Nominee Watch – “EPA Science Advisors” Edition – Written Comment Deadline 9/28

So here’s the scoop…

The EPA is filling up vacancies on the EPA Charter Science Advisory Board.

They’ve got all the official biographies of the candidates listed here. Frankly, they are very dull reading.

However, a least 11 of the bios are missing some REALLY INTERESTING BITS! Both E&E News and Scientific American are warning us about them in this article and this one.

11 of the nominees are climate change deniers! 

And they are each angling for an important scientific advisory job with the power to corrupt our country’s environmental legislation for years.

“The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is a scientific/technical advisory committee. The objective of the SAB is to provide independent advice and peer review on the scientific and technical aspects of environmental issues to the EPA’s Administrator. While the SAB reports to the EPA Administrator, congressional committees specified in Environmental Research Demonstration and Development Authorization Act may ask the EPA Administrator to have the SAB provide scientific advice on a particular issue.” (EPA)

These  nominees promise to make what’s already happening with our climate worse…

“Under Pruitt, the agency has already removed a Web page devoted to climate change science that presented the scientific consensus view that it is largely caused by humans, and Pruitt has endorsed the idea of a “Red Team”/“Blue Team” exercise, in which a group of outside critics would interrogate the validity of mainstream scientific conclusions. The agency also has begun taking steps to roll back Obama-era climate regulations, while President Trump has proposed deep cuts to climate research.” (wapo)

Five of the nominees, (D’Aleo, Fulks, Idso, Lupo, and Keen), have already challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s own science on the warming of the planet in court.

Here’s how you can comment on the candidates…

Public comments should be submitted by email to Mr. Thomas Carpenter, Designated Federal Officer no later than September 28, 2017, at carpenter.thomas@epa.gov. There’s no fancy docket page like other regulatory issues. Just be advised that public comments are subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

Comments don’t have to be long. It could be as simple as this…(Use your own words, you can copy the list of names)…

 “We want our Science Advisory Board filled with scientists who are using the most accurate and up-to-date information to inform both the EPA and the President. Climate change deniers such as nominees Joseph S. D’Aleo, Edwin Berry, Alan Carlin, Kevin Dayaratna, Craig Idso, Paul Driessen, Gordon Fulks, Richard A. Keen, Anthony Lupo, Leighton Steward and David Legates, be they simply deluded like “flat-earthers” or funded and/or encouraged by the fossil fuel industry, have no place on this board.”

or pour yourself a big cup of coffee and do one nominee at a time…

Here’s some inspiration for your own creativity…

Climate change before Obama used to be a bi-partisan issue…

Here are the “interesting bits” they’re trying to sneak past you…

Joseph S. D’Aleo

Joseph S. D’AleoHe a meteorologist and co-founder of the Weather Channel. He has run climate skeptic websites, is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute and speaks at their conferences. The Heartland Institute is a conservative think tank that promotes climate change denial, advocates for smoker’s rights, has denied the dangers of second-hand smoke, advocates for the privatization of public resources including school privatization, for school vouchers, for lower taxes and against subsidies and tax credits for individual businesses, and against an expanded federal role in health care, among other issues. It has received $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998 although they no longer disclose their funding sources. D’Aleo said his priority on the board would be attacking the endangerment finding, the legally binding document that holds that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases harm human health and must be regulated by the executive branch. He said he wants to challenge the finding because it could otherwise be used later to build back Obama-era environmental regulations. “We’re going to push for reconsideration, start from scratch and put together the best science,” he said. “If CO2 is not a serious pollutant, let’s focus the attention of the EPA on other issues.” He has been mercilessly teased by other scientists.

Edwin Berry

comment 1 ed berry

Ed Berry 4Ed Berry 5

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Ed berry 2

Berry is a meteorologist and atmospheric scientist, and from his twitter feed, apparently a mean-spirited crank. He has funded his own climate research and says human carbon dioxide emissions do not cause climate change. He has compared those who believe in human-caused climate change to “Aztecs who believed they could make rain by cutting out beating hearts and rolling decapitated heads down temple steps.” On his Twitter account, (see above) he has called Islam “a death cult” and has encouraged motorists to drive into protesters. Berry, who confirmed that he and a number of other skeptics were nominated by The Heartland Institute, said he wants to use his position on the board to show that humans barely contribute to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which he claimed are mostly driven by natural factors.

Example quote:

“Let’s get over this whole thing about climate change being an important thing, because in fact we humans have a negligible impact on climate,” he said. “And if we had the Paris Agreement and everything else, it wouldn’t do any good anyway.”

Alan Carlin

alan-carlin1

Alan Carlin is a retired EPA employee who is also affiliated with The Heartland Institute. He fought the agency’s crafting of the endangerment finding. An economist, he was at the center of a political firestorm under Obama after he produced a widely criticized 93-page report comprising cherry-picked scientific data and blog entries concluding that regulating carbon dioxide was “the worst mistake that EPA has ever made.”

Example quotes:

“There is very little empirical evidence for rising GHG levels as the primary cause for global warming. Ice core data suggests that CO2 levels follow temperatures rather than the other way around. In fact, the all-important scientific tests of this hypothesis show that increases in GHG levels are not a significant cause of warming…” [2]

“The Obama Administration has made many efforts to support its climate religion (climatism). Since this viewpoint has no basis in the scientific method, it is not science and would seem best characterized as religion.” [3]

Example Actions:

May 21 – 23, 2012

Alan Carlin was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland’s ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

Additional quotes, actions, videos, affiliations, and publications referenced here.

Kevin Dayaratna

Dayaratna_Kevin

Kevin Dayaratna is not a scientist. He’s  a statistician at the conservative Heritage Foundation: His report was cited by Trump as a reason to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. It claimed that the agreement could shrink U.S. gross domestic product by $2.5 trillion within two decades (though Trump stated the impact as coming within a decade). The report was criticized by some as being misleading, because that amount is less than 1 percent of the aggregate GDP over that period and the report did not account for the cost of taking no climate change action. Dayaratna was invited to attend Trump’s withdrawal announcement in June in the White House Rose Garden.

Craig Idso

Craig Idso

Craig Idso is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute. He has researched what he believes to be the benefits of atmospheric carbon dioxide. His work has centered on highlighting how increased carbon dioxide will benefit plants.

Example Actions – May 8, 2017 

Craig Idso, representing the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, is a signatory to an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UNglobal warming programs.” [76]

DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. [77]

Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based cliamate change denial groups. [78]

Example Quotes – December 8, 2016

For years, the U.S. government has held the position that atmospheric CO2 is a dangerous air pollutant that must be regulated to avoid the perils of global warming and climate change. I hope and trust that you also know that the scientific evidence supporting that position is tenuous at best and upheld primarily by inadequate and unvalidated computer model projections as opposed to real-world observations. This I know from having studied thousands of scientific papers on the topic.” [67]

There really is probably no category of photosynthesizing plant that does not respond in a positive manner to atmospheric CO2 enrichment, and that is not likely to be benefited by the ongoing rise in the air CO2 content.” [67]

“It is my sincere hope the incoming Trump administration will recognize these truths, for truths they indeed are, and reverse course as is appropriate on federal policies that for far too long now have besmirched and defamed the many virtues of carbon dioxide. Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant. It is the very elixir of life.“ [67] 

Industry ties, funding, affiliations and other information, see link.

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen ICCC12 copy

Paul Driessen is a senior policy adviser at the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a libertarian environmental think tank. His organization handed out leaflets at a climate protest this year in Washington, D.C., that said, “CO2 is not the ‘control knob’ of the climate.” He also co-founded Climate Exit, or “Clexit,” which criticized the science behind the Paris climate agreement and holds that spiking levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide benefit the Earth. “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade,” the group stated in its founding statement. “Man does not and cannot control the climate.”

Example Quotes –  October, 2016

“No Real-World evidence supports a ‘dangerous manmade climate change’ thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.” [5]

July, 2016

“Climate has always changed. It is far better to have energy, technology, modern housing and wealth to adapt to, survive, recover from and even thrive amid inevitable warming, cooling and weather events, than to forego these abilities (on the absurd assumption that humans can control climate and weather) – and be forced to confront nature’s onslaughts the way previous generations had to.” [44]

Additional quotes, actions, videos, affiliations, Publications referenced here.

Gordon Fulks

GordonFulk

Gordon Fulks, a physicist and adviser to the Cascade Policy Institute, an Oregon-based libertarian think tank. He has denied that net sea ice melt is occurring and that the Earth is warming. He has said those who express concern about climate change are like a “societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus.”
(Motherboard- Sarah Emerson) ” (He) has been an especially outspoken critic of mainstream climate science. A policy advisor to the Heartland Institute, a conservative think-tank that mailed anti-climate science propaganda to 25,000 teachers earlier this year, Fulks is perhaps best known for fiery opinion pieces like “Global Warming: Climate Orthodoxy Perpetuates a Hoax.”

Fulks, according to his published works, detests the influence of this mainstream climate science at the EPA. He once once compared the sudden firing of an Oregon State University professor, who was also a climate change denier, to the suppression of political dissent in the Soviet Union. “I am concerned that many who promote the idea of catastrophic global warming reduce science to a political and economic game,” he wrote in The Oregonian in 2010. “Scare tactics and junk science are used to secure lucrative government contracts.”

I emailed Fulks last week about his pending nomination to the committee.

“I am sure that many scientists who have lived off of the Global Warming scam are concerned about their future,” he told me. “Climate science was a sleepy little subject, until James Hansen and Al Gore turned it into a TRILLION dollar per year industry. Climate hysteria will disappear quickly if the vast cash underpinning it disappears.”

When I told him the Trump administration has been actively muzzling federal scientists, specifically those working at the EPA, Fulks replied: “I suspect that President Trump understands this and will cut budgets at the EPA, GISS [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies], and other places where the taxpayer has not received real value for his tax dollars. But cutting budgets is a far cry from firing scientists who dare to speak up or putting them in front of a firing squad as Joseph Stalin did. The mistreatment of scientists during the Obama era was far worse than anything that has came before or after.” (Fulks did not offer an example of President Obama allegedly mistreating scientists, and I could not independently find evidence of this claim.)

“Pruitt, in his effort to dismantle existing EPA structures, recently suggested a “red team-blue team” debate meant to give the impression there are two sides to the climate “debate,” when, in fact, scientists have overwhelmingly reached a consensus.

“I think that the red/blue team approach advocated by Pruitt could be useful in breaking the monopoly that alarmists enjoyed during the Obama era,” Fulks wrote in the email. “They may finally have to face a measure of accountability. But the crucial issue that needs to be addressed is the Endangerment Finding on CO2 [which classifies greenhouse gases as pollutants and a risk to human health]. I hope that Pruitt goes after that.”

Richard A. Keen

Richard Keen

Richard A. Keen is instructor emeritus at the University of Colorado Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC). Some sources have also described him as a “climatologist,” and others as a “meteorologist.” [2], [3] According to Keen, he has experience as a meteorologist in the army and has “done some climate modeling when I was younger and less wise.” He does not mention receiving any training as a climatologist. [4]

Example quotes:

“Half or more of the warming since 1995 may due to the lack of large volcanic eruptions. […] The remaining climate change is presumably caused by other forces, such as solar variability, El Nino, Atlantic AMO warming in 1995, lower Albedo and maybe even a little greenhouse gas.” [5]

“Since the total direct impact of Carbon on climate is 0.2C, and US carbon production is no longer rising, controls such as Cap ‘n Trade and Kyoto are ineffective solutions that will fail to solve a non-existent problem.” [4]

“”Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UNIPCC… . The global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the millennium … which is why ‘global warming’ is now called ‘climate change.’” [6]

Example actions:

February 23, 2017

Richard Keen was a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [23]

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” Lindzen wrote in the letter. [23]

DeSmog investigated the list, and found that only a small handful of the signatories could be considered “even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’ — but not in the field of climate science.” The list included individuals “interested in climate,” and one signatory who only identified as an “emailer who wished to sign the petition” while some signers provided no affiliation or address whatsoever. [24]

April 27, 2015

Richard Keen was in the Vatican City, Italy, for a press event hosted by the Heartland Institute in order to “dissuade Pope Francis from lending his moral authority to the politicized and unscientific climate agenda of the United Nations,” according to a Heartland Institute press release.

More actions, videos, publications, affiliations here.

Anthony Lupo

Anthony Lupo

Anthony Lupo, another founding member of Clexit: led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton. According to Clexit’s founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” [13], [14] He has received support from The Heartland Institute and helped in the unsuccessful fight against the endangerment finding in court.

Stance on Global Warming:

Lupo agrees that temperatures have been rising over the past thirty years, stating that “anyone who denies this [climate change] isn’t a very good scientist.”

But he has also said that “The Earth goes through phases of warming and cooling, and though all the computer models we have show that we are in a warming phase, there is no way to differentiate between a natural warming and one that is human-caused.” [2]

As an “expert reviewer[3] of the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Lupo disputed the report’s consensus that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” [4]

Example quote:

“’In my mind, I hope that I’m keeping those two things separate,’ he says. ‘But I’m a person like anyone else, and I think I wouldn’t be surprised if my thoughts are a little bit colored. But, you know, I try to keep my science independent of my politics as much as possible’.” [4]

Example action:

January 5, 2017

Anthony Lupo was a signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator under the Trump administration. [19]

Mr. Pruitt has also demonstrated understanding of and open-mindedness toward scientific insights crucial to the formulation and implementation of environmental regulation. He is prepared to hear all sides in debates over the risks and benefits of various activities that come under the purview of the EPA,” reads the letter.

On January 12, 2017, Senate Democrats raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Scott Prutt’s fossil fuel ties. Pruitt had spent years working to combat the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. [20]

More actions, videos, publications, affiliations here.

Leighton Steward

H Leighton Steward

Leighton Steward, a former energy company executive and a founder of groups that promote the rise of carbon dioxide as a benefit: He has also encouraged the United States to drop out of the Paris climate accord and says that natural warming is raising the temperature of the Earth.

Example Quotes:

“… carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a major contributor to current global warming nor to Earth’s paleoclimates.” [4]

“More CO2 is needed to bolster plant life, which turns the gas into oxygen while also providing food.”

“Temperatures over time have fluctuated while CO2 levels have remained steady. What’s more, temperature increases have historically led increases in CO2 levels.”

“Many, many reputable scientists believe that natural factors overpower the current influence of CO2 on global warming.”

CO2 is a great airborne fertilizer, which, as its concentrations rise, causes additional plant growth and causes plants to need less water.”

“The warning level of CO2 in submarines isn’t reached until the atmosphere has 8,000 parts per million of CO2.” [5]

“Humans have been fertilizing Earth’s greenery worldwide, but not with nitrogen-based fertilizer that runs into the rivers and oceans with very negative effects. We have been raising the level of CO2, which has no negative effect on any plant or animal life.” [21]

Example Actions:

February 23, 2017

H. Leighton Steward was also a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [35]

May 2, 2016

H. Leighton Steward was listed among “Key Scientists” appearing in Marc Morano‘s movie, Climate Hustle. Climate Hustle was released in U.S. theatres on May 2, 2016. Bill Nye described it as  “not in our national interest and the world’s interest.” [26]

More actions, videos, publications, affiliations here.

David Legates

David Legates_1

David Legates is a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware. In 2005, Legates was designated as Delaware’s State Climatologist. [3] Legates was later asked to step down as State Climatologist by the Dean of the University. Although no one at the university was willing to explain the reason for replacing Legates as the State Climatologist, Greenpeace speculates that the reason may have been Legates’s close ties with Willie Soon. [23] In 2007,  then-governor Ruth Ann Minner asked Legates to stop using his formal title in public statements on climate change policy. Minner wrote:

Your views on climate change, as I understand them, are not aligned with those of my administration. In light of my position and due to the confusion surrounding your role with the state, I am directing you to offer any future statements on this or other public policy matters only on behalf of yourself or the University of Delaware, and not as state climatologist.” [23]

Legates and Soon have authored numerous papers together, including a controversial 2007 “polar bear study” claiming that they are not harmed by human-caused climate change that was partially funded by Koch Industries. Legates was the co-author on four of the 11 papers that Soon received fossil fuel funding for – and failed to disclose in the paper. [24], [25]

Stance on Global Warming:

Legates is a signatory of the Oregon Petition, which states that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

Example Quotes: 

December 8, 2016

Models have too much sensitivity to climate change, particular with relation to the greenhouse effect, because there’s just too much water in the atmosphere.” [57]

July, 2016

“Students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate. This makes them easy targets for the climate alarmism that pervades America today.” [29]

“I fear that our climate science curriculum has been co-opted, to satisfy the climate change fear-mongering agenda that pervades our society today. Instead of teaching the science behind Earth’s climate, advocates have taken the initiative to convert it to a social agenda of environmental activism.” [29]

Example Actions: 

February 23, 2017

David Legates was also a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [61]

January 5, 2017

David Legates was a also signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter supporting Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator under the Trump administration. [58]

More actions, videos, publications, affiliations here.

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