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Myron Ebell, Professional Climate Change Denier, is Likely to Become EPA Head

2016-11-18

Myron Ebell, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), has no training or experience in any branch of science, yet he has been loudly denying that climate change exists for many years, and President-elect Donald is likely to nominate him to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Ebell’s influence on Donald is entirely mysterious to me; perhaps a reader can explain what the connection is.  Donald appears to believe that climate-change-denial is a popular point of view, at least among Republicans/conservatives.

Mr. Ebell’s professional experience has been as a hit man for Republican Congressmen who deny the science of anthropogenic climate change (AGW.)  From “Inside Climate News” (November 16):

CEI’s biggest funder, pouring in $9.1 million between 2002 and 2013, was the Florida-based Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking. Run by futures trader William Dunn, the foundation is a major donor to free market think tanks…

The second largest funder, with $5 million since 2004, is Donors Trust, which has been called the “dark money ATM of the conservative movement.”

This week it [the CEI] listed three executive orders  [link to CEI publication] exemplifying those that should be deep-sixed. (They involve energy conservation by the federal government, international development aid and protection of infrastructure from climate impacts.)

John H. Cushman Jr., author of the above piece, went on to quote Meg Whitman as saying that Myron Ebell is likely to have much greater influence now and that Donald will probably keep his promises about defanging the EPA because it is generally seen by the public (thanks to the mercenary efforts of Ebell and others) as “the source of all evil.”

From a PBS Frontline presentation titled, “Climate of Doubt”(October 23, 2012):

Sen. JOHN KERRY (D), Massachusetts: Well, American politics is being completely defined by huge sums of money. We had really a very broad coalition of people who believed that we ought to move forward and do something. But as the campaign and the fear built up, people began to retreat.

They spent huge sums of money in a campaign of major disinformation that had an impact, had a profound impact. And it has now made many people in public life very gunshy because they’re afraid of having those amounts of money spent against them.

Donors Trust is an example of the relatively new, anonymously funded organizations that support “global warming skeptics” like Americans for Prosperity and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  With hidden sources for large amounts of money, the “skeptics” are able to sow doubt and fear among the people.  They equate the AGW hypothesis with Marxism, without explaining how, and threaten the people with the specter of “government takeover” and economic disaster– without ever bothering to tell how acceptance of the AGW hypothesis could cause economic collapse.

They targeted Republican House members who accepted the AGW hypothesis, no matter how conservative otherwise, and forced them out of office with campaigns of misinformation and intimidation.  People like George Bush, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and John McCain changed their stance on global warming because of these campaigns, and have ceased to agree with AGW.  Even President Obama, during his 2012 campaign, made little mention of the issue because it had become so politically poisonous.

Bob Inglis was a six-term conservative Republican Congressman who accepted the AGW hypothesis, and he was soundly defeated in a primary that was marked by a well-funded campaign to sow denial among the people.  Again, from the PBS Frontline show “Climate of Doubt”:

BOB INGLIS: When you get the financial collapse going, that’s what made it possible for some well-spent money to blow doubt into the science because, you know, the bankers failed us, the federal government is failing us, it’s spending too much money, and these scientists who are funded by that federal government, they’re probably in it, too. And besides, they’re godless liberals.

MYRON EBELL, Competitive Enterprise Institute: Bob Inglis was defeated in a Republican primary 79 to 21 percent. Now, how many times has an incumbent who isn’t in prison or facing a prison sentence lost his own primary by 79 to 21 percent? This was overwhelming. But what’s happened is—

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [on camera] The smile on your face suggests, “Man, we won one.”

MYRON EBELL: Of course we won one!

Myron Ebell is one of the people who used dark money to defeat Republican Congressmen who wouldn’t become denialists.

Rep. JAMES SENSENBRENNER: That was a very key factor in 10 to 15 congressional districts in the 2010 election, where strong supporters of climate change legislation ended up being defeated.

Sen. JOHN KERRY: And there’s nothing like a loss in an election to promote fear in the survivors. And that’s exactly what happened in the United States Congress.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: Beyond Washington, in wave after wave, the skeptic tactic of fighting scientific warnings with doubt and delay was finding success. Tennessee passed a law allowing the views of climate change skeptics to be taught in schools. A Virginia state legislator cut the words “sea level rise” from an official request to study coastal communities, calling it a left-wing term.

Here in North Carolina, a warning from scientists on sea level rise would cause politicians to try and legislate climate change out of existence.

Now, Myron Ebell, a professional climate change denier with no scientific credentials, is likely to become the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald.

JOHN HOCKENBERRY: [voice-over] With money from their oil and gas holdings, David Koch and his brother Charles, along with other powerful family foundations, have quietly become the venture capitalists of this free market ideology.

DAVID KOCH: The American dream of free enterprise capitalism is alive and well.

ROBERT BRULLE, Sociologist: The major funders of the climate counter-movement are ideologically-driven foundations that are very much concerned about conservative values and world views.

These conservatives are only concerned with filling their own wallets and preventing any government action that might limit their take.  They have no concern for the welfare of society generally or the prosperity of the average person; they could not care less about full employment or living wages.   Their philosophy is entirely selfish, even narcissistic.  This extends beyond the welfare of society to the welfare of the environment– they have no feelings about maintaining a healthy ecosystem.  The philosophy of these conservatives is profoundly destructive to people and to the planet.

 

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