The world has survived 100 days of President Donald Trump and his attempts to “Make America Great Again.”
On the campaign trail, he promised a 100 Day Contract With The American Voter” that included middle class tax relief, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and even “cleaning up corruption in Washington. Like most Trump contracts, the worker—or in this case the American voter—gets fucked again.
In honor of the president’s 100 days in office, we decided to examine what President Trump has (or hasn’t) accomplished in the name of science.
Eight-years-ago, Donald Trump and his children signed a New York Times advertisement saying they “supported meaningful and effective measures… to fight climate change,” which they also called “scientifically irrefutable.”
Looks like there’s been a change of heart.
Since then, President Trump claimed that climate change is a Chinese hoax; one of his campaign promises was to pull out of the Paris climate agreement; it’s now completely cool for coal mines to dump their waste into rivers; President Trump’s appointed known climate-change deniers to head the EPA and the Department of Energy; and he’s even gone so far as to attempt slashing funds for federal Earth science research programs, which could hamper climate research globally and last decades.
Wait, there’s more.
The administration’s currently in the process of removing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, a regulation designed to reduce carbon emissions; scientists are being censored and intimidated; and the word “science” has been removed from the EPA’s mission statement.
If anything, this administration has declared war with climate change, going so far as to seemingly ignore the threat completely. The vast majority of scientists agree on human-caused climate change and that it needs to be combatted. Why doesn’t anyone in this administration?
Energy and the Environment
“Donald Trump is a threat to the planet,” wrote climate scientist, Professor Michael Mann, in a blog on Huffington Post.
“What he has set in motion in terms of the impact on climate action and the potential impact on environmental standards is very dangerous,” said Melinda Pierce, legislative director of the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the U.S., to The Independent. “He’s basically unwinding and shredding the safety net we have been building up for 40 years.”
Trump, on the other hand, seems to think his administration’s committed to cleaning up the environment:
“My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species. Rigorous science is critical to my Administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection. My Administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.
If this administration’s keen on “keeping our air and water clean,” then why has it attempted to squash Obama-era environmental regulations? Why is the President trying to rewrite regulation restricting carbon emissions Why is he lifting the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands? Why is he revising the way government analyzes the “cost” of climate change? Why has he proposed a budget that would effectively destroy the EPA and other environmental agencies? And why has the President pushed an environmentally-degrading industry. coal—that literally employs fewer people than the U.S. bowling industry?
President Trump, actions speak louder than words—even if they’re the best words, and it looks as though this administration would rather eliminate any and all environmental protections than advance scientific research “that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks.”
Much has been made about Trump’s aggressive [read: insane] moves concerning the climate, immigration, and health care during his first 100 days in office, but he hasn’t offered much yet in regard to exploring the final frontier. This isn’t too different from most administrations, which find themselves more worried about tax reform than launching a man to Mars. But given that the president has yet to name an administrator of NASA, it seems, right now, space isn’t currently on Trump’s mind.
His first budget indicated virtually no change to NASA funding. In March, the president did sign legislation NASA authorization legislation, during which he trumpeted, “Today, we’re taking the initial steps toward a bold and bright new future for American spaceflight.” Like most Trumpisms, this was all show and no substance. The authorization he signed essentially keeps NASA on the same course—funding for the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft.
Concerning deep space exploration, Trump’s made it clear he wants to go to Mars during “my first term or, at worst, my second term,” though he’d rather “fix our highways” first.
The president’s vision for NASA seems to be using it as a potential job creator. During that NASA-authorization ceremony, Trump focused not specifically on exploration, technology, and aeronautics, but rather the president endorsed the Agency’s successful efforts to “nurture a new commercial market that will boost our economy and create more jobs,” according to a White House Statement.
“It’s about jobs,” noted the president.
Since Trump has taken office, he’s made six healthcare promises:
1. “Insurance for everybody”
2. “No cuts to medicaid”
3. “No one will lose coverage”
4. “Nobody will be worse off financially”
5. “Get rid of artificial lines”
6. “Everybody’s going to be taken care of”
And, somehow, he’s managed to sort of keep these promises to the American people, but that’s mostly because his administration has failed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. So…Thanks Obama.
Trump’s “repeal and replace” bill was so unpopular it couldn’t pass a Republican-controlled Congress and was only supported by a mere 17-percent of the public, according to a Quinnipiac poll, and it almost certainly wouldn’t have given “insurance for everybody,” by removing the health insurance of more than 20 million Americans.
“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” said the President.
Actually, everybody knew, Donny.
His clear lack of interest or expertise or even a single cranial synapse concerning health-related, or even medical-related issues is not only astonishing, but it seems dangerous to the American public.
In his first budget proposal, the president called for a $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health. A cut that enraged scientists but Congressmen alike.
“I just don’t think you want to argue that we’re doing X—almost no matter what X is—as opposed to cancer research or Alzheimer’s research,” said Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Cole to McClatchy DC Bureau.
“A $6 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health is unacceptable to the scientific community, and should be unacceptable to the American public as well,” said Benjamin Corb, Director of Public Affairs at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in a statement to Ars Technica.
The biggest threat to America isn’t a terrorist wandering Iraq. It’s not an extremist hiding in Dearborn or some Iranian biomedical engineer who’s no longer eligible to enter the country because the government thinks Iran manufacturers terrorists, not doctors. The biggest threat to America is that the country can’t take care of its citizens.
Top photo: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0
Tom Burson is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.