Trump's EPA chief dismisses climate study, then admits he hasn't read it


Newly appointed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is sticking to Trump's anti-science, pro-crackpot line on climate change.

Trump’s recently installed EPA chief dismissed a study from his own department's scientists about the dangers of climate change — and then admitted he never even read the study in the first place.

The study, produced by EPA scientists and published in the journal Nature Climate Change, concluded that climate change will affect 22 major sectors in the United States, including human health, infrastructure, and agriculture — and that the damages in some sectors are "estimated to range in the hundreds of billions of US dollars annually by the end of the century" if we do nothing and allow carbon emissions to remain high.

But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler — a former coal lobbyist and a pro-pollution apologist — doesn't care.

"Just because our scientists publish something in a journal doesn’t mean that that’s agency policy or all the other scientists at the agency agree with that particular study," Wheeler told Reuters.

But Wheeler's quick dismissal of the report was followed up by an admission that he had no idea what it actually said.

"I have not read that article, I just saw a news a clip about it, but I haven't read it and I haven't talked to the scientist that wrote it," Wheeler said.

Wheeler was appointed to head the EPA after Trump’s first scandal-plagued EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, was ousted. And Wheeler's approach — ignoring science in favor of industry and pollution — is a perfect reflection of Trump's shameful approach to climate issues.

The administration and its officials regularly disregard the scientific consensus about the harms of climate change in order to justify rolling back regulations and trashing initiatives designed to make the world cleaner and safer.

Trump himself once infamously promoted the false conspiracy theory that climate change is a hoax from the Chinese government.

Currently, Trump is trying to create a senior-level government panel that would oppose the scientific facts of climate change and instead promote baseless propaganda from pro-pollution crackpots. Most U.S. government agencies are refusing to participate in the project.

However, Trump is still receiving plenty of help from congressional Republicans who refuse to take the climate crisis seriously.

Senate Republicans have relentlessly made false and disingenuous attacks on the Green New Deal, a sweeping Democratic proposal to help stop climate change before it's too late while also creating jobs and protecting vulnerable communities.

And in the House, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) made a viral fool of himself by attacking former Secretary of State John Kerry after he tried to raise concerns about how climate change would harm national security.

Climate change is real. It is a threat to America and to all of humanity. But Trump and his fellow Republicans refuse to acknowledge reality — and they certainly can't be bothered to read scientific reports about it.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.