Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Has Donald Trump Declared War on Science? // Megan MacKay

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- Hello, and welcome back to I Learned a Thing.

Well, it's been one week since America confirmed

its order of one express ticket to the apocalypse, please,

and a lot has happened since then.

Most concerning for the rest of the world,

your neighbors in this planetary apartment complex,

is Trump's active denial of global warming.

Well, it's not so much active denial

as a gleeful embrace of global warming as a concept.

This week, Trump muzzled the EPA and the USDA

from sharing information with the public.

This reminds me of an old Canadian folktale.

We like to call it Stephen Harper

and the Government-Orchestrated Hit Job on Science.

What can the US learn from the mistakes

Canada has made over the past 10 years?

Well, gather round, naughty children.

It's discourse time.

Before we voted for this guy,

Canada's prime minster was this guy, for like nine years.

I know what you're thinking, but trust me:

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper

did a lot more than simply raise awareness

about the serious medical condition

known as resting serial killer face.

Powerful, hard-right conservatism

made Stephen Harper very, very horny.

And as a result, he made a lotta dum dum choices.

His most dum dum choice of all the dum dum choices,

of course, was Canada's war on science.

Harper's anti-science parade

started just after he got elected in 2006

when he axed the One-Tonne Challenge,

a public initiative designed to teach Canadians

innovative ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

by, you guessed it, one ton, per person.

Per person.

One ton for our country is really sad.

From there, he slashed environment-based

governmental ambassadorships and politely asked/forced

a Canadian scientist to STFU

about his climate change book already.

Subtle, right?

But this was 2006, back when our politicians

weren't balding reality stars

constantly screaming for attention.

Harper then dissolved the office

of the national science advisor.

Oh, and he also condemned 16 lakes,

reclassifying them as toxic dump sites

for mining operations.

Some of these lakes were on land

considered sacred by local indigenous populations

and others were primary food fishing sources

for rural Canadians.


Harper fired a few more people,

tweaked a few pieces of legislation,

(bleep)ed up some whales' houses real bad,

and then the big reveal happened.

In 2010, a coalition of non-governmental organizations

released a report that revealed the extent to which

Canada's scientists were being muzzled.

Federal scientists reported that they needed permission

from the government in order to talk to the media

about their own papers.

And sometimes the government would even ask

to vet the questions and the answers

before the interview even took place.

This was, at the time, a pretty shocking revelation.

And the government responded

the same way anyone would expect

a government to respond when they do something bad.

They kept doing that thing, except with a more brazen,

don't-give-a-(bleep) attitude.

Harper paywalled federal scientific journals,

he destroyed scientific libraries and threw books out.

Federal scientists traveling to international conferences

had to have a government-appointed babysitter with them.

Because this video's already getting a little long,

here's a highlight reel of some anti-science stuff

the government did after it was discovered

to be muzzling Canadian scientists.

(whimsical 8-bit music)

Despite all of that, in 2013, our then-minister of state

for science and technology, Gary Goodyear,

had the intestinal fortitude to say, and I quote,

"No government in the history of this country

"has supported science as much as this government has."

That sounds eerily familiar in tone. (shuddering)

Anyway, we totally have a different guy now.

He's better.

He does like pipelines, like a lot, like too much,

which, BTW, if you're Canadian,

you should consider signing this petition

and calling your MP and saying that you do not support

the Keystone XL pipeline.

Here's an artist's depiction

of what the Keystone XL pipeline could do

to Canada's ecosystems if implemented.

(blowing raspberry)

My point is this: America, this is going to happen

to you guys, and it's going to happen much, much faster

than it did up here because, as I mentioned earlier,

Donald Trump is extremely subtlety-deficient.

Like, if Stephen Harper is the snake emoji,

Donald Trump is like an unsolicited dick pic

that you open in front of your grandparents.

He doesn't have to sneak around,

which makes his goals a lot easier to achieve.

So, here are some easy things to do right now.

First of all, call your representatives.

Try to find a local pipeline protest to attend.

Permanently reduce your own carbon footprint

and encourage your friends to do the same.

Cultivate a passion for science in your children

or your friends' children or your sister's children

or your brother's children or your children's children.

If you have a scientist friend

who falls under the new muzzle order,

remind them that journalists will protect their identity

and that many organizations

have encrypted secure drop sites.

Punch a Nazi in the face.

Won't necessarily help the environment,

but it'll sure make you feel good.

Let's show the Trump Administration

how much we love science.

Post your favorite factoid in the comments section below.

And if you liked this video, remember to hit subscribe

and hit the little bell beside the subscribe button

that gives you a notification when I post a video,

otherwise you'll never know

and it'll just be like two ships in the night.

This'll be our only interaction ever,

and that'll be really sad.

And finally, since I'm asking for your favorite factoids,

here's mine as this week's end card fact.

The woman who holds the record

for total number of children born to her

had 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets,

and four sets of quadruplets.

And if you add all those kids up,

the number you get is 69.


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