U.S. policies directly affect a broad spectrum of factors crucial to our quality-of-life, financial stability, and arguably our very survival, yet they are being degraded by willful, feckless negligence.
On June 15, President Trump issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to evaluate and reduce scientific advisory committees by at least a third.
That irrational order will mean at least one-third less scientific advice on:
(1) Drug trials by the FDA
(2) Handling and storing extremely hazardous nuclear-waste
(3) Food and product safety
(6) Pollution control and pesticide safeguards.
Consider other counterproductive consequences of rejecting rational use of information to protect the public:
•“For the second year in a row, the U.S. Agriculture Department proposed budget cuts and took other steps that hamper agencies ... that supply the data and science needed to support effective farm and food policies.” [The Washington Post, June 7.]
• Devastating crop-failures in Guatemala, attributed to extreme weather linked to climate-change, is causing mass-migrations northward. Yet, President Trump, who calls climate-change a “Chinese hoax,” harshly restricts immigrants seeking refuge from their homelands where life-threatening conditions exist, while also cutting foreign-aid to those areas.
• U.S. tariffs against foreign-made products harm American consumers, workers, and taxpayers more than anyone else. Stiff tariffs on China have destroyed demand for key American farm products, resulting in federal agricultural bail-outs costing U.S. taxpayers more than a billion dollars a month.
• Proposed rollbacks in the fuel-efficiency of U.S.-made vehicles will not only worsen emissions that are a major cause of climate-change, but they will severely injure American car-makers who won’t be able to compete on the global market, as efficiency standards are improved everywhere else.
It’s clear that costly, self-destructive outcomes are being generated by these irresponsible U.S. policies that recklessly neglect science and disregard pivotal facts.David Kyler, Executive Director, Center for a Sustainable Coast