SharpieGate in the Broader Context of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Science

September 16, 2019 | 11:29 am
Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Andrew Rosenberg
Former contributor

Last week, we all learned more about President Trump mis-stating a hurricane forecast then forcing his administration to cover for his obvious error, now widely know as SharpieGate. It is now clear that orders came from the White House that NOAA scientists and other professional staff should not disagree with or contradict the President, even if he is wrong and public health and safety are at stake.  My colleagues wrote throughout the week (see here, here, here, and here) as the story developed so I won’t repeat the details.

I do want to highlight the broader context of the Trump Administration’s attacks on science, building upon the excellent op-ed by my colleague Jacob Carter in The Hill.   I had a chance to talk with reporters at the Houston Chronicle on this topic for their podcast, aptly named “The Burning Question.”  Of course Houston is a city that knows a lot about the importance of accurate hurricane forecasts  as well as a host of other issues that require strong science-based policies – environmental justice, chemical safety, air and toxics pollution and many others. I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed the interview.