WHILE TRUMP CUTS CLIMATE RESEARCH AS WORTHLESS, GOV'T SCIENTISTS WARN OF CLIMATE CHANGE DEVASTATION

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21 march 2017


The White House calls climate change research a ‘waste.’ Actually, it’s required by law


By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, March 21, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. — The day that President Trump’s climate science-slashing budget landed last week, his government held a public meeting here to prepare the nation’s Southeast region for rising seas, wildfires, extreme downpours and other impacts of climate change.

Despite White House budget director Mick Mulvaney’s assertion Friday that studying climate change is a “waste of your money,” federal scientists are required, by a 1990 law, to do just that — and are carrying on for now, even under the cloud of budgetary uncertainty created by the Trump administration.

It’s no easy task. Trump’s “skinny” budget proposes to slash many climate-related programs at agencies like NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration but often doesn’t go into specifics — raising doubts about the implications for climate science programs across 13 government agencies and the production of an exhaustive report about the impact of climate change in the U.S. that is required by law.

“For each of these programs, real people live on the other side of the budget line item,” said Ali Zaidi, a Stanford energy researcher who previously served in a key role in Obama’s Office of Management and Budget overseeing funding for climate and environmental programs. “Students, small business, and sources of economic growth for communities count on this data. Now you’ve got folks waiting by the phone to learn whether they’ll be going to work tomorrow or whether the data that informs their livelihoods will still be available.”

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