Gagged. EPA Scientists Forbidden to Speak on Climate Research

October 22, 2017


Maybe if we don’t talk about it, it will go away.

That’s why they call it denial.


WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.

John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.

Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.

The move highlights widespread concern that the E.P.A. will silence government scientists from speaking publicly or conducting work on climate change. Scott Pruitt, the agency administrator, has said that he does not believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for the warming of the planet.

“It’s definitely a blatant example of the scientific censorship we all suspected was going to start being enforced at E.P.A.,” said John King, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island who chairs the science advisory committee of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program. “They don’t believe in climate change, so I think what they’re trying to do is stifle discussions of the impacts of climate change.”

Rose Martin, a postdoctoral fellow at the same E.P.A. laboratory and Emily Shumchenia, an E.P.A. consultant, were scheduled to speak on an afternoon panel entitled “The Present and Future Biological Implications of Climate Change.”

“The report is about trends. It’s kind of hard not to talk about climate change when you’re talking about the future of the Narragansett Bay,” Mr. King said.



7 Responses to “Gagged. EPA Scientists Forbidden to Speak on Climate Research”

  1. Bill DeMott Says:

    This news makes me very angry. I am an aquatic ecologist and professor. I can imagine what it must be like, as a young scientist, to work on a research project, prepare a presentation and then have a political operative block your participation.

  2. indy222 Says:

    Once, I believed that as a scientist, I would be serving the most sacred of human desires and inspirations, by being faithful to honoring evidence, logic, and a sincere desire to understand what is real above all else. Well, I was wrong. More and more I see that the culture sees science’s goal as just to produce more and fancier bling and gizmos to impress our neighbors, out-compete the other guy, and generally prop up failed egos with overt materialism. Economic growth is God, and science is the servant. What a betrayal to all that is good.

    • Dave Jewett Says:

      Don’t forget weapon’s systems. The “powers that be” loves to use science to create more efficient ways to kill.

      • Yes, and the military are most concerned about global warming too! The USAF were very concerned when their heat-seeking missiles had changed behaviour, and it was found due to increasing atmospheric CO2. Similarly the USN have most of their capital investment at historical sea level!

  3. We are at a point in this civilisation where the path forward has more to do with reaching across barriers of political ideology than gaining more clarity to do with climate science.

  4. Lionel Smith Says:

    This is an extremely dangerous development, not surprising as science and events are catching up with the purveyors of denial, what else can they do but try to shut it down. Theirs is a similar response to the Norse in Greenland when their societies collapsed from a combination of poor environmental husbandry, lack of respect for the Inuit and ultimately a waste of scarce resources in trying to appease Bishops and gods.

    The fate of Norse Greenlanders and other societies is well described in Jared Diamond’s Collapse, work on which his TED talk is based.

    At a time when we need knowledgeable people in positions of authority we get the likes off Kathleen Hartnet-White and other agents supported by the violence of e.g. the Koch’s.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    Detective: “I conclude that Dr Fenton was killed IN the Library WITH the candlestick BY Miss Marple!” Attorney General: “Who’s Dr Fenton? Ain’t no Fenton’s around here!”

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