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Suppressing Climate Scientists


What could make me even more disgusted that Trump’s EPA suppressing climate scientists? How about the same thing except screwing over my adopted state of Rhode Island and my university? Yeah, that will do it.

The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.

John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.

Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.

The move highlights widespread concern that the E.P.A. will silence government scientists from speaking publicly or conducting work on climate change. Scott Pruitt, the agency administrator, has said that he does not believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for the warming of the planet.

“It’s definitely a blatant example of the scientific censorship we all suspected was going to start being enforced at E.P.A.,” said John King, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island who chairs the science advisory committee of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program. “They don’t believe in climate change, so I think what they’re trying to do is stifle discussions of the impacts of climate change.”

The entire Trump administration is terrible for my university. On top of everything else that is horrible, his attempt to elimination the sea grant designation and attacks on climate research is devastating for URI. Outside of Florida and Louisiana, I don’t think there’s a state as vulnerable to sea level rise as my low-lying state. Therefore, we have invested a lot of resources into ocean-based programs. If all that is cut, not only will it devastate a whole lot of faculty, but the university will almost certainly help make up for that by taking it out of the humanities and social sciences to try and keep those people. This kind of suppression is not only outrageous, but also may affect me personally. But of course we all know that political correctness by the left and stopping Richard Spencer from speaking is the real outrage.

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