Saturday, June 9, 2018

Judge to Pruitt: Show the evidence for your climate denial

Pruitt's used mattressEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt receiving a special delivery from Greenpeace

From the DAILY KOS:

Remember last March, when Pruitt’s scandal du jour wasn’t about trying to get himself a used mattress or his wife a fast food gig or wasting money on fancy pens or any of the other 10 scandals this month? Remember when all we were concerned about was how he said climate change wasn’t caused by human activity?
As it turns out, a federal judge hasn’t let herself be distracted by the increasingly outrageous revelations against Pruitt from that original concern. On Friday, US District Court judge Beryl Howell ordered the EPA to produce the evidence upon which Pruitt based his comments.
This could be a tall order, because, of course, there is no good evidence to suggest humans aren’t driving climate change. At least none solid enough to hold up in court.
But tobacco lobbyist-turned-fossil-fuel-defender-turned-shadow-EPA-admin Steve Milloy isn’t worried. He suggested on Twitter that Heartland’s climate report is all the proof Pruitt needs for the judge.
Unfortunately for Milloy, a quick Google on that report brings up all sorts of reasons why it’s not going to pass any sort of courtroom scrutiny. Despite being named after the IPCC, Heartlands Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report clearly lacks the credibility of its namesake. And it doesn’t take a law degree and years on the judicial bench to smell the BS: the school teachers who received the report in a mass spamming last year quickly saw through the sham.
As well they should. Heartland has issued NIPCC reports for years now and the content of each report relies on already-debunked denier talking points. For example, RealClimate debunked the 2008 report by pointing to pre-existing rebuttals. The 2009 and 2011 reports were overrun with cherrypicks, the 2013 report was zombie science, 2014’s was a joke, and 2016 took a fruitless run at the consensus.
And let’s not forget that deniers have already tried, and failed, to prove their denial in court. Perhaps, then, the courtroom will house the Red Team attack on climate science Pruitt has long tried to get going. But instead of being used to attack regulations, Pruitt will be playing defense.
Looks like Pruitt might get a chance to go to the (used) mattresses after all.
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