I guess science is going to pay for that wall

When your president is an idiot on a quixotic mission to build a pointless, stupid wall between us and one of our allies, the money has got to come from somewhere. And when the Republicans in general are elected by the ignorant to go on a crusade to destroy the government and promote even more ignorance, there’s an easy target: take the money away from science.

Look at what Trump has announced that he’s going to do to science funding.

President Donald Trump, who had just proposed slashing the National Institutes of Health’s budget for next year by 20 percent, suggested an immediate $1.2 billion cut to the agency Tuesday.

It’s hard to get an NIH grant now, and it’s going to get worse. This is also the kind of cut that does long term damage, since established researchers tend to get supported first; I wouldn’t want to be a new investigator right now. There are also other deep cuts all over the place.

  • Take $350 million from the National Science Foundation’s $6.9 billion budget
  • Cut $37 million from the Department of Energy’s $5.3 billion worth of science programs
  • Excise $48 million from the Environmental Protection Agency’s research and development budget of $483 million
  • Cut in half the $101 million Teen Pregnancy Prevention program
  • Reduce Food and Drug Administration staff spending by $40 million
  • Cut domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs by $100 million plus cut the Presidential Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) $4.3 billion budget by $242 million
  • Completely delete the $72 million Global Health Security fund at the State Department and cut other global health programs by $90 million and $62 million for global family planning

More evidence that this administration wants to outright kill American science: putting Lamar Smith as head of the science committee in congress, and — this is the most ridiculously petty thing — dictating what words bureaucrats are allowed to use.

A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.

One subdivision of the Energy Department is the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy. Boy are they gonna get a shock when they discover that even the name of their office has become anathema. It’s also going to be magical — the climate won’t change if you’re not allowed to say “climate change”!


  1. johnson catman says

    Republicans and The Orange One are not even trying to hide their hate, because in their minds, education/science = liberal, so BAD. Of course, reality has a liberal bias, so denial does nothing to stop the process of climate change.

  2. handsomemrtoad says


    Dedicated readers of the comments on PZ’s blog might remember that when PZ first started shouting about Trump being anti-science, way back before the inauguration, I kept posting comments saying “maybe not, it’s still too early to tell, he looks bad on scientific POLICY-ISSUES, but maybe he’ll be good for SCIENCE itself”.

    Well now.

    Waiter, I’ll have a double helping of crow, please, deep-fried, with a very large slice of humble-pie for dessert.

  3. says

    The US conservatives seem very big on the importance of incantations and magic words. You mustn’t say “climate change”, but you must say “Islamic terrorism”… Not to mention “Freedom fries”.

  4. raven says

    Cut in half the $101 million Teen Pregnancy Prevention program

    This is very stupid.
    1. Money spent on birth control saves the government, for every dollar spent, $3-6 dollars down the line. In maternal and neonate medical costs and welfare costs.
    2. Teenage pregnancy is highly correlated with and causal with life long poverty.

    3. Ironically, it defeats their main goal of Making America White Again. It hits minorities the hardest meaning more nonwhite babies are born.
    They never think things through.

    Cut domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs by $100 million plus cut the Presidential Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) $4.3 billion budget by $242 million

    Same thing with these programs.
    We’ve been somewhat successful in stopping the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This saves huge amounts of money down the line as well.

  5. says

    They could buy fewer F-35s.


    Just remember this when someone says they are “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” – they almost certainly went along with this nonsense. The US has basically turned into a jobs program for the defense industy. I wonder if Northrup Grumman Martin Marietta Dynamics has been starting up a wall-building division to make sure the wall is over budget and behind schedule. But mostly over budget.

  6. dhabecker says

    Ahhh, but you’re missing the big picture! When the economy finally kicks into high gear because of the upcoming tax cuts, and when all of the 60 or 70 million un(der)employed people find jobs and start buying F-150’s by the dozen, we’ll have so much tax revenue; ooo, ooo, it’ll be tremendous!
    Or the orange one could get cranky and we’ll have a nuclear war. No problem; the Japanese got over it and look at them now.
    Three years, nine months to go.
    How do you spell doomed.
    (Maybe I should have breakfast before commenting.)

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Nah it’s not the magic words causing Climate Change. They just think that if it’s never said by name, then everyone will remain unaware and so it don;t matter cuz ho one will care unless you tell ’em about it. uh yeah that’s still a form of magic, more psychological magic than physical magic. still blech. 45 has claimed he’s “so good with words” that even though he uses about 5 words in total, it hints that he thinks words have magical influence on reality without any mechanical assistance. Sorta like how I think my words sent into the interweb ether will magically influence people to accomplish what I’m keyboarding about. gosh foking durn et. frammit.

  8. magistramarla says

    I just read that the Heartland Institute (spit!) has been spamming science teachers across the country with packages of “teaching materials” of anti-global warming propaganda. Right now, they are “encouraging” science teachers to “teach the controversy”.
    I wonder how long it will be before this is required material.

  9. consciousness razor says

    A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.

    No big deal. Since perception is reality and all that bullshit, they’ll just need to be somewhat more verbose when they pick which black magic incantations will be used in their vile rituals to unleash the wrath of the dark forces upon us all. I mean, these still look like live options, for example:
    – Alteration of the thing that starts with a “c” and ends with a “limate.”
    – A decrease in the amount of stuff that is emitted.
    – That international arrangement to which the United States is a party, named after the capital of France. (No, not that one … the other one. No, not…. Right, that’s the one.)

  10. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    Poor nonwhite babies are very useful. They provide more bodies for the military and private prisons; they scare white people into voting Republican; and (thanks to all those wonderful voting laws our Rethuglican state legislatures keep passing) they tend not to vote themselves.

  11. jamesramsey says

    So the “Office of International Climate and Clean Energy” becomes the “Office That Dare Not Speak Its Name”.

  12. Rich Woods says

    I thought Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, and do so willingly. Surely he didn’t lie about that too?

  13. busterggi says

    Oh so there are some proposed budget cuts, big deal. He hasn’t started saying science types should be burned as witches yet has he?

  14. handsomemrtoad says

    RE: Cutting teen-pregnancy programs in order to fund the military

    From Full Metal Jacket:

    “I don’t want no teenage queen,
    I just want my M-fourteen!”

  15. wzrd1 says

    Never fear, they’ll also be adding more babies destined to become Republicans, as some of that NIH funding was earmarked for Zika virus mitigation programs.
    More microcephaly, more Republicans, obviously. Oh, to ensure effects, cuts in education and elimination of special education programs.