Bad news sells, and I am just as guilty as those who fill our news feed with murder, mayhem and whatever’s happening in D.C. But I tend to focus on the toxic stuff (the real toxic stuff not the trendy stuff like: toxic love, toxic bosses and toxic work places). The stuff that ought to be regulated but isn’t; the chemicals that infiltrate our hearts and minds — literally. So, after leaving a classroom of college students for the weekend, I realized my enthusiasm for the macabre, may have sent them into a tailspin of despair about the lack of chemical control in our country. Which is why on Friday I shot off an email to the whole class (imagining my own kids rolling their eyes, “as if anyone is going to read an email from their professor over the weekend,”) to cheer them up, pointing to this link about all the chemical control agencies and mandates we have to protect us.
But here’s the thing: those controls are only as good as the agency enforcing them. And even then, the science gets all mixed in with the politics and corporate money (and too often, corporate owners). We can’t always count on our agencies to put the public first. Especially not now, as EPA’s Administrator Scott Pruitt punts the evaluation of pesticides that ought to be banned into the future; enables violators of the Clean Water Act; and empowers air polluters.
It’s enough to make one’s head spin. If there is one bright light, it’s that these things aren’t going unnoticed. Several scientific organizations have been tracking the Trump administration’s environmental abuses for the past year and will continue to do so. At the very least, I suppose when we’re choking in the streets, afraid to drink the water and our brains are too addled to notice there will be some record of how we got here. Now there’s something good, right?
To read up on what’s happening (or, not) the sites below keep a running list:
Silencing Science Tracker: The Silencing Science Tracker is a joint initiative of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. It tracks government attempts to restrict or prohibit scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information, since the November 2016 election.
A Running List of how Trump is Changing the Environment: By the National Geographic
And one report, not exactly an updated list: Abandoning Science Advice By The Center for Science and Democracy, at The Union of Concerned Scientists.