The head of the Environmental Protection Agency revealed plans for a TV debate on climate change. But scientists said that would be a terrible idea.
This is Scott Pruitt, the man President Trump appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, he said the agency was working to host a public climate change debate, which could potentially air on TV.
Pruitt revealed the debate plan in an interview with Reuters. He said the idea was inspired by a pair of articles he read, including one in the Wall Street Journal that suggested a “red team/blue” team approach to debating climate science.
The debate envisioned by Pruitt would involve a group of scientists who would have “a robust discussion for all the world to see.” He also suggested it could be televised, adding that “the American people would be very interested in consuming that.”
The EPA did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment on Tuesday, and Pruitt did not tell Reuters when the debate might take place or who might participate.
But climate scientists contacted on Tuesday by BuzzFeed News said Pruitt’s debate proposal was a terrible idea.
Peter Gleick, a scientist who cofounded the Pacific Institute, an environmental think tank, called Pruitt’s proposed debate “bullshit.” In an email, Gleick said that climate change has already been reviewed and assessed by “every national academy of sciences on the planet,” and is already debated “every day by the very process of science itself.”
“The effort by Pruitt and Trump’s EPA to pretend to put together a ‘debate’ is no more than another attempt to open the door to the voices of climate denial, delay, and confusion that have already postponed international action almost to the point of disaster,” Gleick added.
Michael Mann, a climatologist and geophysicist at Penn State University, said that a debate is already going on and “it’s called science.” He also said the debate amounts to a “bad faith effort.”
“What Pruitt and his ilk really want is to stack the deck against mainstream science by giving cronies and industry lobbyists an undeserved place at the science table,” Mann said.
Linda Duguay, who directs multiple environmental programs at the University of Southern California, said that “there is not much to debate” regarding the scientific consensus on climate change. Duguay also expressed skepticism that Pruitt and his team “would put together an honest forum on the subject.”
“The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community and the great majority of nations around the world that signed the [Paris climate agreement] accept it as a reality,” she said.
John Seinfeld, a professor at the California Institute of Technology who studies the atmosphere, said that “there’s nothing to debate,” unless the discussion focused on “remediation measures.”
“Climate change is a done deal,” he added.
And Philip Mote, who studies climate change at Oregon State University, said that debating “settled” scientific topics such as climate change “is silly, counterproductive, and perpetuates a false sense of what’s true and what’s not.”
Pruitt’s “robust discussion” idea comes as the Trump administration works to undo Obama-era environmental policy and finds itself at odds with members of the scientific community — some of whom said the debate would cause more confusion than clarity.
In June, Trump, accompanied by Pruitt, announced that the US would pull out of the Paris climate deal, a landmark 2015 agreement between nearly all of the world’s countries. The announcement was greeted with dismay and anger by the scientific community.
Katharine Reich, associate director of the UCLA Center for Climate Science, pointed to Pruitt’s record and said, “we’ve seen evidence that his team kind of tries to stack the deck against the evidence.”
“There are plenty of interesting debates to have within climate science and climate policy,” Reich told BuzzFeed News. “But the ‘whether or not climate change is occurring and whether or not climate change is attributable to human activity,’ those debates are closed.”
She added that the debate is a problem because it gives scientists and those who deny science equal weight.
“That is inherently confusing to the public,” Reich said.
At least one study seems to confirm that. Earlier this year, John Cook — a George Mason University researcher whose previous work showed a 97% scientific consensus on climate change — published a paper that found that providing climate change skeptics and scientists equal voices lowered people’s perception that there was a consensus.
“I found that presenting climate change as a debate decreased acceptance of climate change,” Cook explained to BuzzFeed News in an email. “It lowered people’s perception of scientific consensus.”
Cook added that he is “disturbed that this denialist strategy is getting institutional support.”
Advocacy groups that work on climate change were similarly against the idea of holding a televised climate change debate.
Brett Hartl, a spokesperson for the Center for Biological Diversity, called the idea of a public, televised debate on climate change “destructive.” Hartl referred to the proposed discussion as a “fake debate” that marginalized actual scientific discourse.
“This is going to tarnish the EPA’s legacy for decades to come,” he said.
Kimiko Martinez, a spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told BuzzFeed News that the “science is clear,” and that Pruitt’s proposal “isn’t about scientific debate. It’s bad policy in search of excuses.”
“The public isn’t buying Trump’s retreat from climate progress,” she added, “and it won’t buy into this cheap charade.”
The criminal, rent and grant seeking activists are terrified, having an honest debate might reveal their dishonesty and deeply flawed “science”.
.. and according to this next story, CO2 doesn’t seem to be bothering ANYONE (as long as the public pay ..)
New York Times: World’s nations building huge numbers of new coal plants despite emissions growth
A recent article discussed at Watts Up With That? exposed that many of the world’s largest CO2 emitting nations are proceeding with energy policies involving the building of huge numbers of new coal plants without regard to increasing CO2 emissions completely contradicting the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement.
These nations actions clearly show the Paris Climate Agreement is meaningless in addressing global emissions and that President Trump was very wise to reject it’s oppressive provisions that were imposed on the U.S.
Supporting the story of huge new coal plant building plans by many global nations as revealed in the WUWT article is an article in the climate alarmist scheming New York Times which was forced to admit that plans are underway around the world to build over 1,600 new coal plants in the next decade with nearly half of those plants being built by Chinese Companies.
The recent WUWT article revealed that China is planning to build more than twice as many coal plants in the next decade as the U.S. has in operation today.
The New York Times article further notes:
“Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.”
“These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries.”
The title of the New York Times article is hilariously political because the article never explains how the Chinese building 700 new coal plants in China and around the world justifies the headline claim that “Beijing Joins Climate Fight”.
The Global Coal Plant Tracker portal mentioned in the Times article provides easy and updated access to observe the huge numbers of new coal plants that have been announced, are in pre-permitting, permitted or under construction for nations around the world. China’s new coal building plans are displayed below.
The absurdity of the Paris Climate Agreement provisions are clearly illustrated by the fact that China is allowed to increase future CO2 emissions by as much as it wants until year 2030 and even in that year no commitment to any future reduction is provided.
India will more than triple its electricity generation capability in the next decade and the majority of power plants needed to achieve this growth will utilize fossil fuels. India like China enjoys the same absurd Paris Climate Agreement pass on emissions reduction and has no CO2 reduction requirements through year 2030 with no reduction requirements provided even after that date.
Many of the world’s nations are simply ignoring the politics of flawed, failed and exaggerated climate alarmism claims which underlie the Paris Climate Agreement and proceeding to implement plans to meet their countries required future energy needs regardless of how these plans increase global CO2 emissions – and given the pathetic state of inadequate climate alarmist science that is how it should be.
Shown below are new coal plant building projects planned in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Germany, the EU’s resident climate alarmist and renewable energy activist bully, is in crisis with politically driven energy policy schemes which are incompetent and failing.
Germany has driven its electricity rates through the roof with mandated use of costly and unreliable renewables while stupidly forcing its nuclear plants to close through misguided political edict and ended up using more coal which is increasing its CO2 emissions.
The level of renewable use is now so high in Germany that serious electric grid reliability and stability issues now exist which require both fossil power plant emergency backup for failed renewable production and dictate rejecting renewable energy to ensure operation of fossil plants required for electric grid reliability and stability.
California is also experiencing the same kind of electric grid reliability and stability problems as are occurring in Germany because of our states excessive reliance on costly and unreliable renewable energy.
California Governor Brown and Senate Leader Kevin de Leon are proceeding to dictate massive and draconian costs, bureaucracy and freedom suffocating laws and regulationsupon the states more than 37 million residents to achieve absolutely meaningless and completely unnecessary emissions reductions in our state.
The New York Times carried a recent story announcing that California Governor Brown will hold “the Global Climate Action summit” in the state in 2018 aimed at “upholding the goals of the Paris climate agreement” which President Trump decided to dump in June.
Governor Brown and Senate Leader Kevin de Leon have demanded and Californian’s have paid billions of dollars in Cap and Trade taxes (over $5 billion to date) and higher cost renewable energy mandated use (state electric rates 50% higher than U.S. average) to meet globally irrelevant and meaningless state greenhouse gas reduction targets established under AB 32 (year 2020 emissions at 1990 levels) and further escalated under SB 32 (year 2030 emissions 40% below 1990 levels).
Governor Brown recently traveled to China to discuss climate change issues.
However regarding this trip the governor neglected to make any mention of the huge increase concerning the building of more than 700 new coal power plants under way by China during the next ten years.
Instead and astoundingly Brown proclaimed that China is “leading” the way in fighting global climate change.
Governor Brown appears to be completely clueless and disconnected from reality in making such absurd claims and the mainstream media incredibly disingenuous in reporting such idiotic climate alarmist political gibberish.
EIA data updated through year 2015 shows that California’s renewable wind and solar generation used for electricity amounted to only about 3% of our states total energy use.
While Brown loves to tout how much renewable wind and solar generation is used in support of his climate alarmist folly to meet California’s energy needs he and other political leaders in the state grossly mislead Californian’s concerning how small these generating sources are relative to the states total energy use.
The states transportation energy sector is by far the biggest user of energy and nearly twice the size of the electricity sector accounting for more than 39% of California’s totals energy use compared to only 21% for the states electricity sector.
The states industrial energy sector accounts for more than 23% of the states total energy use and is also larger than the states electricity energy sector.
Brown and other California climate alarmist and renewable energy activist politicians tend to report the states wind and solar renewable generation contribution amount relative to just the states electricity energy sector.
This exaggerates the claimed wind and solar energy contribution by ignoring the other energy use sectors which account for 79% of the states total energy use and where the energy in these sectors is is not provided by wind and solar renewable generation.
The mainstream media further hypes and misleads the public concerning these renewable energy use exaggerations.
Governor Brown and his cronies make the same kind of exaggerations concerning the irrelevancy of California’s incredibly costly state greenhouse gas reduction targets where achieving the SB 32 escalated targets represents only about 0.4% of global emissions – a reduction that is totally irrelevant.
Compared to the avalanche of CO2 emissions growth coming in the next tens years from the world’s largest CO2 emitters, including huge increases by China who Governor Brown claimed is “leading” the global climate change fight, and given the total absence of any present or future commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement regarding such emissions growth the state of California’s emissions reduction efforts lead by Governor Brown and Senate Leader Kevin de Leon represent nothing but an incredibly bureaucratic, costly and politically contrived dog and phony show devoid of any real world relevance, importance or significance.
It is abundantly clear that President Trump got the decision on the Paris Climate Agreement right and that Governor Brown’s climate alarmist views and policy are simply clueless and completely disconnected from reality.