Trump Taps Climate Change Denier as Energy Adviser

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is seeking to build out his policy proposals as he pivots from campaigning for his party’s nomination to a likely general election matchup with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Among those he has asked for help is U.S. Republican Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, one of the country’s most ardent oil and gas drilling advocates and climate change skeptics. North Dakota has been at the forefront of the U.S. shale oil and gas boom.

Trump’s team asked Cramer, who has endorsed Trump, to write a white paper, or detailed report, on his energy policy ideas, according to Cramer and sources familiar with the matter.

Cramer said in an interview that his white paper would emphasize the dangers of foreign ownership of U.S. energy assets, as well as what he characterized as burdensome taxes and over-regulation. Trump will have an opportunity to float some of the ideas at an energy summit in Bismarck, North Dakota on May 26, Cramer said.

The senator was also among a group of Trump advisers who recently met with lawmakers from Western energy states, who hope Trump will open more federal land for drilling, a lawmaker who took part in the meeting said.

A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign did not comment.

Environmental groups, and Clinton’s campaign, quickly attacked Trump for tapping Cramer.

“Kevin Cramer has consistently backed reckless and dangerous schemes to put the profits of fossil fuel executives before the health of the public, so he and Trump are a match made in polluter heaven,” Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce said in an emailed statement.

The Clinton campaign also criticized the move.

“Donald Trump’s choice of outspoken climate (change) denier Kevin Cramer to advise him on energy policy is just the latest piece of evidence that letting him get near the White House would put our children’s health and futures at risk,” said campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson.

Trump has been light on the details of his energy policy, though he recently told supporters in West Virginia that the coal industry would thrive if he were president. He has also claimed global warming is a concept “created by and for the Chinese” to hurt U.S. business.

Clinton, meanwhile, has advocated shifting the country to 50 percent clean energy by 2030, promised heavy regulation of fracking, and said her prospective administration would put coal companies “out of business.”

Reality

Climate change is real. It his happening. Humans are part of it. Fact.

If Donald Trump claims he is going to hire the best and brightest, why is hiring a man who is not a scientist but yet feels his opinion is stronger than a scientific consensus? To highlight the disconnect from facts let’s take a detailed look at Kevin Cramer’s claims during a recent radio show:

Kevin Cramer rejects the science that CO2 is a pollutant and a factor in global warming.

There is nothing in the scientific literature that can back up Kevin Cramer’s claim. On the contrary there is overwhelming scientific evidence that carbon dioxide [CO2] is a pollutant.

For anyone who disagrees with the empirical evidence that CO2 is a pollutant ask yourself; Would you ever think it is safe to breath in the exhaust from your car for an extended period of time? (Prius and Tesla owners pretend you have a Chevy.) You absolutely wouldn’t because tragically hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide [CO] poisoning. Along with carbon monoxide, cars release carbon dioxide [CO2], hydrocarbons [HC], nitrogen oxides [NOx], and other particulates which are all pollutants, contribute to climate change, and are harmful to your health.

Science has been aware that carbon in the atmosphere will retains heat for over 150 years. The year was 1859 to be exact, and it was scientist John Tyndall who made the discovery that carbon trapped heat. Then in 1896 Svante Arrhenius calculated that, based on this simple principle of physics, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise global temperatures. These discoveries are the cornerstones of climate science and in 150 years have yet to be disputed and instead continues to be confirmed by observation.

To explain further, the science, in short, says the following. CO2 lets through short wave light, the kind that passes through our atmosphere, but traps long wave radiation, the kind that is reflected and travels back into space. This experiment can be done in a laboratory, and should you have the time you could see it for yourself. The site at this link has compiled a list of just a handful of the published scientific papers of laboratory measurements of CO2 absorption properties, ranging from 1861 all the way up to 2008. Knowing this evidence, scientist reached a consensus a long time ago that CO2 is indeed a contributor to global warming.

Just to reiterate here, Kevin Cramer’s acceptance of science predates the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and the First Transcontinental Railroad. This is the equivalent trying to attack a state-of-the-art military drone with a Civil War era musket.

University of East Anglia Director Phil Jones admitted to falsifying temperature data

What Kevin Cramer is referencing here is the Climategate controversy, or more accurately, the manufactured controversy by climate deniers over leaked emails from scientists that turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. No really. There was 8 independent investigations into the allegations by the climate deniers and all 8 investigations found exactly 0 instances of fraud or falsification of records:

  1. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK)
  2. Independent Climate Change Review (UK);
  3. International Science Assessment Panel (UK)
  4. Pennsylvania State University first panel (US)
  5. Pennsylvania State University second panel (US)
  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency (US)
  7. Department of Commerce (US)
  8. National Science Foundation (US)

Kevin Cramer is simply repeating a long debunked conspiracy theory.

Temperature data collected by the University of East Anglia showed a downward trend

What Kevin Cramer is referring to is an email from University of East Anglia Director Phil Jones during the failed Climategate controversy where Jones mentions a “trick” to modify their temperature data.

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Looks damning doesn’t it? Of course it does. That’s why those who latched onto the Climategate controversy use it as exhibit A as their evidence. The problem here however is that their evidence was not the entire comment and instead was deceitfully taken out of context.

climategate-phil-jones-email-nature-trick

It turned out that Director Phil Jones was speaking about statistical proxies and a well-known phenomenon called the divergence problem. There is nothing controversial here at all. A scientist talking to other scientist about well-known and well-understood observations. You may ask why are the scientists modifying the data in the first place? Seems strange doesn’t it? No it doesn’t. If you’ve taken a class in Statistics you would learn that raw data requires normalization and standardization to prepare that data for modeling.

If you would like more detail, here is a wonderful video by an actual scientist explaining why climate deniers are wrong here.

In Conclusion

So the conclusion here is that Kevin Cramer is being dishonest as he failed to state a single fact. Either he is inept by only , he is lying, or he is willfully ignoring the overwhelming scientific evidence.

Here’s the thing about science, you don’t get to pick and choose what scientific facts you agree and disagree with based off of your own personal feelings.

For example, it is impossible to deny the scientific fact of gravity. You can read gravity-denalist articles all you want and believe in your heart-of-hearts that gravity is a conspiracy of gravity scientists. This will not change the fact that if you step off of a tall building you will surely fall to your own death. This is because the method that proves the scientific fact of man-made global climate change is the exact same method that proves the scientific fact of gravity.

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