Energy & Environment

Scientist compares Trump’s climate stance to Soviet Union


A climate researcher compared the Trump administration’s stance on climate science to the Soviet Union, according to The New York Times.

Philip Duffy, the president of the Woods Hole Research Center, told the paper that the administration’s plans to stop including worst-case emissions scenario projections in a key national report are a “blatant attempt to politicize” climate science. 

“What we have here is a pretty blatant attempt to politicize the science — to push the science in a direction that’s consistent with their politics,” Duffy, a member of a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the government’s most recent National Climate Assessment, said.

{mosads}“It reminds me of the Soviet Union.”

The next edition of the National Climate Assessment is due to be released in the next two years. The administration wants the report to stop including projections showing worst-case scenarios, such as predictions the Earth could warm as much as eight degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

James Reilly, the director of the United States Geological Survey, has ordered that his office only conduct assessments projecting climate change’s impact through 2040 rather than the end of the century, according to the Times.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency defended the changes, telling the Times that the projections could generate inaccurate data.

“The previous use of inaccurate modeling that focuses on worst-case emissions scenarios, that does not reflect real-world conditions, needs to be thoroughly re-examined and tested if such information is going to serve as the scientific foundation of nationwide decision-making now and in the future,” EPA spokesman James Hewitt told the newspaper.

The administration is also reportedly considering creating a new panel headed by Princeton physicist William Happer devoted to questioning the scientific consensus on climate change.

While Trump is not yet fully sold on the panel, according to the Times, he has pushed to revive an idea promoted by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for a series of debates on the validity of climate change. 

Tags Climate change National Climate Assessment Scott Pruitt
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