For eight years, Barack Obama’s EPA coordinated constantly with left-wing groups, in particular climate alarmists. One of his EPA administrators, Lisa Jackson, used an email address in her dog’s name to communicate with these groups, off the books. As far as I can recall, this never bothered the Associated Press. But now that we have a Republican administration, and an EPA administrator who takes a more skeptical view of global warming alarmism, the AP is scandalized.
The AP’s story contains several outright falsehoods, beginning with the headline: “Emails show collaboration among EPA, climate-change deniers.” As far as I know, there is not a person in the world who denies that the Earth’s climate changes. Certainly no one the EPA has corresponded with endorses such a view.
Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming….
The reference is to the Heartland Institute, a highly reputable policy organization that is one of the leaders in the complicated technical debates surrounding carbon dioxide and its effect on the Earth’s climate. It does not “dismiss climate change.”
Follow-up emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of man-made climate-change, including from groups like Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science.
Got that? Extreme claims about global warming are “scientific warnings,” even when they are backed up by no science at all.
The emails underscore how Pruitt and senior agency officials have sought to surround themselves with people who share their vision of curbing environmental regulation and enforcement, leading to complaints from environmentalists that he is ignoring the conclusions of the majority of scientists in and out of his agency especially when it comes to climate-changing carbon emissions.
I am sure that a majority of scientists in the EPA are climate change alarmists. That is part of the problem. Is the administrator supposed to make decisions by taking a poll? Actually, what Pruitt is trying to implement is transparency, so that the EPA’s scientists will do their work in the light of day instead of keeping the alleged grounds for EPA regulations secret. It is easy to see why some ideologically committed scientists would oppose transparency–i.e., exposing their work to outside scrutiny–but why would the Associated Press object to it?
There is much more in the same vein, but I will conclude with this:
The Heartland Institute calls itself a leading free-market think-tank. It rejects decades of science saying fossil-fuel emissions are altering the climate….
This is a false statement. The debate is quantitative: it is over the extent to which CO2 affects the climate, in the context of a great deal of natural variation and an enormous number of other factors. If the AP really doesn’t understand this, it should stop writing about climate-related issues.
But Ben Levitan of the Environmental Defense Fund said mainstream climate-change groups have received nothing like the outreach and invitations that Heartland and other hard-right groups have been getting.
So the AP views the Environmental Defense Fund as “mainstream,” while the Heartland Institute is “hard-right.” That tells you all you need to know about where the AP sits on the political spectrum.