At a time of fierce debate in America regarding free speech, Scott Pruitt and the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have jumped in and forced three agency scientists not to speak at a recent climate change conference in Rhode Island. Given the debate over free speech in America (NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem), stopping scientists from exercising that very right is only adding fuel to the fire against a Trump administration that seems intent on limiting those rights to free speech if it isn’t something they agree with.
The EPA’s stance on climate change has been pretty clear right from the start of Scott Pruitt’s leadership; ignore the climate science, push forward with major fossil fuel projects (at a huge cost to the American people), and do it all regardless of its effect on the environment. Now they appear to be in the process of preventing scientists from talking about climate change.
The scientists were due to speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program workshop in Rhode Island, but instead only sat through the conference, not able to discuss climate change. Autumn Oczkowski, Rose Martin, and Emily Shumchenia were all due to speak in different capacities but were told that they were not allowed to by the very agency that is supposed to be using the science of climate change to protect the environment.
This doesn’t shock me. In fact, it was only a matter of time before scientists would be stopped from speaking out about climate change under Trump’s administration. Although this has made national news in America, I don’t think it will receive the attention that it should.
Whether the EPA allow them to speak or not, climate change is a problem. Man is contributing to it, and we need to be making changes as a global society right now to reduce our impact. The science is conclusive and constantly asking questions about whether man is contributing wastes time that would be better spent debating the best way to make the much-needed changes that are required to stop a number of possible environmental catastrophes.