she said, but cli­mate re­searchers were pre­pared to de­fend their meth­ods and dis­cov­er­ies. —Reuters

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