Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Emily Holden of E&E News confirmed on Friday that Scott Pruitt has started the process to create a “red team” on climate science. According to a “senior administration official,” Pruitt has begun the process “to recruit the best in the field” for a back-and-forth process to evaluate climate science.
Did he announce this openly to the public and scientific community? Of course not. He told 30-some board members of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. (We’re wondering how those folks must be holding up this week, since the announcement that the much-touted Kemper clean coal plant failed and is now a monumentally expensive natural gas power plant)
This disclosure to coal executives and not the American people or scientific community is a clear indication as to where Pruitt’s loyalties lie. Coal baron Bob “a squirrel told me to” Murray told E&E that he and Pruitt discussed going after the endangerment finding “later this year” but that Pruitt hasn’t committed yet. We’re betting that this could be a cover so lawsuits can’t allege that Pruitt had a pre-determined conclusion when deciding on the endangerment finding in the future.
Now, if this process plays out honestly, we know what to expect. Friday also provided a clear example that this red team effort is completely unnecessary, thanks to the peer-review process. A group of scientists published the latest correction to satellite data in the Journal of Climate which reveals warming has been 140% faster since 1998 than previously believed, and that even in satellite data there was no pause. Members of the “red team” who use these data to promote the idea of a hiatus are, once again, proved wrong through the peer review process.
We have our doubts that the true “best in the field” are going to be willing to give their time and energy to a process designed to delegitimize their work and legitimize a fringe, fossil-fuel-funded denial perspective that can’t stand on its own merits. On top of that, the IPCC and NCA already exist to go through this process in a legitimate way.
In fact, the following 100% totally, definitely, completely real response from the best and brightest minds of the climate science community has been leaked to us:
From: Climate Science
To: Scott Pruitt
Subject: Red/Blue Team effort to legitimize ideology disguised as science
Dear EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt,
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