Science Denialism and the Trump Administration

Science Denialism & Scientific Ignorance of the Trump Administration Policy and Statements:

(All quotes by Donald Trump unless otherwise noted)

~  “You like the F-35? You can’t see it. You literally can’t see it. It’s hard to fight a plane you can’t see.” (Guardian interview November 2017)

Nope it’s not literally invisible. It’s an impressive piece of machinery, equipped with stealth technology designed to make the craft less visible to radar, infrared, and radio-frequency detection. However, for all its technical wizardry, it’s not literally invisible.

~ According to Bill Gates, Donald Trump didn’t grasp the difference between HIV and HPV. In Spring 2018, Gates met with Donald Trump to discuss the possibility of him becoming a science advisor. Although he respectfully declined the offer, one gem did emerge from the meeting: Trump asked Gates if there was a difference between HIV and HPV. Twice. (Spring 2018)

~ “Remember, new ‘environment friendly’ lightbulbs can cause cancer. Be careful – the idiots who came up with this stuff don’t care.” (Tweet 2012)

Um nope, sorry this has no basis in fact.

~ “I know President Obama said global warming is our biggest problem and I would say that no, it’s nuclear warming is our biggest problem by a factor of about five million. I believe global warming is the single biggest problem in our country, but it’s made of the nuclear variety.” (Sean Hannity interview July 2018)

Nuclear warming isn’t a thing, nope never has been, never will be.

~ “If we didn’t remove incredibly powerful fire-retardant asbestos & replace it with junk that doesn’t work, the World Trade Center would never have burned down.” (Tweet 2012)

Do I really need to address how preposterous this statement is?

~ “You gotta take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important. I was with the President of Finland and he said: ‘We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.” (To reporters November 2018)

Um Finland doesn’t rake their forests. This is just beyond ludicrous.

~ “I think something’s happening [climate change]. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade.” (CBS News October 2018)

~ “Some say that [anthropogenic climate change] and some say differently, I mean you have scientists on both sides of it.” (November 2018)

~ “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” (Tweet November 2018)

There is no debate AT ALL going on about this within the scientific community anthropogenic climate change is real. Its manmade. It’s not going to just change back in the short term geologically speaking. Please tell me Trump understands the difference between weather and climate.

~ “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking-related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer.” ~ Mike Pence (Op-Ed 2000)

Please can we just not.

~ “In three years people won’t be building wind turbines anymore – they are obsolete & totally destroy the environment in which they sit. Wind turbines will quadruple your electric bills and destroy the value of your home. The wind is a very deceiving thing. It ruins golf courses and kills all the birds” (Twitter 2013)

Ludicrous with no basis in fact. Fun fact: although around 300,000 birds in North America die via wind turbines annually, cats kill as many as 3.7 billion. I’m not sure what Trump thinks about cats, though.

~ in August 2017, Trump said that at an unspecified coal mine in Pennsylvania, they would burn clean coal, “meaning they’re taking out coal and they’re going to clean it.”

Clean coal, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist. There will never be a low-carbon coal fuel source, nor is there any system that removes greenhouse gases and pollution from coal ignition operations

~ “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” (Twitter 2017)

The problems with this tweet, designed to stir up climate denial shenanigans, are multifaceted, but a) it’s not unusual that it’s cold in winter, b) the particularly cold spike was likely due to a temporarily warped polar jet stream, and c) one weather data point cannot be extrapolated to explain the long-term meteorological trends, or – as it’s better known – the climate.

~ According to a New Yorker article published back in May 2017, the President reportedly claimed that exercise – unless it’s golf – is misguided, positing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.

This isn’t how biology or physics works. If this were true, then professional athletes would all be keeling over in their 20s, and those living a sedentary lifestyle would all be nonagenarians.

~ “If they don’t start [opiods], they won’t have a problem,” (August 2017)

Eye roll. Over 40 percent of all US opioid overdose deaths are due to prescriptions, not illegally obtained painkillers. At the same time, around a quarter of those who get them for non-cancer treatments struggle with addiction.

~ “We are very strong on the environment. I feel very strongly about the environment.” (November 2017)

His track record suggests that he either doesn’t care about the environment or simply doesn’t quite understand what its whole deal is. He certainly doesn’t feel very strongly about it, but his peons certainly enjoy trashing it as much as possible in the name of propagating fossil fuels.

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