Trump replaces top scientist on Climate Assessment Team:
Michael Kuperberg, executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the climate assessment, was told Friday that he would no longer lead that organization, people with knowledge of the situation said.
According to two people close to the administration, he is expected to be replaced by David Legates, a deputy assistant secretary at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who previously worked closely with climate change denial groups.
Trump is not just dumping kitty litter on the living room carpet on the way out, he's stacking the deck with things Joe Biden will have to fix when he takes office. Forgive the strained metaphors, but that's the best way to assess the behavior of toddlers. He can no longer set a policy agenda, but he can make it harder for his successor:
Dr. Kuperberg’s dismissal appears to be the latest setback in the Trump administration for the National Climate Assessment, a report from 13 federal agencies and outside scientists that the government is required by law to produce every four years. The most recent report, in 2018, found that climate change poses an imminent and dire threat to the United States and its economy.
“If he only directs it for two months and a week, then he may not get very far, but let’s see what can get done in two months. Maybe the next administration will throw it all away, but maybe some changes will be adopted, who knows,” Mr. Ebell said.
Marc Morano, a prominent denier of established climate change science, cheered the departure of Mr. Kuperberg and said he expects Mr. Legates to be named. “The Trump administration is ‘listening to the science’ by clearing out the anti-science promoters of extreme climate scenarios. These moves are long, long overdue,” he said.
While the incoming Biden administration could reverse those decisions, doing so would slow down the production of the climate assessment. The next edition, which was supposed to be released by 2022, has already been pushed back to 2023.
Delay of action on climate change by the U.S. has been the GOP's goal for many years now, and blocking/diluting scientific analyses has been their tool of choice. But they're not sticking their heads in the sand refusing to face an inconvenient truth; they are sticking the scientists' heads in the sand and holding them down. Why would they do that? Why would they intentionally ignore approaching catastrophe? Because they don't care what happens 40-50 years from now. They will be dead, and their children's children will just have to deal with it.
Just to give you an idea how bent David Legates is, Congress had to force him and a colleague to reveal their fossil fuel funding:
In 2013, he and Soon were featured speakers at an annual meeting of the Positive Growth Alliance in Georgetown, a state group that has focused on a range of issues involving landowner rights limits and limits on government, including in areas of environmental regulation.
At that meeting, Soon said "sick science," "agenda-driven science results" and "scare tactics" were being used by those seeking to curb greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, adding at one point: "They're a very sick group."
Legates, at the same session, said that "there is no clear signal of sea-level rise in Delaware," referring to reports about risks to coastal areas from accelerating sea-level rise, triggered by a warming atmosphere, warming ocean and the melting of global ice sheets.
The two researchers were part of a controversial report in 2007 disputing claims that polar bears were threatened by Arctic climate change.
Soon has promoted for years a controversial view that attributes recent warming not to carbon emissions but to fluctuations in solar intensity. But documents from his institute show that his research was underwritten almost entirely by fossil-fuel interests, including the Koch Foundation and the Southern Co.
Grijalva said Soon failed to properly disclose Big Oil's support for his work when he testified to Congress and at the state Legislature of Kansas – testimony that downplayed the seriousness of manmade climate change. "My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships," Grijalva wrote.
Putting David Legates in charge of the Climate Assessment takes Kakistocracy to a whole new level of absurd.