If they gave an annual award for most diabolical policy maneuver of the year -- something spiky, black and oily, foul-smelling with stink rising off it like dirty steam, this year's prize would surely go to whoever in the EPA came up with this idea.
Scott Pruitt announced yesterday that scientists who get grants from the EPA cannot serve on EPA advisory committees. I doubt Priutt was smart enough to come up with this idea, so the award goes to whatever dark henchman thought of this while he was busily plucking the whiskers out of tiny kitten snouts.
It's diabolical because at first glance -- which is about all that most Americans give anymore, if that -- it seems pretty reasonable. Sure, scientists funded by the EPA shouldn't be advising the EPA, because they're only going they recommend they get more of the funding goodies!
They're biased, right. Therefore it follows (in Trumpville) that those who don't get EPA funding aren't biased, and so they obviously should be the ones serving on EPA advisory committees.
That's for the nonthinking. For the thinking, we realize it's absurd, but how do you make that clear given the diabolical reasoning above?
You could point out that the members of a company's board are often handsomely compensated, yet advise the company, and occasionally make big decisions about its direction.
You could point out that those who don't receive EPA funding -- usually those who work for or are funded by industries and companies -- have their own conflicts of interest. But they're not beholden to the EPA, right? They want to serve out of the good of their hearts.
This decision strikes me as a clever, neat and tidy way to remove all science from the EPA's decisions and give power back to the only people Trump and Pruitt clearly care about -- industry and corporations.
I thought Bush Jr was bad for the environment (and he was; he was bad for practically everything). But It's difficult for me to believe/accept that in 2017 politicians in this country are so brazen, so corrupt, so dismissive of the electorate, so obviously willing to play American citizens for fools -- plays us smart ones easily recognize, but they don't care in the least what we think -- they're openly and obviously and even cheerfully holding their middle fingers right in our faces.
Trump was obviously going to be a big, big problem, but he's turning out to be a far bigger destroyer than anyone imagined. He lied about everything. Everything. He doesn't care about the country at all -- even about his base.
Pruitt's EPA isn't going to significantly alter the world's ability to address climate change (but it could well increase air and water pollution in the US, killing people). The Paris Agreement is a first step only, just as Kyoto was a first step, and as the Copenhagen Agreement was supposed to be a first step. US emissions aren't going to double or anything, and might not increase at all. Maybe the rest of the world can go it without us. China will take the lead. And we'll be stuck with very dumb and corrupt politicians who want to destroy everything for the sake of a few dollars. How do you combat such heathens?