We in AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People express our support to the vanguards of science and technology in the United States in their March for Science as newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-science and anti-people moves intensify upon serving less than a week in office. His efforts to cover up scientific truths about climate change and other issues directly affect not only the American people but people around the world as well.
Following the unprecedented turnout of the Women’s March last January 20, scientists in America and around the world became inspired to conduct a similar action to counter the President’s alarming statements which denounce proven scientific knowledge – such as climate change – as mere hoaxes.
Known as a prominent climate change denier, Trump received public backlash after the White House website’s page on climate change disappeared on the same day as his inauguration and was replaced by a page entitled “An America First Energy Plan” keen on “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan”.
His baseless criticism of the Paris Agreement and promise to pull out of the said treaty in his first 100 days are manifestations of his denial of the United States’ historical accountability as the largest carbon emitter in the world. His leading candidate for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson is the Chief Executive of the oil and gas company Exxon Mobil, a big corporate carbon emitter with up to 3.22% of global emissions from 1751 to 2010.
He has also advanced controversial projects such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline, projects that sparked widespread resistance due to their environmental risks and possible displacement of indigenous tribes.
In his efforts to restrict scientific information from the general public, he reportedly issued a gag order to various government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Health and Human Services, among others, barring scientists from communicating their research findings on a wide array of media such as news releases and social media sites. The EPA has also received a freeze order on all its grants and contracts — a move that could significantly disrupt the agency’s core function of protecting human health and environment.
We believe that this orchestrated effort to silence the voice of scientists is a move that will negatively impact the lives of millions, particularly members of vulnerable sectors, who will not have access to information that are essential such as those needed for disaster preparedness, and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Trump’s seeming protection of corporate profit will unleash an era of far more aggressive liberalized policies which will favor destructive technology to maximize profit at the expense of the people’s and the environment’s welfare. His rejection of the truth about climate change and refusal to hold multinational corporations accountable for their historic carbon emissions, along with the endorsement of pollutive energy sources such as coal, will worsen climate crisis.
With a climate change denier such as Trump leading the United States, already vulnerable countries such as the Philippines will become even more helpless in the face of disasters. If things go as he says, we can expect a similar or stronger disaster such as Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. to repeat in the near future.
The March for Science is an anticipated movement from the people of the United States as Trump has already revealed his support for the imperialist control of global resources and bias for big corporations over the interests of the people, in just less than a week in office.
We in AGHAM call upon Filipino scientists to unite with their fellow scientists from the the U.S. who are being curtailed of their right to pursue scientific endeavours and denied of their responsibility to promulgate scientific knowledge. We will be ready to take our solidarity to action and conduct similar events here in the Philippines to coincide with the march in Washington, DC.We must not allow the voices of the American scientists to feign with Trump’s violation of human rights. We must express our utmost support to them by reechoing their demands of making science and technology serve the interest of the people.#