The Rise of Expertise Under Trump


Former President Donald J. Trump’s disdain for climate science continues to resonate in the six months of the Biden administration.

Mr Trump’s political appointments undermined federal studies, fired scientists and forced many experts to resign or retire. Now, as a result, hundreds of jobs in climate and environmental science are left vacant across the federal government as President Biden tries to push for ambitious climate action.

The scientists and policy experts who left did not return. Recruitment suffers, according to federal employees, because government science jobs are no longer seen as insulated from politics. And money from Congress to replenish the ranks could take years.

This brain drain is becoming a major problem for Biden’s efforts to confront climate change. For details please read my article this week With my Climate Team colleagues Lisa Friedman and Christopher Flavelle.

Numbers: At the Environmental Protection Agency, the number of environmental protection professionals has dropped 24 percent in the Trump administration, according to a House science committee. statement. The number of scientists and technical experts at the United States Geological Survey, an agency under the Department of the Interior and one of the nation’s leading climate science research institutions, fell nearly 8 percent.

quotation: “Attacks against science have a much longer lifespan than the Trump administration,” said John Holdren, professor of environmental science and policy at Harvard.

Our colleagues on The Daily podcast spoke with Team Climate’s international correspondent, Somini Sengupta, about the extreme, devastating weather patterns we see around the world. reminded everyone climate chaos still avoidable.

Firefighters struggled to get the flames under control this week. record-breaking temperatures in Northern California.

The Times’ California Today newsletter has a new writer, Soumya Karlamangla, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, to talk about and climate change. You can do register here.

Congress made climate history this week as senators from both sides agreed to the largest ever investment in disaster resilience – tens of billions of dollars to protect against floods and wildfires, develop new sources of drinking water in drought-prone areas, and even relocate. keep all communities away from vulnerable places.

The bill, which could pass the Senate this week and still faces uncertainty in the House, is noteworthy for another reason: Both sides have admitted for the first time—in words, if not actions—that the United States is unprepared. The worsening effects of climate change require enormous and urgent money and effort to prepare.

Spending more to adapt to a changing climate is no substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But as disasters continue to break records, the new money will at least help find ways to reduce damage and give the communities most at risk a little more time. You can read the details here this story.

A lot of money: Funding for a flood mitigation program will be tripled; A coastal protection program at NOAA would see its money increase fivefold. Receiving $20 million a year for desalination projects, the Bureau of Reclamation would receive $250 million over five years.

Across the United States, energy companies are struggling to keep the lights on in the face of extreme weather conditions fueled by climate change. Record-breaking heat waves are causing widespread power outages in places like California. Electric companies in places like Oregon have begun shutting down power lines to prevent spark fires, a once rare tactic that has become more common in the West.

The problem is only expected to worsen in the coming years. Aspect my colleague Ivan Penn and I recently wroteMany utilities across the country have been slow to prepare for the effects of climate change and are now battling the threat.

It’s not all bad news: There are a number of energy companies that are starting to seriously plan for the dangers of a warming world. But as we explain in the article, adaptation can be a slow, costly, and difficult endeavor, and can ultimately mean higher electricity bills for many Americans. And if severe heat, drought and wildfires this summer are any indication, the clock is ticking fast.

quotation: “It’s fair to say that there is a common assumption that the effects of climate change and extreme weather will come more gradually and there will be more time to prepare,” said Alison Silverstein, an energy consultant based in Austin, Texas. “But in the last few years, the entire industry has really been turned upside down.”

What is the cost of living our carbon footprint?

It’s soberingly high, according to new research. The new paper, published in the journal Nature Communications, draws on multiple research areas to figure out how many lives will be lost and how many will be lost in the future due to rising temperatures if humanity continues to produce high rates of greenhouse gas emissions. saved by cutting these emissions.

Most deaths will occur in areas that are warmer and poorer than the United States, according to the newspaper. These areas are typically less responsible for global emissions but more affected by the resulting climate disasters. For more read the article here.

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