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Photo: NASA

In the words of George Orwell, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

Trump’s fight against fact has sparked outcry from scientists, environmentalists and the general public dedicated to preserving our nation’s past, present and future.  Some scientists and independent government employees whose life work has been dedicated to monitoring and protecting America’s natural beauty and the global climate are taking a stand at the front lines to fight for what they believe in while others are repressed into silence and restricted by the “Trumpire.”

The Empire’s Agenda

The "Trumpire" is silencing scientists and targeting data relevant to climate change. (Illustration: Planet Experts via taymtaym and Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

The “Trumpire” is silencing scientists and targeting data relevant to climate change. (Illustration: Planet Experts via taymtaym and Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Immediately following the inauguration, all mention of climate change was wiped from whitehouse.gov except for a promise to eliminate the “harmful and unnecessary” Climate Action Plan.

The administration also put a temporary freeze on all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants, media communications and contractors, though this freeze has since been thawed.

Myron Ebell, leader of Trump’s EPA transition team, said he wants to “abolish” the agency, remove or revise EPA educational material on climate, nix Obama’s Clean Power Plan and fuel efficiency standards as well as pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.  “I want to get rid of global climate policy,” said the sith lord.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, whose state of Florida is ironically one of the most prone to climate change, proposed a bill To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology –chaired by long-time opponent of science Lamar Smith – recently held a hearing titled Making EPA Great Again, which was essential double speak to curtail EPA studies and operations.

In regards to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the President’s advisors stated that the organization “should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work…” and veer away from “politicized” climate science.

The Republican congress also intends to decentralize and sell public lands.

In other words, “The Death Star construction is proceeding…”

What’s at Stake?

“If we don’t reduce our emissions globally 30 percent by 2020 there is zero chance of 2 degrees Celsius,” W. Douglas Smith, retired Senior Compliance Officer at the EPA and fellow writer at Planet Experts, told me. “The World Bank estimates that without action we will hit 4 degrees by the end of the century but it could be more. If we reach 6 degrees I can’t tell you what’s going to happen; I can only tell you it’s going to be so severe that we are maladapted to live in that climate.”

In addition to the very existence of humanity, our national park lands, and government regulations restricting corporations from polluting our air, water and environment, the current anti-environmental agenda threatens to mask years of historic data necessary to monitor changes in and preserve our climate and environment. The manipulation of past and present information poses significant risk to the future of science and our planet.

Since Trump’s election, climate scientists and activists from around the world have been scrambling to download massive amounts of data from NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), EPA and other government websites.

“It would be a violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – unless there is an ongoing investigation – to withhold records from the public,” said Smith. Who, to the contrary, also recounted an incident he was personally involved in in which the FOIA was covertly disregarded.

There is an interesting case currently underway in which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is being prosecuted by a conservative legal group, Judicial Watch, which claims NOAA is violating the FOIA by withholding emails and other communications concerning a paper solidifying a warming “hiatus” from 1998 to 2012.  NOAA claims they have a legal right to privacy under a FOIA exemption and some analysts say that Trump’s Department of Justice may actually back the scientists to set a precedent that would justify future secrecy in regards to government science records.

Regardless of the verdict, the Trump administration’s support of “alternative facts” is reason enough to secure scientific records on private databases.

Restraint

The regime is set on stifling communications from key government agencies associated with environmental and climate science, as well as regulations. Planet Experts contacted representatives from the EPA, NASA and the National Park Service (NPS) all of whom replied with little to no insight.

In response to questions about what, if anything, government organizations are doing to safeguard our climate and environment, Thomas Crosson, NPS Public Affairs officer, wrote, “We aren’t doing anything. Our climate and environmental data doesn’t need protection from anything as far as I know.”

NASA communications officer Steve Cole told Planet Experts that, “We are very focused on continuing to do the work we have been doing for decades and have not received direction to change it.” He also noted that there are frequent fluctuations in funding and thus far everything is proceeding “business as usual.” Cole refused to comment on policy threats and stated, “As a federal science organization we are not a political entity.”

When reached for comment, an anonymous EPA employee preferred not to discuss the matter, citing agency policy. But others are speaking out, granted they’re doing it anonymously. The following was posted on the public Facebook page for environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on January 27th:

“I work at the EPA, and yeah, it’s as bad as you are hearing: The entire agency is under lockdown — the website, Facebook, Twitter, you name it, is static and can’t be updated. All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled. Any press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office, which is also silenced and will give no response. All grants and contracts are frozen, from the contractors working on Superfund sites, to graduate students working on their thesis. We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides, hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon. But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging, and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now. We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration’s policy. Feel free to copy and paste — you all pay for the government and you should know what’s going on. I am posting this as a fellow citizen and not in any sort of official capacity.”

The Empire is clamping down on available public information and outreach in a move that threatens to become a massive overhaul of government-funded environmental and climate programs.

Rogue Resistance

“The time to act is now!” warned Smith. The longer we wait the more dangerous and costly it will be to adapt to climate change. And act we shall.

Since Trump’s inauguration there have been insurgences of dozens of rogue twitter accounts including Rogue NASA, altEPA and NatlParksUnderground — some of which claim to represent government employees stifled by media communication gags.

The blatant neglect of science has inspired scientists to step out of the lab and into government offices. A new movement is forming and groups like 314 Action are setting their sites on getting scientists into politics.

On the tail winds of the Women’s March, the science community invites you to join the resistance and March for Science on Earth Day April 22nd, 2017, to celebrate science, increase awareness about its importance to us all and “advocate for open, inclusive, and accessible science.”

As rebel warrior Jyn Erso rallied, “What chance do we have? The question is what choice? Run, hide, plead for mercy, scatter your forces? You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission. The time to fight is now!”

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