Since President Trump took office, the USDA "has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change," reports Politico on Sunday. In a lengthy piece, it said at least 45 studies produced by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) did not receive any promotion, including a groundbreaking report that rice loses its vitamins in a carbon-rich atmosphere.
If there was any question of backing for Sam Clovis, nominated to be USDA chief scientist, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "I fully support the nomination" and "the president has confidence in his abilities." Perdue brushed aside questions whether Clovis, a college professor, has the credentials for the job.
Officials at USDA's land stewardship agency told employees to use the phrase "weather extremes" rather than "climate change" as the Trump administration settled into office, says The Guardian, based on emails it obtained that showed the new administration "has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees."
President Trump's chief political operative at USDA, Sam Clovis, is unqualified to serve as undersecretary for research and should be rejected by the Senate, said the editorial board of the San Jose Mercury-News. At nearly the same time the newspaper labeled Clovis as "an anti-science blowhard," 22 U.S. farm groups asked the Senate Agriculture Committee for swift confirmation of Clovis, a co-chair of Trump's presidential campaign.
Facing a chilly reception from Capitol Hill, Sam Clovis is the most controversial selection for a senior USDA post since Iowa agribusinessman Tom Dorr in the opening days of the George W. Bush administration. Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Pat Leahy of Vermont have joined the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, in questioning Clovis's qualifications for an agriculture undersecretary post that includes serving as USDA's chief scientist.
President Trump's choice for USDA chief scientist, college professor Sam Clovis, appears to lack the credentials for the job, said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, which will vote on the nomination. The Union of Concerned Scientists said Clovis, "a vocal climate denier...is an unacceptable and illegal choice for this important role."
The EPA is changing language on its webpage to match the values of the new administration, and the fact that both President Trump and EPA head Scott Pruitt have publicly denied that climate change is manmade.