Gage Skidmore / Flickr Scott Pruitt...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Under Donald Blowhard Trump, Republican thought leaders continue implementing their lifelong dream of kicking objective reality in the shins because reasons.

The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.

John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.

The “former Trump campaign operative” is of course sufficient explanation on its own. As for what the scientists are being barred from discussing:

Scientists there will unveil the report on the state of [Narragansett Bay], which E.P.A. scientists helped research and write. Among the findings will be that climate change is affecting air and water temperatures, precipitation, sea level and fish in and around the estuary.

No Republican has offered up what they believe the end game is in these efforts to prohibit discussions of the plain truth of climate change. The seas will not stop rising because little lord Konkus here is forbidding anyone from looking; the fish will not obligingly stay where we want them to be, and the planet’s weather patterns will continue to shift in ways that will be, at the very least, expensive to adapt to. The “conservative” ideology of purging scientists who bring it up will result in a staggering lack of preparation for those inevitable changes, but will not slow those changes in the slightest. It’s happening. It will continue to happen. It will get measurably worse with each additional ton of muck we pump into the atmosphere today, tomorrow, and next year.

The only identifiable ideology here—short of egregious stupidity, which cannot be discounted—is that Scott Pruitt and others demanding silence on the most salient environmental issue in human history are so addicted to grift that they are willing to sell out the whole damn species if it means certain companies and certain lobbyists will continue to take their phone calls.

Pruitt is banking on being dead in the cold ground before anyone can call him to account for the grift; so long as he can make through another decade or two of life with a dollar in his pocket and a smug look on his face, the good people surrounding Narragansett Bay can go straight to hell and then some.

Unless he’s planning on going out Thelma and Louise-style, though, it’s not a good bet. The year has already demonstrated just how coast-wrecking even a small increase in local ocean temperatures can be; every year, now, seems to bring new reports of inundations in places that were rarely inundated before.

In the meantime, however, the Republican game plan appears to be retaliation against the scientific community and a taxpayer-funded cone of silence installed over extant research and researchers—and that’s it. That’s all. It will make the reckoning immeasurably worse, when the waves finally top something that would be catastrophic to top, but Scott Pruitt reckons he will be dead by that specific date and sincerely does not care what happens to the rest of you.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.



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