Donald Trump’s immigration ban concerns scientists over future of environment

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Donald Trump’s immigration and travel ban will have a number of repercussions and one of them will be on the future of our environment, scientists have said.

The Royal Society of New Zealand, the country’s leading science organization, has expressed fears over future of international research on climate change and extreme weather issues that may arise following Trump’s decision to ban immigration and travel from seven Muslim countries. According to the Royal Society, US hosted many international projects and conferences and there was a significant risk that the advancement of knowledge in critical fields would be hampered if the whole global research community was unable to gather and share knowledge.

According to society president Professor Richard Bedford scientists in New Zealand are concerned when events elsewhere in the world put at risk the research endeavour that is most critical to the future of humanity. The New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) said Trump’s travel restrictions would “retard scientific progress in the United States and the rest of the world at just the time when our civilisation needs science the most”.

“We’ve just gone two weeks with the new US administration and we are witnessing a geopolitical shake-up that is without precedent,” NZAS president Craig Stevens said.

“Science and the scientific community cannot tolerate discrimination against people on the basis of their place of birth or religion. In fact, the Trump administration’s travel ban has horrified the global scientific community,” said Stevens.

He also said that the new US administration was also using “new and seriously partisan media to deconstruct science,” which had “happened before with abhorrent consequences.”

Earlier before the US Presidential election, Trump dismissed climate change as a Chinese hoax, which drew huge criticisms from scientists and climate activist.

Myron Ebell, who headed US President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team until his inauguration, hinted that the US may pull out of the landmark Paris climate pact.

Besides, Trump’s decision to revive two controversial oil projects – the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines – came as a bitter blow Native American tribes and climate activists after months of protests.

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