As pharma companies underwrite three-fourths of the FDA’s budget for scientific reviews, the agency is increasingly fast-tracking expensive drugs with significant side effects and unproven health benefits.
Remember when Congressman Joe Wilson stood up during Obama’s State of the Union address and shouted “You lie”? He was chastised soundly by the pundit class. But mostly he drew heat for being impolite, and was compared to Kanye West and other famous interrupters.
Pruitt made those staggering remarks and others in a series of interviews with an Oklahoma talk radio station in 2005, according to Politico, which obtained the tapes from an anonymous source. In the interviews, Pruitt condemns evolution as an unproven “theory” that is at the base of humanism.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overruled his own scientists to prevent an agriculture ban of a DowDuPont pesticide that causes brain damage in children, and now pesticide manufacturers have their sights set on undermining federal protections for endangered animals like the whooping crane.
A third of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, an influential panel that reviews the science the agency uses in formulating safeguards, could be succeeded by climate science-denying, polluter-friendly replacements when their terms expire at the end of this month.
People love living near the coast. Only two of the world’s top 10 biggest cities—Mexico City and Sáo Paulo—are not coastal. The rest— Tokyo, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Lagos, Los Angeles, Calcutta and Buenos Aires—are. Around half of the world’s 7.5 billion people live within 60 miles of a coastline, with about 10 percent of the population living in coastal areas that are less than 10 meters (32 feet) above sea level.
Since it made landfall last Friday, Harvey, which has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, has brought massive devastation to southeast Texas. By Tuesday, Harvey had already become the most extreme rain event in U.S. history. The storm brought so much rainfall that the National Weather Service had to add new colors to its weather maps to represent Harvey’s deluge. An early estimate of the storm’s cost stands at $190 billion, which would make it the nation’s “costliest natural disaster.”
The recent cancellation of a book event with Richard Dawkins by the radio station KPFA has caused reverberations around the world. KPFA cited offensive remarks Dawkins has made about Islam. Dawkins and his followers have claimed these were taken out of context and that he’s been equally critical of Christianity.
“We know drinking modestly raises the risk of breast cancer,” she said. But “it is widely believed that moderate drinking is associated with better heart health and longer life expectancy. And we know that almost half of American women die of heart/vascular causes, whereas about 3 percent die of breast cancer.”
As a Media Matters study conducted last year demonstrated, climate denial remains a significant problem in the major newspapers. The world has just endured the three hottest years on record, and newspapers are still allowing their opinion pages to be used to deny climate change. That trend is all the more alarming now that the Trump administration is quickly adopting those denialist arguments.
Trump’s budget, released Tuesday, reflects the president’s wish list. The numbers likely will change by the time it goes through the congressional appropriations process, but the proposed cuts are consistent with the administration’s push against environmental regulation and scientific funding.
Clovis advised Trump on agricultural issues during his presidential campaign and is currently the senior White House advisor within the USDA, a position described by The Washington Post as “Trump’s eyes and ears” at the agency.
On April 29th, President Trump will be forgoing his usual jaunt to Florida in favor of a Pennsylvania rally commemorating 100 days in office. Trump’s tweets claim it will be a “big” rally, but in reality he will face stiff competition from tens of thousands of Americans descending on Washington, D.C., for the second People’s Climate March. Its timing serves as both a rebuke to that grim milestone, as well as a national message from Americans concerned that the president’s agenda will exacerbate climate change.
There’s nothing wrong with challenging research, developing competing hypotheses and looking for flaws in studies. That’s how science works. But rejecting, eliminating, covering up or attacking evidence that might call into question government or industry priorities — evidence that might show how those priorities could lead to widespread harm — is unconscionable. It’s galling to me because I traded a scientific career for full-time communication work because good scientific information helps people make the best decisions to take us into the future.
Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s pick as secretary of education, has funded groups that champion “intelligent design,” a sophisticated outgrowth of creationism. Science educators worry that she could use her bully pulpit to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools.
More and more funding for new research is coming not from government grants, but from private donors who concentrate their investments in a few hand-picked enclaves. And so big private money begets more big private money.