Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Trump Adviser Called Climate Science a 'Cult'

Politics
New Trump Adviser Called Climate Science a 'Cult'
Princeton physicist William Happer is the latest outspoken climate skeptic to advise Trump. Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 3.0

President Donald Trump has added yet another climate skeptic to his team.

Princeton physicist William Happer confirmed to E&E News by email that he had begun to work Tuesday as the senior director for emerging technologies at the National Security Council (NSC).


Happer is famously skeptical of the scientific consensus that human burning of fossil fuels is causing rapid climate change, CNN reported.

He has called climate science a "cult movement," likened the Paris agreement to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler and would have participated in ousted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt's idea for a nationally televised "red team-blue team" debate on climate science, according to emails obtained by the Sierra Club and shared with CNN.

"If it's this important, why haven't we had a public review of it," he asked of climate change in a 2017 Foreign Policy interview, according to CNN. "We have that all the time in defense programs ... if you're going to put in a new fighter jet, you have a red team that tries to find something wrong with it," he said.

Happer told E&E news by email that he would work to make sure government decisions "are based on sound science and technology" in his new role.

Happer was considered a likely appointment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last year.

The role ended up going to meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, who accepts the scientific consensus on climate change.

Happer's background is in atomic physics and optics, not climate science. He was a pioneer of "adaptive optics," which helped increase the clarity of telescopes, microscopes and other imaging systems, according to CNN.

Despite his lack of research experience in the area, Happer has been outspoken about his unconventional climate views.

He has accused NASA and NOAA of misrepresenting temperature records and said that increased carbon dioxide was positive for plant growth, E&E News reported.

"There is no problem from CO2," Happer told E&E News in January. "The world has lots and lots of problems, but increasing CO2 is not one of the problems."

Ten years ago, he asked the American Physical Society to alter its position on climate change to incorporate doubts about global warming, a request that was vehemently denied, The Hill reported.

Happer, who is now 79, has previous government experience working at the Department of Energy under former President George H. W. Bush, E&E News reported.

The Bond Fire, started by a structure fire that extended into nearby vegetation on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Silverado, CA. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Hot, dry and windy conditions fueled a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles Thursday that injured two firefighters and forced 25,000 to flee their homes.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

Read More Show Less

If you've been wanting to try CBD oil but have been concerned about the price, know that not only can you purchase affordable CBD oil, but you also can purchase high quality CBD oil at those affordable prices.

Read More Show Less
The miserable ones: Young broiler chickens at a feeder. The poor treatment of the chickens within its supply chain has made Tyson the target of public campaigns urging the company to make meaningful changes. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

By David Coman-Hidy

The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.

Read More Show Less