President-elect Donald Trump met with a Princeton University physicist and skeptic of man-made global warming who observers believe could be the next White House science czar.
Trump met with Dr. Will Happer in New York City Friday. Happer didn’t take any questions entering or leaving Trump Tower last week, so it’s hard to say what the meetings were about. Trump has yet to fill key energy and science roles in his administration.
Happer served as the director of the Office of Energy Research at the Energy Department under former President George H.W. Bush. Trump could ask Happer to head the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy or even sit on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Trump has already taken heat from environmentalists for appointing “climate deniers” to his cabinet, but skeptics of man-made global warming were delighted to hear of the meeting.
“Climate skeptics would rejoice at the prospect of Happer joining a Trump administration,” Marc Morano, a skeptic and publisher of the news site Climate Depot, wrote of the meeting.
Happer is a prominent skeptics who’s been assailed by environmentalists over his argument that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are actually good for the planet. He’s said the world is in a “carbon dioxide famine” and pushed back on the Obama administration’s labelling of CO2 as a pollutant.
“For many decades, the citizens of the USA and of much of the world have been flooded with the message that CO2 is ‘carbon pollution,’” Happer said when testifying before Congress in 2015.
“Much of the message is false, but its purveyors control key positions in the media, in the government, in scientific societies, in charitable foundations, etc,” Happer said. “This makes it difficult to get out the truth that climate science is far from ‘settled.’”
Happer would be a big change from President Obama’s current science czar, Dr. John Holdren, who wants to see more government regulation to curb CO2 emissions to fight global warming.
“The global climate has now been so extensively impacted by the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases, that weather practically everywhere is being influenced by climate change,” Holdren told reporters in 2014.
Republican lawmakers criticized Holdren when he first joined the Obama White House in 2009 over his support for population control during the 1960 and ‘70s.
“Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society,” reads a passage in a textbook Holdren co-authored. “Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however.”
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