The Washington Post reports on a profoundly disturbing effort that somehow manages to still be a silver lining:
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.
The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
Trump and the Republicans have made it crystal clear that they’re going to use their illegitimate power to cripple the government and advance a corporate-friendly agenda in every way possible. Since decades of science have consistently supported the existence of man-made climate change, the most obvious course of action would be to make that data disappear down the memory hole although that’s not the only way to undermine the science:
“I think it’s much more likely they’d try to end the collection of data, which would minimize its value. Having continuous data is crucial for understanding long-term trends,” [Professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University Andrew] Dessler said. “Trends are what climate change is about — understanding these long-term changes. Think about how much better off the people who don’t want to do anything about climate change would be if all the long-term temperature trends didn’t exist.”
Despite Dessler’s probably misplaced optimism, Trump’s transition team has already requested a list of Department of Energy officials who have worked on climate change projects. Presumably this list is the precursor to a purge of “wrong-thinking” employees to make room for “scientists” who will “discover” that all of the data was faked to perpetuate the climate change “hoax”. As of now, the DoE has told Trump and his toadies to go fuck themselves.
Government scientists are not the only group preparing for a Trump presidency hostile to inconvenient information. The people responsible for the Wayback Machine have begun to build a second location to store of all their billions of saved webpages because they’re worried about being censored by Donald Trump:
On November 9 in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.
For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.
So where’s the silver lining in all of this? Think back to the Bush presidency. The country was blindsided by the deep corruption and the assault on our civil rights. We were unprepared to withstand the onslaught of unconstitutional actions taken by our government. But that’s not the case this time. With Bush, we were expecting the best from our elected leaders and got slapped in the face. With Trump, we’re already expecting the very worst and we’re steeling ourselves for a hostile occupation.
Yes, a lot of people are underestimating just how far Trump and the Republicans will go to destroy this country and replace it with a full-blown kleptocracy. All 62 million of Trump’s voters come to mind as does a great deal of the corporate media. But a lot of us are already bunkering down and preparing for war. We’re not going to be as easily blindsided this time.
The fact that government scientists are hard at work protecting some of our most valuable data from the coming know-nothings should be a warning to Trump and his goons that they’re in for a real fight this time.
-This article kills fascists.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.