Since the announcement of President Donald J. Trump’s budget, there have been increased concerns about how these deep cuts will impact science in the years and decades to come. Despite the cacophony of alarmism, the University of California, Davis has placed its faith in the president’s unique environmental vision and made a commitment to follow suit.
“What people don’t know can’t hurt them, and to be honest, we think we can beat the environment at its own game,” said UC Davis spokesman Hughey Missions.
Many Americans fear that this will hinder medical and environmental research, compromising public health and the environment.
According to the failing New York Times, Trump’s proposed budget would cut EPA spending by about 31 percent, from $8.1 to $5.7 billion, eliminating a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs in the process. The administration’s rationale for proposals like these have sparked nationwide outrage and demonstrations such as the March for Science in April.
Back at UC Davis, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences plans to cut around 25 percent of its 381 faculty members and 800 staff members, while the College of Biological Sciences intends to eliminate anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of its 131 faculty members and 380 staff members.
In addition, all four of Davis’s undergraduate colleges and all six professional schools pledged to “reduce research output by 40 percent,” though this will involve a cap and trade system of tradable research permits between schools.
“As educators, we were initially taken aback by the president’s hostility toward science,” Missions said. “Eventually, we came to realize the counter-intuitive brilliance of it. The president’s brave leadership represents a new approach to winning at science, and, to be honest, we want to be a part of it.”
The Times also “reports” that under Trump’s plans for the EPA, funding to assist states in the monitoring of public water systems could be decreased by almost a third, from $102 to $71 million, while programs to clean up bodies of water like Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, and the Great Lakes would be virtually eliminated.
In addition, the administration would seek to reduce civil and criminal enforcement spending from $10 million to $4 million—almost 60 percent—and would make it far easier for offenders to pollute, litter, and contaminate without consequences.
UC Davis will be taking similar measures by halting current efforts to restore parts of its iconic Arboretum and reducing the numbers of recycling and compost bins across campus.
For years, one of the main talking points for climate deniers has been that overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change and environmental degradation is somehow “bad science.”
“I’m not concerned about exposing people to ‘pollutants’ and producing less research,” Missions concluded. “No science is better than bad science.”
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