Shifting sands of the climate debate

Insiders are out; and outsiders are becoming the insiders.

There is much angst among the climate activists and scientist advocates about the Trump presidency, his public statements, and his Cabinet appointees — it doesn’t look good for their preferred energy policies and funding for their preferred research topics.  A relatively calm and objective summary of the concerns is provided by David Victor in e360.

On the other side of the climate debate, there is jubilation:

In terms of the shifting fortunes of insiders versus outsiders, this is starkly evident in Trump’s Cabinet appointments and transition teams.


The hackles of climate activists and scientist advocates  were raised by the appointment of Myron Ebell to lead the transition team for the EPA.  Worst fears were realized by the nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

A relatively sane article on Pruitt and the EPA appears in the National Review.


DOE is currently the hot button, with rumors that Rick Perry will be selected as Secretary of DOE. Recall that in a previous campaign for President, he campaigned to abolish the DOE.  You may be unaware that Texas has much more renewable energy than California, something that happened while Perry was governor.

The biggest outrage is associated with a list of questions sent by transition team to DOE.  At the WaPo, Chris Mooney et al. are alarmed by a memo sent out by the Transition Team at the Department of Energy “Trump transition team for Energy Department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings.”

Willis at WUWT does a good job of looking at the questions sent the DOE. In summary:  they want to know who went to the UNFCCC COP meetings, which are political meetings (hard to imagine a good rationale for govt scientists to attend those meetings).  They also want to know which DOE employees contributed to the IWG Social Cost of Carbon Report – a report that is a travesty, IMO.  Overall, the questions sent to DOE look to be relevant and insightful.

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