The Santa Fe New Mexican is the oldest newspaper in the western Unites States. I have been friends with the publisher for 40 years, and she kindly agreed to post an editorial from me in today’s paper.
By Tony Heller
I was born and raised in Los Alamos, worked as a scientist at Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, and have been an active environmentalist all my life. Forty-five years ago this May, I traveled with my high school history teacher, Mary Louise Williams of El Rancho, to a congressional hearing and testified in support of the Escalante Wilderness in Utah.
I was active in the fight for the clean air and water acts. I volunteered for two summers during the 1980s as a wilderness ranger in the Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests.
I now live in Boulder, Colo., and do all my commuting and shopping on a bicycle. I’m a well-known blogger in support of cycling, mass transit and protecting the environment. But I am best known as a climate change skeptic who is closely aligned with the Trump administration and the Trump Environmental Protection Agency. I provide much of the historical climate information used by the Trump EPA transition team and congressional Republicans.
Last week, I was attacked by The New York Times as part of a wildly misleading hit piece against EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. A similar article attacking Pruitt (“EPA head rejects climate change science,” March 10) was published by The Washington Post and reprinted in The New Mexican.
As an insider, I know that there is no conspiracy against science or the environment in the Trump administration or at the Trump EPA. Quite the opposite — they are very serious about protecting the environment. The Obama EPA was obsessed with carbon dioxide and ignored actual pollution problems like the Flint, Mich., water supply. Two years ago, the EPA directly caused one of the largest toxic waste spills in the Animas River in Colorado after being warned for weeks to stop its activities there. No one in the EPA was ever held accountable or punished for that disaster.
The Washington Post story featured Pruitt’s statement, “There is tremendous disagreement about [human impact] on climate.” This is not an attack on science, it is a statement of fact. A 2013 survey of professional members of the American Meteorological Society found that only 52 percent believe humans are primarily responsible for global warming. No legitimate survey of scientists has ever come close to the 97 percent number used in TheWashington Post article. Mark Twain famously said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, who passed away last year at age 86, was a good friend of mine. He invented modern hurricane forecasting and was the best respected tropical meteorologist in the world. Dr. Gray was very vocal against exaggerated claims about global warming. On his deathbed, he asked me to continue his legacy against climate hysteria.
Former U.S. senator from New Mexico, Dr. Harrison Schmitt, is the only scientist to have walked on the moon and is a well-known climate change skeptic. Physicist Freeman Dyson is a well-known climate change skeptic and was once described by The New York Times as being “infinitely smart.” Dr. Edward Teller was father of the American hydrogen bomb and was a well-known climate change skeptic. Dr. William Happer of Princeton is President Donald Trump’s likely science adviser and a well-known climate change skeptic. There are tens of thousands of scientists who agree with Pruitt’s questions about human impact. Science is about open discussion and debate, not dogma, censorship and personal attacks.
Eighty-four percent of U.S. counties voted for President Trump. Let’s work together with our new president and the rest of America to keep America’s environment great.
Tony Heller is a Los Alamos native and active environmentalist.