Waging war against Gaia…

I’m expecting a bloodbath in the EPA, NASA, NOAA and possibly other agencies as Mr. Trump wages war on the environment. Many employees there are civil service, but that might not stop Il Duce AKA Narcissus le Grand—he’ll just close down the agencies if he wants to get rid of them. The EPA, NASA, and NOAA are where many of those “bad scientists” can be found who disagree with the GOP claim that climate control and taking care of the environment have low priority. Narcissus le Grand even believes global warming is a hoax.

What’s driving all this is Trump’s desire to end all environmental regulations so that companies, his included, can pollute and destroy the environment as much as they want, a particularly virulent and dangerous example of capitalism without controls. Even now, they ship high-tech toxic waste and other crap to places like Bangladesh. Il Duce and his minions probably think it would be cheaper just to dump it somewhere in the U.S. How ‘bout not doing it at all?!

Disasters like that BP oil well in the Gulf, destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, poisoning wells and water supplies—those kinds of things are just part of doing business, according to Trump and his cronies. He names Pruitt to head the EPA and one of the gnome’s first public acts is to deny the role of CO2 in global warming. C’mon!

Many scientists are worried. A week before Il Duce’s inauguration, more than 250 volunteers met at UPenn for a two-day binge of downloading climate data and storing it on independent servers. “If you don’t want to do anything about climate change,” said Texas A&M atmospheric scientist Andrew Dessler, “you are in a stronger position if you get rid of the data.” Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center of Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists said, “With a president who doesn’t respect scientific information, one abuse could be data mysteriously disappearing from websites, or government scientific websites may suddenly have misinformation.” Most of the data that was saved was from NOAA, EPA, DoE, and NASA.

One of those infamous executive orders from Narcissus le Grand could restrict data access from outside the U.S. Trump’s evil minions are already talking about clamping down on the internet and allowing service providers to have multi-tier systems—that’s been on the GOP hit list for some time. And shortly after the inauguration, Trump ordered the EPA to delete climate change pages from the EPA’s website, but he then backtracked on that order when the roars of protest became deafening. The order for EPA scientists and other agencies’ scientists not to post on social media or communicate with reporters still stands, though. Inside the agencies that do climate-related research, Goldman says “morale is low. People are scared.” Scared for their jobs, because Il Duce likes to fire people who disagree with him!

Government scientists aren’t the only ones who are concerned about environmental issues. John Bruno, a marine ecologist from UNC Chapel Hill, collects data on reef die-offs like the one that has killed the Great Barrier Reef near Australia. He states “…it’s plausible that the administration could hide, delete, or tamper with climate data. We rely so heavily on the data that it would be catastrophic if it did happen.” “Climate data are not reproducible,” says Dessler. “If you lose measurements from the 1980s, you can’t remeasure. And the way you maintain a good time series is to launch the next satellite while the present one is still in orbit.” Somehow I don’t think there will be any more U.S. satellites launched to study climate changes, but, as Dessler says, “Europe makes a lot of measurements too, and they might pick up some of the slack.”

The majority of scientists agree that humans are destroying the environment and are responsible for climate change, global warming, earthquakes from fracking, and other atrocities. As an ex-scientist, I’m qualified to study the issues and have done so over the years. I concluded about a decade ago that we might as well be waging a war against poor Gaia; as the years passed, more data has confirmed that. We have now turned the reins over to a narcissistic psycho who will roll back everything positive that’s been done to alleviate these problems and prosecute this war on Gaia even more, all for greed and profit.

Of course, Gaia is striking back, because what was done before wasn’t nearly enough. To roll that all back will make the old girl mount her steed and lead natural forces into combat against the dark forces led by Trump. It also might make her not worry about whether human beings are destroyed in the process. When we turn power over to an anti-environmental psycho like Trump, we can’t expect much sympathy from Gaia, can we? Gaia will live on after the battles are done; human beings won’t.

Of course, Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about human beings. He’s an evil sociopath who will do anything to anyone who gets in his way. If he unleashes the nukes, he will defeat Gaia, but he’ll self-destruct too. But it’s the subtle battles that are the most dangerous. In my novel Gaia and the Goliaths, I quote stats that show that even now our meager environmental policies are preventing renewal—Gaia or Earth (not the character in my book) can’t replenish what we use and waste, and this goes for things as necessary as potable water. In other words, Trump’s policies will starve the Earth to death. Not today, not tomorrow, but inevitably if he and his cronies eliminate all environmental regulations and prevent study of potential fixes.

You can expect a turnover among those heading up the EPA, NASA, NOAA and other agencies any day now. Trump and his cronies will fire anyone they can who thinks climate control a problem and use persecution and intimidation to control the ranks of the civil service employees below the leadership. Let’s call it a purge. They will also try to eliminate all government funding to colleges and universities for environmental research projects, thus removing future students from becoming environmental scientists.

It will be a Hitler-like blitzkrieg directed at Gaia. Many scared or frustrated employees might quit rather than be hypocrites who attack Gaia. I hope not. I’d rather they stay on and oppose Trump’s policies in any way they can. That should include working with the media to show how insane these policies are. And scientists and engineers outside these agencies should step up and publicly badmouth this insanity in any way they can. We must help Gaia win the war. Our children’s and grandchildren’s future is at stake.

In a discussion of Fermi’s paradox, scientists Mario Livio and Joseph Silk make a comment that brings sci-fi crashing right into our current science: “Basically, we expect that aliens either learn how to clean up after themselves or they destroy themselves.” We might be going down the latter road, thanks to Mr. Trump.

[Parts of this article were based on “Climate-Data Rescue Efforts Gear Up,” Physics Today, March 2017. For the Fermi paradox, see the article “Where are They?” in that same issue, or read the beginning of my sci-fi novel Sing a Samba Galactica—better yet, read the entire “Chaos Chronicles Trilogy,” because environmental catastrophes help lead to the Chaos in that apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic series.]


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And so it goes…

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