Time is winding down fast for the public to oppose climate change deniers looking to be the EPA’s new science advisors.
Deniers may be fading fast as the world’s glaciers vanish and rising ocean water creeps into rivers, coastal aquifers, and backyards, but the Trump administration managed to scrape deep into the barrel for nominees this year.
“We will all pay the price if we allow Trump to replace scientists at critical agencies like the EPA with people whose primary agenda is to make money for the very fossil fuel companies that have put our planet on a track to runaway climate change,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Cassady Craighill told Grit Post.
“The world’s scientists just made it painfully clear to political and business leaders across the globe in the latest IPCC report that we only have a few years left to avoid climate catastrophe on a global, and fatal, scale,” she continued. “Trump’s administration is taking direct aim at critical climate science that we literally need to save the world.”
Congress created the SAB in 1978 during a fit of environmental consciousness, to review the quality and relevance of scientific information being used by the EPA, and to review EPA research programs and tactics. The board essentially acts as a voice of reason, keeping the agency from being captured by polluting industries.
Many of the finalists seeking to become EPA science advisors this month represent those very industries, however. The agency released a list of 174 nominees last week, some of which include the handful of climate deniers left on the steadily-baking planet.
Industry shill Richard Belzer, for example, produces pro-industry research for ExxonMobil and sits on many conservative think tanks, including the R Street Institute. Another contender is Alabama’s self-professed “climatologist” John Christy, who is frequently called upon to mislead Congress on the state of global warming and buttress fossil fuel industry demands to ignore it.
Contender Anthony Lupo is a Missouri professor and one of the three percent of scientists still willing to gamble on the fate of other people’s children. Lupo’s argument on global warming is that it has nothing to do with humanity belching tons of carbon in to the air every year, and that the planet simply likes it that way.
Unlike Lupo and Belzer, Kevin Dayaratna does not pretend to be a climate scientist, but is a statistician and a research programmer with the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation. Dayaratna is popular with President Trump, and was invited to attend Trump’s June 2017 announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in the Rose Garden. His work was even cited by the president as a reason to quit the accords.
Yet another industry puppet includes Princeton University emeritus physics professor William Happer, who helped the agency’s scandal-soaked former head Scott Pruitt develop anti-climate arguments. Three years ago, Greenpeace exposed him for taking money from people posing as oil company representatives to create reports touting the benefits of increasing carbon dioxide output. While he was at it, he coached the undercover Greenpeace reporters how best to conceal their payments.
While climate skeptics have been gunning to be EPA science advisors for months, the agency is now in its final stages of selection. Members of the public looking to submit comment regarding candidates should send emails to EPA Designated Federal Officer Thomas Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 7. Public comments are subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.