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[Share] The House Science Committee Is Back in Democrat's Control: What That Means for Science.

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Post time: 9-11-2018 03:35:12 Posted From Mobile Phone
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Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images
▼ Last night, the Democrats regained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and with it, leadership of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. What will this change mean for science?
The current committee chair, Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who will retire at the end of this term, has repeatedly denied that humans play a role in climate change. He also challenged climate scientists (such as by asking them to release documents and  communicationsthey sent amongst themselves regarding a study about the increased rate of global warming) as well as National Science Foundation (NSF).
Smith "not only ignored the problem [of climate change] but abused his authority as committee chair to launch attacks on climate scientists," said Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and an outspoken advocate of combating human-caused climate change.
With the change in congressional leadership, "now, we finally have a chance to move forward, though we have lost valuable time due to fossil fuel industry-funded politicians more interested in doing favors for their corporate funders than protecting the interests of the people they are supposed to represent," Mann told Live Science.
One of the major focuses of the committee should now be to make sure that "the agencies that are responsible for worrying about climate and the environment are doing their jobs," said Jonathan Moreno, a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. That means, for example, respecting scientific evidence, he said.
Further, "there are major public health issues" that will arise with as the planet warms, Moreno told Live Science. "So the connection between climate change and new public health challenges needs to be made." These issues include an increase in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, as warming temperatures expand their range. Indeed, the U.S. is already starting to see this, and "it's going to get worse," he added.
And as countries such as China accelerate the pace of their own research and development, the committee needs to address their plans to keep the U.S. in the lead globally, Moreno said.
Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, a former nurse, will most likely take Smith's place, becoming the first science committee chair since the 1990s to have a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) background, according to The Washington  Post.  (▪ ▪ ▪)

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Post time: 9-11-2018 12:42:08
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Yes. Now the pendulum swings the other way round. It was the Democrats led by VP Al Gore who made climate an "industry"
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