Tuesday, December 13, 2016

If Trump follows Walker's lead & scrubs climate change info...

It's good that there are organized efforts to copy and save reams of scientific climate change data and materials accumulated by federal agencies which Donald Trump is turning over to climate change deniers who could easily hit "Delete, all."
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.
The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
I have no doubt that fossil fuel interests will make climate change information disappear from federal websites after January 20th; after all, that kind of ideological scrubbing happened in Wisconsin - - something noted in this new national report about efforts to save the Federal record:
It wasn’t just Bush—anti-environment politicians such as Stephen Harper in Canada and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have muzzled and censored scientists, as well as made government data less accessible from websites. Journalist James Rowen has been keeping an exhaustive blog about Walker’s war on the environment.
I've noted several times on this blog that GOP Gov. Scott Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' Department of Natural Resources, and corporate allies across state government, have downgraded science generally and curtailed or scrapped actions aimed at climate change, and scrubbed multiple links and data bases from the agency's webpages.
Smoke stacks from a factory.
Longer look at these issues on this blog, here:

Scroll down this 2012 blog posting about what the Wisconsin DNR had had posted under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, and hit these links to see that most are now either fully deleted, take you nowhere or are barebones summaries: 

Let's begin with the agency's main Climate Change page, under "Currently in our State,' where you find three short bulleted entries with citations to information released in 2010 or early 2011, including a link to a key Legislative Council Study pdf since removed from the website, and a line about a Jim Doyle task force that produced bill never brought to a vote in the Legislature. The page does not indicate when it was last updated. 
So "Currently" is a bit oxymoronic. Read on... 
The Basics page was last updated January 14, 2010.
The Climate Trends page was last updated May 11, 2010.
The Impacts page was last updated January 19, 2010.
The Adaptations page was last updated February 14, 2011.
This scrubbing is why I regularly urge people to copy from these state websites what of value there is, given the Walker propensity to sanitize:
I always urge people to read the DNR's webpage on The Public Trust Doctrine. The legal concept dates in the US to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - - predating the Wisconsin Constitution and statehood here - - and back to Roman times. Such is the importance to people of open access to water. 
Here is the DNR webpage on its website, and I will also copy out the text - - (some graphics may not reproduce, like links to videos, but go to the page and access them) - - because I fear the information will be scrubbed away, as was the agency's climate change content once Walker replaced Gov. Doyle.
Scientific American also produced a devastating account of Walker's war on Wisconsin science and the environment.
Since taking office in 2011 Walker has moved to reduce the role of science in environmental policymaking and to silence discussion of controversial subjects, including climate change, by state employees. 
And he has presided over a series of controversial rollbacks in environmental protection, including relaxing laws governing iron mining and building on wetlands, in both cases to help specific companies avoid regulatory roadblocks. Among other policy changes, he has also loosened restrictions on phosphorus pollution in state waterways, tried to restrict wind energy development and proposed ending funding for a major renewable energy research program housed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Most recently Walker has targeted the science and educational corps at the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which has responsibility for protecting and managing forests and wildlife, along with air and water quality. 
In his 2015–17 budget, released in February, he proposed eliminating a third of the DNR’s 58 scientist positions and 60 percent of its 18 environmental educator positions. (The cuts were approved by the state legislature’s budget committee in May, and the budget is currently making its way through the legislature.) 
Walker also attempted to convert the citizen board that sets policy for the DNR to a purely advisory body and proposed a 13-year freeze on the state’s popular land conservation fund—both changes that lawmakers rejected in the face of intense public objections.

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