"I am merely following the advice from my resident Nazi, Mr. Bannon of Breitbart.com!"
Now we know the Trump gaggle of degenerates wants war- all out political war - as Bernie Sanders endorsed in a 40 second viral video from Jan. 20th. Yesterday, under advice from Obersturmfuhrer Steve Bannon, the Trump administration instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch.
Emails sent to EPA staff and reviewed by The Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts. According to one directive, likely penned in Bannon's office:
"Incoming media requests will be carefully screened. Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press.””
These prohibitions came to light- thanks to a defiant EPA whistle blowing staffer- as the agency moved to delay at least 30 environmental rules finalized in the closing months of President Barack Obama’s term. This is seen as a blatant first step to seeking to kill all the regulations. Many of these will directly impact the health and well being of citizens. For example, a summary of the actions posted in the Federal Register included a long list of regulations such as updated air pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products. Oh, the Trump bunch wants to rescind water quality standards too, so you can guzzle more fracking carcinogens like benzene and xylene.
So the time for fun and games and mere speculation of what the blowhard asshole seated in the Oval Office might do is now over. This Swine -in -Chief and his henchmen, with their shuttering of the EPA and other Agency websites, information flow have now incited full scale political warfare. This must now be declared, as Bernie did a week ago, until this gang of reprobates is driven from power. And that must include scientists at the assorted agencies too,
Having worked in the space science research field for over two decades, and as a member of three professional scientific organizations, I know how averse most members are to stepping into any political arena - especially in that era . The reasons are not hard to fathom, given in that era most grant money arrived from the federal government. Hence, the desire not to 'bite" the hand that feeds you.
But this is different, given science (especially climate and environmental) is now under existential threat from the illegitimate Trump maladministration. Hence, receiving money in any form from this fascist bunch of degenerates can now only be governed by extortion or the demand to lie and produce false data to receive $$$. This can't happen. Scientists, like it or not, must now engage in their own form of resistance and political warfare - including defying the imposed Trumpster gag rules and tweeting scientific facts - like the SD Badlands National Parks site did yesterday (informing citizens that the CO2 concentration at 404.93 ppm is now the highest in 650,000 years)
Scientists have already saved many gigs of actual data, enabling its protection from the predation and destruction of the Trump fascistas. Fortunately realizing they will need to destroy the actual climate facts to be able to spout "alternative facts". But they need to go even further, and that means setting up their own information and data release sites (maybe 'dark') for citizens to access to stay in touch with real data. They also need to rebel against any pseudo-authority imposed in the interest of doing the right thing to protect said data and get it to larger audiences. Sympathetic media outlets can greatly help here, including Bill Maher's Real Time, or John Oliver's 'Last Week Tonight'.
Leaks of information, defying the gag rule ban, can also be salutary and advance scientific integrity.. Indeed, it was thanks to an EPA scientist that we even know about this latest Trump abomination - as he took it upon himself to inform a congressional contact. The Trumpies had issued orders that no one was to talk about it, nada, but he defied these imps to get the word out. This is how more scientists will now have to act in defiance of the Trump Nazis and assholes.
In addition, scientists ensconced in agencies like the EPA, NOAA, NASA etc. must let us know - including by blog or defiant tweet or leak, what the nefarious Trumpistas are up to. If they plan to stack the agencies with fake climate scientists they must all be outed by name, including into what agency they're being insinuated. Citizens can then clobber them daily with phone messages, emails etc. or even protest in person at their DC offices or better, in front of their homes. Everything goes in political warfare that is within the legal framework of constitutional action.
Bottom line, scientists can no longer retreat into enclaves of pseudo objectivity but must be fully engaged - participating in political warfare and energized resistance. Will this be partisan? How can it be otherwise when the other side is foursquare against the science? There is no issue here, of course it will be partisan!
Meanwhile, the professional science organizations like the AGU (American Geophysical Union), and Union of Concerned Scientists, must go all out to release data and current research. This basically compensates for what their peers at NASA, NOAA etc. may not be able to do. This will put greater pressure on outside academic centers, which must not be intimidated in releasing research or data that (i.e. in new papers) that is sourced from the gag-hamstrung agencies.
You can also be sure that the substance of any available research papers will be presented here in this blog. I am not part of any government agency but still read current journals and am not averse to keeping fellow citizens informed, devil take the hindmost.
We're in a new era of asymmetric warfare and I will have more to write on more general political warfare in the near future, so that all citizens can get involved in doing more than just one off marches.