President-elect Trump has picked a leading climate denier, Myron Ebell, to lead the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)--and may choose him to head the agency itself.
Photo by Gage Skidmore, flickr.
Ignoring the overwhelming scientific consensus, President-elect Trump has repeatedly said he does not "believe" in climate change, and even that it is a hoax "created by and for the Chinese." But will his absurd positions translate from mere campaign rhetoric into action? And will he attempt to dismantle significant progress made by the Obama administration in the fight against climate change?
As his rumored staffing choices make clear, the answer is yes.
On the campaign trail, Trump said he may "cut" the EPA, which is tasked with enforcing laws to reduce pollution, because "what they do is a disgrace"—but giving Myron Ebell any authority over it may be just as bad.
Trump has picked a leading climate denier, Myron Ebell, to lead the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ebell is also said to be in contention to head the agency itself.
On the campaign trail, Trump said he may "cut" the EPA, which is tasked with enforcing laws to reduce pollution, because "what they do is a disgrace"—but giving Ebell any authority over it may be just as bad.
Ebell is currently a staffer at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is backed in part by the fossil fuel industry and the Koch brothers. He also chairs the so-called Cooler Heads Coalition, a group whose stated mission is to “question climate change alarmism.” As of Nov. 16, his Twitter bio describes him as the “#1 enemy of climate change alarmism.” Indeed, he has occupied almost every conceivable position on the climate change denial spectrum, including saying the climate is not changing drastically; that it is changing, but not as a result of human activity; and that it is changing as a result of human activity, but that it might not be "a serious problem." But his bottom line is always this: we can safely ignore the issue, experts be damned.
Select Twitter posts from Ebell (who, remember, is being floated for an environmental protection position):
Ebell's organization has nonsensically advertised the virtues of greenhouse gas pollution. He has led a campaign against science by suggesting scientists either "[don't] know what they [are] doing" or are conspiring to tilt the data in their favor. He has advocated rejecting the Paris agreement, an international accord in which countries pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To make matters worse, he wants to privatize national forests and open more national public lands and waters for oil and gas drilling.
Contrary to Trump's vague promises to "drain the swamp" of Washington insider politics, Ebell is a veteran DC operative inextricably tied to the industries the EPA is supposed to be regulating. Put simply, his involvement in any aspect of our nation's "environmental protection" is a huge mistake.
How to fight back
The danger posed by the Trump administration is growing clearer every day. We cannot afford to ignore climate change, nor can we afford to carve up and pollute our public lands with ramped-up drilling and mining as Trump has promised.
We will stand up to the Trump White House and its anti-science, anti-conservation agenda. Help us with a donation to support this fight. The world cannot wait four more years to act on climate change.