Trump’s Climate Denial Committee Will Actually Produce Great Climate Publicity

Trump’s Climate Denial Committee Will Actually Produce Great Climate Publicity

Trump is so naive on publicity that he often takes unpublicized insults and blows them up to major stories.

Another way to say this, is that Trump likes to step into the line of fire.

In climate science, Trump has gotten away with just saying that he did not believe his own executive branch report of 13 agencies on the risks of global warming.  He said this while walking across the lawn, with no formal address.  Trump also chides any time it is very cold somewhere, and then flies to Florida to play golf.  Now, Trump has created his own trap by forming an official Presidential Committee on Climate Security to counter the climate threat reports of the Department of Defense.

The head of this 12 person committee is a well known retired Princeton solid state physicist Will Happer, who plays the climate denier victim to the max.  Happer is in no way a climate scientist.  He also has kooky beliefs like that there is no HIV virus, and that airplane contrails are a plot to poison us.  The really scary thing is that Happer is on the US National Security Council, as senior director of the office of emerging technologies.  Sometimes, having won awards in their own narrow field, some old timers think that they are experts on all other science fields.

Happer is another of Trump’s three decades rehashes, since Happer served as director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science in the George H W Bush administration, where he directed the $3 billion research budget.  He also served in JASON, and developed adaptive optics.  He worked on optical pumping and atomic physics.  He chaired the climate denying Marshall Institute from 2006 to 2015.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has received four distinguished rewards.  Oddly, one of Happer’s co-authors on the adaptive optics paper was Gordon J. F. MacDonald, who promulgated climate change, and who I worked for as an undergraduate at UCLA.

Hopefully, this Trumped-up committee puts into its report all of the phony climate deniers’ one-liners to put down decades of climate research by thousands of climate scientists world-wide.  The website, run by climate scientists, has listed and countered all of these arguments for decades.  Academics and scientists love to debate, when they have a clear false statement to counter.  When the White House reveals all of its hidden beliefs, the climate deniers are sunk.  Presently, the Trump administration has operated behind the scenes with big-oil funded partisans like Scott Pruitt as past head of the EPA, and past Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

In the Executive Order for this committee, there are two oddities.  One, is that only the committee Offical, Will Happer, reports its results to the President.  The other is, contrary to the rules for a special advisory committee, it does not report its results to the Congress.  Since Will Happer is already one of the most biased non-climate scientists that Trump could find, the direction of the report is pre-ordained.  This is the main fly in my scenario, that the Report will not be released.  By the way, insects are becoming extinct, at a rapid rate.

For humor, I can’t pass up stating that Trump has now taken on the Department of Defense, which is the nation’s largest employer, with 1.4 million active duty personnel, and 861,000 civilian employees.  I think that he is vastly outnumbered.  Plus, they are heavily armed.  At least 200,000 of the active duty personnel perform science, engineering, and technical roles.

With an official report backing climate denial, the White House can be formally attacked by all of the world countries, which all signed onto the Paris accords.  They can be attacked in detail by all of the National Academies of Sciences in the world, and all of the world’s climate science institutions.  Since a large part of the US has been led to doubt climate science, this could bring much needed coverage by the TV networks and documentaries, and even inject the changing climate strongly into the Presidential election, and into the Congressional races.  For example, I didn’t even know of the DoD January report on the challenges to the military from climate change, until the publicity about Trump’s climate denial committee.

Jumping from the frying pan into the fire, what an appropriate quote for a climate denial committee.


About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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