Monday, October 30, 2017

Even Climate Deniers Seem to Think Scott Pruitt Is Bullshitting - by David Roberts

His inquiries into climate science may not be entirely good-faith.

“I just want more better sciencing, is what I’m saying.” (Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Click to Enlarge.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said that he wants “true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion” of climate change — something that, in his opinion, the US has never had.

He has proposed a “red-team, blue-team” exercise, modeled on military and cybersecurity decision-making, with one team making the case for climate change (its reality and urgency) and one team against.  A series of public exchanges between these teams, he said in a recent interview, would be like “peer review happening in real time.”

Anyone with any faith or confidence in American scientific institutions and practices will recognize that this is terrible idea.  But here’s the funny thing.  They’re not the only ones.

Guess who said this:  “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal for a Red Team-Blue Team exercise is vague, probably would not be effective, and is unlikely to come about.”

That’s Joseph Bast, CEO of the Heartland Institute, a think tank specializing in climate denial, recording his impressions in a leaked email to staff after discussing the red-team idea with Pruitt.

Bast and the fellow deniers in his circle would very much like a public debate of climate science — they are nothing if not true believers.  But if there is to be one, Bast said, it will likely come from some other agency “with more interest than Pruitt has shown in the scientific debate and more likely to stick around to see the results.”


The question before us, then, is this:  just how much of a party hack do you have to be for the Heartland guy to see that you’re bullshitting?

That is the subject I would like to explore with you here today.

Read more at Even Climate Deniers Seem to Think Scott Pruitt Is Bullshitting

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