The silenced: meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump

(The Guardian, 17 Sep 2019) Six whistleblowers and ex-government scientists describe how the Trump administration made them bury climate science – and why they won’t stay quiet.

From weakening vehicle emissions to blocking warnings about how coastal parks could flood or the impact on the Arctic, the Trump administration is accused of muzzling climate science.

Here six whistleblowers and former government scientists describe being sidelined by the administration – and why they won’t be quiet.

Jeff Alson

Role: A former senior engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s vehicles lab in Ann Arbor, Michiga.

What did the work involve?

“I was an engineer at the EPA, working for 40 years in a very technical job. In 2009, after the election of Barack Obama, the EPA started working on greenhouse gas standards for vehicles for the first time. It felt like we were making history.

“There was a team of around 25 people producing thousands of pages of analysis for the standards. We knew it would be controversial but it was a very big deal, the first critical steps to address the climate crisis.”

What changed under the Trump administration?

“Once Trump was elected it became pretty clear that things would change. The president came out to Michigan in March 2017 and gave a speech where he said he’d look at the standards, that they hurt economic activity and jobs. That was an obvious sign, really.

“In August 2018 the administration proposed an eight-year freeze of the greenhouse gas standards. It was unbelievable, really – for the first time in the history of the EPA the political leadership decided to change pollution standards that were doing well without allowing the career staff and experts to play any sort of role. We were completely locked out.

External link

The Guardian, 17 Sep 2019: The silenced: meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump