Trump and his transition team have been continuously declaring war on science over the last few weeks. In particular, climate change researchers are being irritated at best and intimidated at worst.
At the annual gathering of Earth Scientists at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, lawyers are actually holding consultations with anyone who thinks they may need protection from Trump’s goons. Governor Jerry Brown of California, a harsh critic of Trump, decided to lend a helping hand himself, and turned up to give a rousing call to arms to academics.
"We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers and we're ready to fight," he said to rapturous applause. Promising not to let Trump “mess with” his home state’s Earth Science programs, he told attendees that “we will persevere.”
During the recent miasma of anti-scientific mayhem going on in Trumpland, the President-elect’s senior advisor on space declared that NASA’s Earth Science division was doing “politically correct environment monitoring” and strongly hinted that it would be completely defunded.
In response, Brown said that “if Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”
California is a wealthy state full of entrepreneurs, tech giants, scientists, and engineers. It’s led the way on many environmental protection programs, and is way ahead of many states when it comes to fighting against climate change, continually strengthening its greenhouse gas emissions regulations over time.
Its actions make a significant difference to the overall direction of the country, and as Brown pointed out, it has the resources to continue to defy the anti-scientific agenda of the incoming President.
“Judged by measures of gross domestic product of over $2.2 trillion, we’re the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world and we got a lot of firepower,” Brown told AGU. “We will set the stage. We’ll set the example. And whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future.”
He even snuck in a reference to the former Texan Governor Rick “Oops” Perry, who has just been nominated to head the Department of Energy, an agency that he previously wanted to abolish but couldn’t remember the name of.
“Rick, I got some news for you,” said Brown. “California is growing a hell of a lot faster than Texas. And we’ve got more sun than you have oil.”
Brown was nicknamed “Governor Moonbeam” back in the late 1970s. Back then it was a slightly derogatory moniker, referring to his attempts to court votes from starry-eyed dreamers and unconventional members of Californian society.
Referring to the amazing research that has emerged from said dreamers, he told AGU that “I didn’t get that moniker for nothing.”