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Denial

Scientists and climate policy advocates around the world say they are watching the administration’s global warming actions and statements with deep worry. Many reacted with deep concern to Mr. Pruitt’s remarks this month that he did not believe carbon dioxide was a primary driver of climate change, a statement at odds with the global scientific consensus. They also noted the remarks last week by Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, in justifying Mr. Trump’s proposed cuts to climate change research programs.

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mr. Mulvaney said at a White House briefing.
- CORAL DAVENPORT, Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy, NYT, MARCH 21, 2017


As a businessman, President Trump was a frequent and scornful critic of the concept of climate change. In the years before running for president, he called it “nonexistent,” “mythical” and a “a total con job.” Whenever snow fell in New York, it seemed, he would mock the idea of global warming.

“Global warming has been proven to be a canard repeatedly over and over again,” he wrote on Twitter in 2012. In another post later that year, he said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” A year later, he wrote that “global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” ...
As he opened his presidential campaign, he told Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio host, that the weather changed naturally over time and that there was not a major problem. “I’m not a believer in global warming,” he said. “I’m not a believer in man-made global warming.”
- PETER BAKER, Does Donald Trump Still Think Climate Change Is a Hoax? No One Can Say, NYT, JUNE 2, 2017


The Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff pressured the top scientist on the agency’s scientific review board to alter her congressional testimony and play down the dismissal of expert advisers, his emails show.

Deborah Swackhamer, an environmental chemist who leads the E.P.A.’s Board of Scientific Counselors, was to testify on May 23 before the House Science Committee on the role of states in environmental policy when Ryan Jackson, the E.P.A.’s chief of staff, asked her to stick to the agency’s “talking points” on the dismissals of several members of the scientific board. ...
Dr. Swackhamer’s testimony came two weeks after the dismissals, which were met with fierce pushback from a scientific community that saw it as evidence that the Trump administration is seeking to weaken the role of academic science in environmental policy.

That criticism has sharpened in recent weeks, after the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the energy secretary, Rick Perry, openly questioned the established science of human-caused climate change, and as the E.P.A. has taken down websites about climate change. Scientists have also expressed concern that Mr. Pruitt has staffed his senior offices with several former senior staff members of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a prominent denier of human-caused climate change. Mr. Jackson also came from Mr. Inhofe’s staff.

Among other requests in his May 22 emails, Mr. Jackson asked Dr. Swackhamer to note that “a decision had not yet been made” about whether to dismiss her colleagues on the agency’s scientific review board. However, at that time, several scientists on the board had already received notices that their terms would not be renewed. Since that testimony, the E.P.A. has sent out dozens more notices to academic scientists that their terms on the board will not be renewed.

“The Board of Scientific Counselors had 68 members two months ago. It will have 11 come Sept. 1,” Dr. Swackhamer said. “They’ve essentially suspended scientific activities by ending these terms. We have no meetings scheduled, no bodies to do the work.”
- CORAL DAVENPORT, E.P.A. Official Pressured Scientist on Congressional Testimony, Emails Show, NYT, JUNE 26, 2017


Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, says it is insensitive to discuss climate change in the midst of deadly storms. ...
“We know that as humans, we are all too good at pretending like a risk, even one we know is real, doesn’t matter to us,” Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, wrote in an email as Harvey lashed the Texas coast.

“When we try to warn people about the risks, there’s no ‘news’ hook. No one wants to listen. That’s why the time to talk about it is now,” Dr. Hayhoe said. ...
It’s unclear whether experiencing powerful storms will change minds. A 2015 study published in the journal Climatic Change found Americans experiencing extreme weather events are not necessarily more concerned about climate change. Last week E&E News interviewed several Republican lawmakers whose constituents were hit by Hurricane Harvey and most said they had not considered the issue of climate change.
- LISA FRIEDMAN, Hurricane Irma Linked to Climate Change? For Some, a Very ‘Insensitive’ Question, NYT, SEPT. 11, 2017



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