Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

'Victory for Science' as 'Comically Bad' Sam Clovis Withdraws and Climate-Denying Lamar Smith Plans to Retire

Politics
YouTube

Former Trump campaign aide and climate change denier Sam Clovis withdrew his nomination for the chief scientist position at the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

Clovis faced increasing scrutiny this week after it was revealed that he knew campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos was establishing contact with Russian officials in 2016. In an October letter to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, which oversees to nominations to the Department of Agriculture, Clovis confirmed that he has published no peer-reviewed scientific work and has never taken any graduate-level courses in natural science.


Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee, described Clovis as "a comically bad nominee, even for this administration."

As reported by The Hill:

"Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), the panel's top Democrat, said in a statement that Clovis's withdrawal is a victory for science and farmers. 'From day one, it was clear to me that Sam Clovis was the wrong choice for our farmers and ranchers,' she said. 'His lack of qualifications and long history of politically divisive statements were disqualifying, and the recent news surrounding his time as co-chair of the Trump campaign has raised even more questions.'"

POLITICO reported that Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) "remains concerned over Clovis' role as USDA's liaison to the White House" and believes Clovis "had no business trying to be USDA's top scientist."

"This is one of the few jobs where there's a statutory requirement to have a scientific background, and he should have had the good sense to decline the nomination in the first place," Schatz said.

In addition to Clovis, another prominent climate denier is also preparing his exit this week: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science Committee, announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection next year.

For a deeper dive:

Clovis: Washington Post, AP, New York Times, WSJ, POLITICO, The Hill, Bloomberg. Smith: POLITICO, Texas Tribune, Huffington Post, AP, The Hill

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less

In many parts of the U.S., family farms are disappearing and being replaced by suburban sprawl.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
General view of the empty Alma bridge, in front of the Eiffel tower, while the city imposes emergency measures to combat the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, on March 17, 2020 in Paris, France. Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.

Read More Show Less
The current rate of CO2 emissions is a major event in the recorded history of Earth. EPA

By Andrew Glikson

At several points in the history of our planet, increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have caused extreme global warming, prompting the majority of species on Earth to die out.

Read More Show Less
The "Earthrise" photograph that inspired the first Earth Day. NASA / Bill Anders

For EcoWatchers, April usually means one thing: Earth Day. But how do you celebrate the environment while staying home to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus?

Read More Show Less