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To Carry a Light into Darkness — California Governor Jerry Brown Promises to Fight Like Hell Against Trump’s War on Science

“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.” — Jerry Brown

“Creating lists of employees smacks of McCarthyism and should cease immediately.”The Union of Concerned Scientists

“Fear is palpable among U.S. climate scientists over Trump moves” — The Japan Times

“Assaults on science are characteristic of non-democratic, authoritarian, fascist governments. We worry it is going to get worse.” Dr Peter Gleick

“We’ve got more sun than you’ve got oil.” — Jerry Brown

*****

Donald Trump hasn’t even taken office yet. But the war on climate science that he promised on the campaign trail has already begun. And in response, the good and necessary resistance is starting to form.

Last week, PEOTUS sent a chill through the scientific community when his transition team delivered a 74 question document to the Department of Energy asking for the names of all personnel who’ve worked on climate change or who attended U.N. climate talks within the last five years.

stand-up-for-science

(Demonstrators protest in support of scientists outside the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on December 14. Attacks against climate scientists have hit a fever pitch since the election of Donald Trump. Image source: Buzzfeed.)

Almost immediately after the letter’s delivery, The Union of Concerned Scientists made the following response:

 “The Union of Concerned Scientists strongly condemns the effort by the President-elect’s transition team to seek the names of federal employees who have conducted climate research and worked on issues such as the social cost of carbon. We cannot imagine any legitimate purpose to this inquiry…

“This action should not be viewed in isolation. The Trump transition team is teeming with individuals with a proven history of attacking climate scientists and undermining climate science. Several transition team members now overseeing federal agencies have harassed scientists based on their research and have long signaled a desire to dismantle federal climate science research. Over the past few years, Congress has increasingly singled out specific government employees when their work is politically inconvenient.

Creating lists of employees smacks of McCarthyism and should cease immediately. And Department of Energy employees should resist complying with any demands that would compromise the independence of the agency’s experts.”

The Department of Energy subsequently refused to provide the names requested. But the impact of the circulated questionnaire was profound — prompting protests and a swell of outrage from scientists, journalists and concerned citizens. Workers and officials at DOE expressed fears that Trump was developing an enemies list. And, considering the purges and attacks on scientists that occurred in numerous countries around the world following the election of climate change deniers during recent years, these fears were sadly quite valid.

Eliminating NASA Funding, Death Threats on Twitter

In a separate but related instance, Trump Administration officials reportedly stated that they intended to eliminate NASA’s climate research funding. Not only would this result in a purge of climate scientists from U.S. government offices. It would also precipitate the loss of climate monitoring satellites and the potential loss of decades of scientific data collected by some of the top researchers in the world. Concerned that scientists would be suddenly expelled and that critical data would be lost, as happened during similar purges that occurred in Canada and Australia under climate change deniers Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott, workers for various agencies began frantically copying data in order to ensure its preservation.

Meanwhile, instances of politically motivated threats against climate scientists mounted. Peter Gleick, a hydro-climatologist and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, reported to the Japan Times that he received death threats in the form of pictures of guns posted to him after he tweeted critically about threats of violence to scientists made by Brietbart on Twitter.

Jerry Brown, Governor of California Vows to Fight Against Trump’s Anti-Science Agenda

Concern for scientists as a class increasingly victimized by political extremists like Trump hit a fever pitch this week at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. There, hundreds of pro-science protesters marched outside as the meeting halls swelled with over 20,000 worried scientists and their supporters.

Among the attendees was Governor Jerry Brown of California who delivered this impassioned speech:

(Jerry Brown has pushed for pro-renewable energy, pro-climate response policies in California for decades. He has vowed to defend both science and progressive values from an impending assault by Donald Trump. Video source: YouTube.)

Brown highlighted the tremendous danger that human civilizations now face. The oceans are rising and acidifying, the weather is worsening, habitats, food and water sources are being destroyed. He also noted that in order to prevent climate harms, people would have to face down both “big oil” and “big financial structures that are at odds with the survivability of our world.”

Brown called on scientists and their ‘truth teller and truth seeker’ supporters to fight back.  And, in doing so, he pledged the aid of California’s scientific and legal communities saying: “We’ve got the scientists and we’ve got the lawyers and we’re ready to fight back. We’re ready to defend.”

Brown cited past major environmental achievements by California including 28 percent renewable power generation, a goal to hit 50 percent in the coming years, and zero emissions vehicle and mileage standards that became the benchmark for the nation. Unlike Trump, Brown pledged to fully support international climate agreements and to work with over 200 states to help to reduce harms from climate change. Touting California’s 2.1 trillion dollar economy, Brown stated — “We will persevere. We will prevail.”

But Brown’s highest points involved his pledge to launch satellites if Trump shuts down NASA climate monitoring systems and to pit California’s economic might as a renewable energy power against the old fossil fuel interests. Brown stated:

“Well, I remember back in 1978, I proposed a Landsat satellite for California. They called me Governor Moonbeam because of that. I didn’t get that moniker for nothing. And if Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite. We’re going to collect that data. …

“We’ve proved in California that the economy grows… in part because of the rules and the climate policy that we’ve adopted… and California is growing a whole hell of a lot faster than Texas and we’ve got more sun than you’ve got oil.”

Carrying a Light in the Darkness

Brown, in his support of the U.S. scientific community and in his pledge to continue progress for renewable energy sets an example for us all. His leadership serves as a light in a dark place and during a dark time. But many, many of us will have to follow his lead if we are to have much hope of making it through this difficult time. We need to all be ready to fight. To speak out. And to commit substantial resources to the effort.

The times of comfort are over. And if we are to prevent a worst case scenario for our climate we will have to face down the very real human monsters than have now been revealed to us. But we should console ourselves at least, in this. There is good in the world. There are the greatest causes in all of the vast arc of history to champion here and now. There are the good and innocent living among us that we now have the honor and the privilege to protect and defend. And there can be no better, more just thing, for us to do now than to unite in what is a very real fight to defend not only clean energy, not only the great enlightenment that has been gifted to us by the sciences, but to, in doing so, protect both the future of humankind and of life on Earth itself.

Links:

Jerry Brown’s Speech at the AGU Convention

The Union of Concerned Scientists

Fear Palpable Among US Climate Scientists

Climate Scientists Split Over How to Survive Trump

Hat tip to Josh

 

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Advertisers Flying From Rush Misogyny

Just two weeks after Rush slut shamed Sandra Fluke and continued attacks on women across the political and media spectrum, more than 141 advertisers have dropped his program. Furthermore, all national advertising has been suspended from Rush Limbaugh’s program for two weeks.

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2012/03/12/442673/141-companies-advertisng-rush-limbaugh/

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2012/03/12/443195/breaking-rush-limbaugh-syndicator-suspends-national-ads-for-two-weeks/

Rush’s misogynist attacks led to numerous calls for advertisers to drop his show with many angry callers threatening boycotts. Much of the backlash began on the internet and then went mainstream as petitions popped up like March daffodils. If you want to join them, here’s a link to one:

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Calls from angry listeners and offended persons alike resulted in the mass exodus which Rush compared to losing a few french fries at the drive through. But, at this point, looks like there’s only a few ‘fries’ left in the bag. Seems advertisers don’t like being compared to junky fast food.

Meanwhile, the Premiere Radio Networks, which provides national syndication for Rush’s show has announced that it is suspending national advertisements for two weeks. Rush’s loss of national affiliates suggests that his sexist comments have done severe damage to the program. Lifelock and Lear Financial, among the few companies still standing by Rush, have been asked to take up the slack for loss of national advertising spots.

It seems an irony that the kind of political free speech and free market choice that Rush claims to champion is resulting in his being removed from the air. This is the result of Rush Limbaugh’s nastiness toward women everywhere — advertisers and listeners walk. No government censorship required.

 

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Don’t Let Rush, Bigots Win! Stand Up and Fight For Women!!

As the firestorm over Rush’s slut shaming of Sandra Fluke continues, advertisers are beginning to drop the misogynistic right winger. According to news reports, six advertisers have withdrawn support for Rush’s show. They include: Quicken Loans, Sleep Number Sara, The Sleep Train, The Cleveland Cavaliers, Legal Zoom, and Citrix Systems. If you want to encourage those who are still standing on the sidelines, here is a petition and a list:

http://www.change.org/petitions/advertisers-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly threw his hat into the misogynist ring with Rush in a new series of attacks on Sandra Fluke. O’Reilly didn’t go as far to slut shame Sandra. But he did use the euphemism ‘social life’ to conflate women’s reproductive health with kids just joshing around. And, of course, O’Reilly returns to the old, worn fallacy, saying that Sandra wants everyone to pay for her play. But O’Reilly’s worst offense, along with the rest of republicans, was his support for Rush’s bigoted attack on Sandra and, by extension, all women.

Republicans’ support for Rush, either through statements or through tacit silence, is nothing less than proof positive they approve of attacks on Sarah together with an ongoing battle to roll back women’s reproductive freedom. But we don’t have to stand for this abuse. We can let our voices be heard and show these republicans that we won’t suffer further attacks. Protection of women and reproductive freedoms is a cornerstone to civil society. Suffering those protections to be withdrawn would be a return to a cold, hard age of barbarism and exploitation.

Please help support our continuing efforts to defend women from vicious, politically motivated attacks.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Rush Goes Nuclear in Republican War on Women

Around the country and in Congress, Republicans are engaged in an unprecedented battle to restrict women’s freedoms and protection under the law. The Blunt amendment sought to curtail women’s rights and access to birth control, legislation in Virginia sought to force invasive ultra-sounds, legislation in Georgia is attempting to redefine rape victims by calling them ‘accusers,’ and in South Dakota republicans proposed a bill that would make it legal to murder an abortion doctor.

This war on women and women’s rights is as shameful as it is extreme. But perhaps the most shameful occurrence has come in the form of Rush Limbaugh’s own statements made against women generally and Sandra Fluke in particular.

Ever since Sandra Fluke was brave enough to testify before Congress and to share her thoughts on the importance of birth control, she has been subject to a series of vitriolic and inhuman attacks aimed at smearing her integrity, character, and sex. By extension, these attacks are indirectly aimed at all women, the virtue of the sex act, and the integrity of loving relationships between men and women everywhere.

Rush has plainly stated that women who use birth control are ‘sluts.’ This direct attack against women is but the latest use of an age-old slur. It implies that a women who has sex is guilty of some undefined crime and is somehow inferior. But the sex act is as natural to humankind as breathing. None of us would be standing here today without that physical expression of love between our parents. This insidious shaming of someone for doing something so human is not only an attack on women, but on nature itself. It turns something that should be beautiful into an indignity and it casts half of humankind into the shadows. It is at the root of a wretched and heart-breaking ‘original sin’ doctrine that has so divided us one against the other — age after age after age.

But Rush doesn’t stop at invoking the ancient indignity. He goes on to suggest that anyone who provides access to birth control is a ‘pimp.’ In this single statement, he has denigrated the entire health care industry or anyone who has worked to expand the reproductive freedoms of men, women, and families. Continuing with the harlot metaphor, Rush completes his hate-rant by suggesting exploitation. Rush, in his concluding statement today said that, in order to pay for their birth control, women should post sex videos on the internet.

I suppose Rush doesn’t realize the level of harm the porn industry inflicts on women. How ignorant he seems to the many women exploited by this industry and to the numberless films made using the modern version of slaves. Perhaps he encourages this kind of exploitation? His rhetoric, sadly, seems to indicate just that. His suggestion that 99% of America’s women are sluts who should be filmed on the internet to earn their birth control is an awful verbal weapon aimed at those fairest, most compassionate, the gentlest among us.

I suppose Rush, at the apex of his wealth and power, feels invulnerable to the responses of little people like women and those who care for them. But, in my view, this is the height of hubris. It is time, long past, for this bigot, fear and hate monger, this peddler of little lies to be taken down. It is time we stand up and demand his resignation. To demand that he be taken off the air.

His freedom of speech does not extend to a right to a massive platform which he uses daily to impugn and diminish our economic, social, and sexual liberties. It is, indeed, high time we take down this petty radio dictator and his little kingdom of extremist serfs. We should no longer suffer corporate slobs who are paid billions to divide us and to attack the rights of our mothers, lovers, wives, and sisters. No good woman or man should suffer it.

Please join our rebellion against the misogynist Rush by signing the petition to have all his hatred taken off the air. Please tell all your friends, family and anyone you meet. We should no longer suffer ourselves to be threatened by this bully!

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-congress-fcc-radio-sydicates-take-rush-limbaugh-off-the-air-for-bigotry-against-sandra-fluke-women

Please help support our continuing efforts.

Please help support our continuing efforts.

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