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Trump appoints even more skeptics

It doesn’t get much better than this. Mazin Sidahmed at The Guardian has posted a handy list of Trumps Cabinet Picks. The times have changed so much that it’s not a case of “spot the skeptic” but a hunt to find any believers in the climate doctrine. Make no mistake, things  are very, very bad for the fans of human-caused-weather.  Almost every name on this list would be the “top target” of green protests if they had been the one appointee among the standard Obama-Clinton picks. But almost all of them are drawing fire. People who have taken the toxic, unforgivable position of personally investing in oil and gas projects seem neutral now, compared to people who have run lawsuits against the government department they’ve been told to manage. If only The Guardian could find someone who was not in the bottom 10% of the Conservation scorecard!

Climate change denial in the Trump cabinet: where do his nominees stand?

Scott Pruitt: Environmental Protection Agency

Pruitt is the anti-christ for the EPA. He has led lawsuits against their unconstitutional grab for power. What’s not to like?

Ryan Zinke: Department of the Interior

He is  a congressman, former Navy Seal and Iraq war vet. He votes for oil and gas drilling projects. He scored 3% on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Rick Perry: Department of Energy

A skeptic for sure who has called climate change “an unproven scientific theory”.

Rex Tillerson: Department of State

 Tillerson is a mixed bag. He’s said some pro-Paris-agreement things, yet run the company that was threatened with a RICO investigation for funding non-government approved views on climate. He didn’t turn Exxon in to a BP or a Shell version of a carbon trading lobby group. He’s probably a skeptic, but perhaps it’s not a high priority?

 James N Mattis: Department of Defense

The Guardian haven’t got much. There is an ambiguous hint that Mattis may be more concerned about the military having energy. But there’s also the suggestion from a very worried fan of the Man-made-crisis-meme” that  General James “Mad Dog” Mattis would be a better pick than most other Generals on the shortlist.

Ben Carson: Department of Housing and Urban Development

When Carson talks about climate change he’s the perfect skeptic: “I know there are a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science’, but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science they never can show it”

Mike Pompeo: CIA

Sounds like a good man: “Pompeo is among the most the outspoken critics of climate change legislation. ” “He derided Barack Obama last year for describing climate change as a national security threat. Pompeo referred to the Paris agreement as a “radical climate change deal”.”

Michael Flynn: National security adviser

Flynn also told off Obama for talking about climate change after the Orlando terrorist attack. At least Flynn has his priorities straight.

Jeff Sessions: Attorney general

Sessions is very much a skeptic. Smile. He voted in the Senate against climate action. The League of Conservation Voters giving him a scorecard of 7%. (High praise indeed!) He knows that there are “legitimate disputes” about global warming, and that CO2 feeds plants and is not harmful. “Sessions reportedly said last year that the fight against climate change hurts poor people.” In 2015, he conceded CO2 might cause temperature increases, but still said it wasn’t a pollutant and was plant food.

John F Kelly: Department of Homeland Security

There is not much to go on. Kelly has at least given a neutral statement on climate change  “… whether one agrees or disagrees with the cause-and-effect claims – all are at least fully aware of the issue. Even those who reject the science have reduced their energy consumption and know it is good for the environment.”

 Tom Price: Department of Health and Human Services

Price supported a bill to stop the EPA and spoke of  “recent revelations of errors and obfuscation in the allegedly ‘settled science’ of global warming.” He has consistently voted against incentivizing renewable energy sources… He signed a pledge to oppose climate legislation.”

Wilbur Ross: Department of Commerce

Ross will be managing NOAA. His views on climate change are not clear, but he has invested in oil and gas.

Steven Mnuchin: Department of the Treasury

He’s a Goldman Sachs guy. No public statements on climate. Hmm.

Betsy DeVos: Department of Education

She is chairman of the Windquest Group which started in 1989 and invests in “clean energy technology”. That was a long time ago. We sure hope that doesn’t get in the way of repairing the education system. The Guardian doesn’t mention that she is active in promoting a bigger role for parents in education through school vouchers. E’Gad! Imagine public schools having to compete with private schools, and being judged by actual taxpayers. So even if public schools still push the one sided propaganda on climate, at least parents will get more choice to avoid it:

For nearly 30 years, as a philanthropist, activist and Republican fund-raiser, she has pushed to give families taxpayer money in the form of vouchers to attend private and parochial schools, pressed to expand publicly funded but privately run charter schools, and tried to strip teacher unions of their influence.

But Ms. DeVos’s efforts to expand educational opportunity in her home state of Michigan and across the country have focused little on existing public schools, and almost entirely on establishing newer, more entrepreneurial models to compete with traditional schools for students and money. Her donations and advocacy go almost entirely toward groups seeking to move students and money away from what Mr. Trump calls “failing government schools.”

Elaine Chao: Department of Transportation

She’s been a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which would be unforgivable in the Obama-world. In 2009 she “derided a proposed cap-and-trade system” as a way to deal with carbon emissions.

Read the full descriptions at The Guardian.

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