BY MATTHEW HERBERT
In the last edition of “Nothing to See Here, Folks,” we noted that U.S government officials had ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to suppress a scientific article showing how climate change was sapping the nutrients from rice.
This week, E&E News reported that government officials also censored the U.S. Geological Service’s press release of a climate change study in March focusing on the California Coast. It found that “California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, would face more than $100 billion in damages related to climate change and sea-level rise by the end of the century.” The USGS’s political bosses doctored the press release to remove any mention of climate change, making the report sound like a routine look at upcoming infrastructure requirements.
Both incidents fit a pattern of government censorship of science. “It’s been made clear to us that we’re not supposed to use climate change in press releases anymore,” said one USGS scientist.
Americans are still doing key missionary work across the Atlantic, it turns out. We’ve known for several months now that Steve Bannon doesn’t think the Pope is reactionary enough and has set up shop in Italy to try to mobilize the European right against him. Open Democracy published a report recently showing that fundamentalist Christian groups in the U.S. have been funneled $50 million of dark money to nativist groups across Europe.
The parties receiving this money are good white Christians who have had it with being marginalized and disrespected. If you don’t want to read the full study, the New York Review of Books gives a nice summary here.
My two cents: From Italy’s Matteo Salvini to Hungary’s Viktor Orban (I could go on–message me if you want me to), the new nativist strongmen in Europe read from the same a script as Vladimir Putin–that other victimized white guy who has had it with Pride Parades, working women and the free press.
Finally, we can rest assured that women are still being effectively censored and alienated by the established powers. An in-depth article in the Atlantic Monthly revealed an “epidemic of disbelief” among police assigned to investigate rape cases. Police systematically fail–and likely refuse–to conduct rape investigations, as evidenced by the hundreds thousands of rape kits that sit sealed and untested in evidence rooms across the USA. When a group of crusading prosecutors pressed for these kits to be tested in Detroit, they found that many convictable serial rapists had been walking free for decades. For the most part, the DNA evidence that could have put them away had sat untested because police disbelieved the victims’ rape claims to begin with.