Donald Trump is Also Horrible When It Comes to Science Policy August 21, 2016

Donald Trump is Also Horrible When It Comes to Science Policy

Given all the awful things Donald Trump has said throughout his campaign, it’s easy to forget (yet important to remember) what a disaster a Trump presidency would mean in terms of science policy. The media doesn’t talk about this nearly as much as they do his views on immigration and security, but it’s no less important.

Physicist Lawrence Krauss takes a brief look at those policies at the New Yorker:

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Trump now continues to propagate the notion that vaccines cause autism in spite of convincing and widely cited evidence to the contrary. (As he put it during a Republican debate, last September, “We’ve had so many instances… A child went to have the vaccine, got very, very sick, and now is autistic.”) In other cases, Trump treats scientific facts the way he treats other facts — he ignores or distorts them whenever it’s convenient. He has denied that climate change is real, calling it pseudoscience and advancing a conspiracy theory that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” But he has also filed a permit request to build a sea wall around one of his golf courses, in Ireland, in order to protect the property from global warming and its consequences. Which Trump is running for President?

And all that is before he gets into Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, who is less ambiguous in his beliefs, but unfortunately on the wrong side of the evidence. We’re talking about a potential Vice President who thinks evolution and climate change are conspiracies.

Hillary Clinton, for all her flaws, is a champion of science, research, and addressing climate change. If there’s reason to be critical of her in these areas, it’s a matter of degree. How much should we spend? How fast should we move? Does this issue deserve more attention? With the Republicans, it’s like pulling teeth to even get them to admit there’s a problem.

I’ve always hated the false equivalency some people make about politics, as if both major party candidates are equally bad. Look at how they handle issues of science, just to name one area, and you realize one side is vastly superior to the other.

(Image via JStone / Shutterstock.com)


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