Monday, November 21, 2016

Fear and Loathing on Chesapeake Bay

Right on schedule, the environmental scientists on Chesapeake Bay took notice of the election, and weren't too happy: Climate scientists, Chesapeake Bay experts look to future with Trump presidency
Drowned neighborhoods, meaner hurricanes, shifting shorelines, the Atlantic lapping at the front door — Hampton Roads knows more than most what climate change bodes for coastal communities.

Now local scientists who study the changing climate and its long-term impacts on the Chesapeake Bay region say they're worried about what a Donald Trump administration might bode for the area — and the Earth — as well.
Leave aside, for the moment the facts that sea level is rising no faster now than it has over the last 100 years, hurricanes, if anything, hurricanes have become less numerous and less damaging in recent years, and shorelines have been shifting for ever. And it's all Donald Trump's fault.

The election has some students going for their "safe space"; the dean.
At VIMS, the associate dean for academic studies met with graduate students a few days after the election to talk through their concerns. "They focused on the future," said Wells. "Their pathways to becoming scientists that would be engaged and able to find employment."

At the William and Mary Law School, students in the climate change law and policy class had similar concerns.

Carolyn Iwicki has been positioning herself for a career in fisheries science at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But Trump says he is planning on a federal hiring freeze. Fredericks said Trump's intention to downsize the bloated federal workforce through attrition is a smart move for the economy.

"So those that were angling for a career in the federal government, there's going to be likely fewer jobs available," Fredericks said. "And they may have to take a look at their education and rechanneling that" to the private sector.

Iwicki said that on election night she was ready to rechannel to a job posting she found in New Zealand. "But I decided I'm going to stay, no matter how bad it gets," Iwicki said.

Fellow student Rebecca Ribley concurred. "Government opportunities seem to not have a clear future," said Ribley. "I still want to do environmental law. But my job just got way harder but way more important."
My scientific career spanned multiple presidents from both parties, starting with Reagan. I never observed any effect of a change in the administration, although, overall, as time went on, I believe bullshit crowded science through out the era, as more people got their fingers into the administrative pie.

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