The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
New Trump Adviser Called Climate Science a 'Cult'
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).
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."
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.
- Potential Trump Science Adviser Says Climate Change Is Great ... ›
- Trump Advisor Will Happer is Not a Climate Scientist | Energy Blog ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Cathy Brown
Most of us have heard about UN researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair.
Losing weight, improving heart health and decreasing your chances for metabolic diseases like diabetes may be as simple as cutting back on a handful of Oreos or saying no to a side of fries, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
It's important to remember that one person can make a difference. From teenagers to world-renowned scientists, individuals are inspiring positive shifts around the world. Maybe you won't become a hard-core activist, but this list of people below can inspire simple ways to kickstart better habits. Here are seven people advocating for a better planet.
Scotland produced enough power from wind turbines in the first half of 2019, that it could power Scotland twice over. Put another way, it's enough energy to power all of Scotland and most of Northern England, according to the BBC — an impressive step for the United Kingdom, which pledged to be carbon neutral in 30 years.
By Jessica A. Knoblauch
It's been a particularly terrible summer for bees. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is allowing the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor back on the market. And just a few weeks prior, the USDA announced it is suspending data collection for its annual honeybee survey, which tracks honeybee populations across the U.S., providing critical information to farmers and scientists.
tommaso79 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By Rachel Licker
As a new mom, I've had to think about heat safety in many new ways since pregnant women and young children are among the most vulnerable to extreme heat.