Coal plant / Creative Commons
By Dr. Robert A. Levine / 11.01.2017
Galileo’s ideas regarding the earth revolving around the sun were condemned by the Roman Catholic Inquisition in 1633, denying scientific truth. Unbelievably, America is going through a similar experience in the 21st century. Scientific knowledge is being suppressed, under the guidance of our able and intelligent leader, President Donald Trump. (If you don’t believe how smart he is, ask him.)
By the way, Trump did not gain admission to an Ivy League college after high school though he brags about it. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after two years at another institution, possibly helped by a donation from his father- (pure speculation).
Trump’s denial of global warming is much more dangerous to the earth’s survival than the Inquisition’s refusal to accept the notion that our planet circled the sun. The president’s embrace of fossil fuels and his unwillingness to support research and development of future energy production will increase global warming and damage the nation’s economy. Because of Trump, America is handing solar, wind and any other new discoveries in energy technology to China and the Europeans, instead of trying for a leadership role in these areas. Jobs are much more plentiful in these sectors than with fossil fuels and will be more so in the years ahead, but with blinders on, Trump doesn’t see that. We may be exporting oil and gas when other countries are buying windmills and solar panels and improved batteries from China. The Trump administration wants to drill for oil and gas and mine for coal wherever possible, without considering that these modalities (except for gas) may be outmoded in a relatively short time.
A chemical pesticide, chlorpyrifos, which was about to be banned for causing brain damage in children, Parkinson’s disease, and is a probable carcinogen, is now being okayed again for use by the Trump administration against the strong objection of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Dr. Trump and Dr. Pruitt at your service.) The EPA and other federal agencies are also preventing research on environmental problems and overturning regulations that prohibited the use of other toxic chemicals in industry and agriculture. This is in spite of the fact that these compounds have been previously shown to cause cancer or birth defects.
The Environmental Protection Agency is also censoring its scientists by not allowing them to attend conferences on climate change, present papers, or give speeches. This censorship is similar to the Inquisition’s prohibition of Galileo discussing his scientific discoveries because they were contrary to the Church’s teachings. Grants and funding to scientists are in line with Scott Pruitt’s priorities, which means denying global warming and pushing the use of fossil fuels. Pruitt intends to fund an “independent” panel of scientists to contest the idea of global warming, as he says it is not established scientific doctrine yet. (Only 95 percent of scientists agree that global warming is a valid phenomenon, and Pruitt is obviously more knowledgeable than they are.)
Not only is President Trump an acclaimed climatologist, his expertise as shown with toxic chemicals also extends to medical care. While scientific studies have shown no significant negative effects from vaccinations, Dr. Trump still thinks that they may cause autism. (Wonder if he could be fined for practicing medicine without a license?)
Trump is also cutting out scientific labs under the aegis of Homeland Security that are used to assess biological and nuclear threats. These have been the standard for research in these areas and work in concert with the New York Police and Fire Departments. The savings that would be generated for the federal budget from closing these laboratories would be miniscule, but all science is held in low regard by America’s supposedly smart president.
Time has shown that Galileo was right and the church authorities wrong. Unfortunately, this time, people may become ill or die because of the scientific ignorance of the supposed leader of the free world and his directives may be catastrophic for the planet.