Traditional American conservative politicians are somewhat obsessed with shrinking the size of the federal government. Donald Trump – a populist more than a conservative – is quite keen on denying basic scientific facts.
Now, it appears he’s about to combine both into a “far-reaching” and “draconian” series of damaging cuts to the US government. According to a report by The Hill, his administration is planning a whopping $10.5 trillion’s worth of federal budget savings, spread out over the next decade, that target primarily liberal or moderate programs.
Among the programs being listed for complete elimination, it’s perhaps the inclusion of those that aim to prevent violence against women that stands out as being particularly tragic.
However, being a science site, we thought we’d have a look to see if any scientific programs are also being annihilated. Sadly, there are quite a few, especially those relating to – surprise surprise – climate change research.
Two of the top State Department programs focused on climate change mitigation are set to be banished forever more. This will likely please Rex Tillerson, the former oil baron who is likely to become the next Secretary of State.
Funding for the Paris agreement, along with donations to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the organization that publishes the most authoritative reports on anthropogenic climate change – are also primed for destruction.
At the Energy Department, the one that will probably be headed by the dumbfounding and enormously unqualified Rick Perry, entire research groups are set to be killed off. Particularly noteworthy victims are the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy, both of which are currently developing methods to cut down America’s sizable carbon footprint.
Despite being a world leader in nuclear physics research, the Department of Energy will find its funding for this field rolled back to 2008 levels.
Even the Department of Justice is set to be assaulted with anti-intellectual cuts. Its Environmental and Natural Resources divisions – which, for example, work to prosecute those that break civil and criminal anti-pollution laws – are going to suffer some rather severe funding reductions.
Trump’s team have often proudly boasted of how they’re going to defund the earth sciences, particularly when it came to NASA’s remarkable research group. However, if this report is accurate, the cuts are even more widespread and devastating than anyone had previously feared.
The aim of this budget – which will be finalized and released sometime in the next 100 days – is supposed to cut the federal budget. As we’ve argued in the past at IFLScience, this type of behavior is a clear example of why Trump’s administration is an existential threat to America’s scientific legacy.
[H/T: The Hill]