Abusing Science

Number 13 of a series

This is not about Kathleen Hartnett White. That’s another story, but I needed an image for this post, and somebody loaded this onto my Facebook feed. This story is not about a government employee working to subvert science but about a government employee with an earnest regard for the truth. It’s an illustration of how the government, in particular the current administration, abuses science:

A Scientist Who Resisted Trump Administration Censorship of Climate Report Just Lost Her Job

The Trump administration has demonstrated every intent to overthrow the science behind anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and the signals were early and unambiguous:

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

In case you doubted his intent, once gaining access to the nation’s highest office, Donald Trump proceeded to make his fantasies come true:

In October 2017, President Donald Trump nominated White for the position of White House senior advisor on environmental policy. Had she been confirmed by the United States Senate, she would have led the Council on Environmental Quality. On December 21, 2017, the United States Senate sent her nomination back to the White House. Trump resubmitted his nomination of White in January 2018.

Her nomination drew controversy due to her history of advocacy for fringe theories and pseudoscience. Hartnett questions the scientific opinion on climate change and has criticized the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She has called for increased use of fossil fuels, and criticized the Endangered Species Act. She said carbon dioxide was not a pollutant but “a necessary nutrient for plant life” and that there were “really beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere”. She has expressed skepticism that there has been “unprecedented warming of the climate, extreme weather events, declining Arctic ice, and rising sea levels”. She has complained about “Apocalyptic Anthropogenic Global Warming” being “the Left’s secular religion”, and that “grand schemes to decarbonize human societies” are part of the “unabashedly totalitarian policy of the Left.”

White has compared the work of mainstream climate scientists to “the dogmatic claims of ideologues and clerics.” During her November 2017 Senate confirmation hearing, she defended past statements that “particulate pollution released by burning fuels is not harmful unless one were to suck on a car’s tailpipe.”

At White’s Senate confirmation hearing in November 2017, she stated that her top three environmental concerns are air quality, the potential failure of waste water and drinking water systems, and climate change. During her hearing she said: “I am not a scientist, but in my personal capacity I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy. We need to have a more precise explanation of the human role and the natural role.”

In February 2018, the White House confirmed their intention to withdraw their nomination of Hartnett White as a senior advisor on environmental policy.

In case you failed to notice the ground moving under your feet, the Republican Party held the majority in the Senate at the time and had the ability to confirm Hartnett White without regard to protests from the Democrats. The Republicans have of late been the party that favored ideology over science whenever push came to shove, and that Hartnett White triggered their gag reflex speaks volumes. Apparently abuse of science does have limits.

One thought on “Abusing Science

  1. Pingback: Abusing Science | Skeptical Analysis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.