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President Trump has been no stranger to cutting the world off from unfavorable data. He even had the USDA remove information about animal abusers to placate the NRA and big ag. Now, Trump’s proposed budget could cut us, and the rest of the world, off from some pretty vital data.
An alert was sent out by a U.S. Geological Survey program coordinator that warned of the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts, set for 2018. The cuts, if they end up being approved, will undermine the availability of data that’s been gathered on critical areas like geology, climate change, and weather.
The email was sent to more than 500 researchers on June 19th in the hopes that it would give them enough time to react and comment on these proposed changes.
Up to 40 programs are threatened by these cuts, with programs that focus on climate change and the impact of land use being the most severely hindered.
Debra Willard, a coordinator for the USGS Climate Research and Development Program, said that the cuts “would reduce or eliminate the availability of current data and collaborations between the USGS, other agencies and universities.”
“There was a consensus that suspension of the USGS projects would impede ongoing activities in the international research and policy communities,” Willard said after reading responses from her colleagues.
Without this data being readily available, we’ll be flying blind in a number of ways. Weather and climate could be harder to predict and the impact of land use may not be thoroughly studied and understood.
Cutting off this data could imperil lives as well, with critical information about natural hazards like volcanoes and earthquakes being affected.
There is, of course, no guarantee that the Trump budget is going to be passed, but it’s clear as day that the proposed changes benefit his core message: take what you want now, stymie resistance, and make someone else pay the price down the road.
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