It’s worth noting that these agencies ramped up their investigations into climate change and environmental protection under the Obama administration. We’ve extensively covered the climate change denial aspects of Trump and his cabinet, so it comes as no surprise that they’re attempting to silence their communications to the public.
Worryingly, this is a tactic that has been recently seen in other democracies around the world, including in Canada (under the Harper administration) and right now in the UK.
Although many US governments have to some degree ordered scientists to keep quiet about certain research topics (particularly during a government changeover, as seen during the Bush-Obama transition) the speed at which the Trump administration is apparently seeking to muzzle America’s scientists is astonishing, to say the least.
“To our knowledge, there is not a precedent for large-scale communication freezes like this,” Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told BuzzFeed News.
It’s difficult to completely ban scientists from researching on a particular topic. However, by preventing researchers from even talking about their work, they are clearly hoping the public will stop paying attention to the dangerously warming world and the increasingly decrepit environment around them.
Of course, scientists aren’t going to just stand by and let this happen. They are making it exceedingly clear, through protests, open letters, data salvaging, clever hashtags, and even renegade Twitter accounts, that they will not be silenced.
Ladies and gentlemen, fans of science and reason – welcome to the Resistance.