Even before Trump waged his war against honest science, “special interests” and their “think tanks” and conservative media were promoting baloney that allowed businesses to corrupt governmental agencies (all the way from the federal level to the local level). They have been hurting environment, public health, and truth itself.
Trump made this worse, as we know, but big business had been abusing federal, state and local agencies for a very long time, including Washington State’s agencies that deal with the environment.
This is part of a very long-standing tradition in American culture — a tradition of “anti-intellectualism” that historian Richard Hofstadter had documented half a century ago in his classic book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.
Years ago the famous scientist Carl Sagan produced a “Baloney Detection Kit.” SEE THIS: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/03/baloney-detection-kit-carl-sagan/
Before that, the famous thinker and writer Isaac Asimov wrote this about the “cult of ignorance” that exists in the U.S. He wrote this: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” See more of his quotations here: https://www.azquotes.com/author/605-Isaac_Asimov#:~:text=Isaac%20Asimov%20Quotes%201%20Self-education%20is%2C%20I%20firmly,faster%20than%20society%20gathers%20wisdom.%20More%20items…%20
Science and democracy have important similarities:
Here are some recommendations for strengthening scientific integrity at federal agencies: