by Axios | 12.3.18
President Trump's status as one of the last holdouts on climate change has been decades in the making. And now the world is seeing the results.
What's happening: When the G20 leaders put out their statement Saturday reaffirming their commitment to the Paris climate accord, the United States was the only nation that didn't sign it. Trump has said he will withdraw from the deal, but he technically can’t until 2020 — in fact, the day after the presidential election. And Trump and his top aides have been disputing their own government’s report on climate change to a remarkable degree.
Why it matters: Trump's position has been years in the making.
Here is a snapshot of some notable influencers in the Trump era who push inaccurate information on climate change — including disputing that humans have a big role (we do) and dismissing Earth's temperature rise as a problem (it is).
Both men helped run Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency, and their positions on climate change are among those that most dispute the scientific consensus.
For the record:
Certain conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, including Ebell’s group and the Heartland Institute, have been pushing misinformation about climate science for decades. This E&E News story from October showed the White House reached out to the Heartland Institute for insight, whose work has concluded climate change isn't a problem.
For the record: James Taylor, a senior fellow at the institute, said by phone: “I think your reporting is inaccurate.”
Murray, who operates the largest privately held coal producer in the U.S. and is close to Trump, says Democrats are pushing a false narrative for political purposes.
Some oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, have in the past funded organizations that push misinformation about climate change.
For the record: A request for comment to Exxon wasn’t returned.
The Republican has been one of the most vocal politicians seeking to dispute climate science consensus. In a 2012 MSNBC interview, Inhofe said he initially thought climate change “must be true until I found out what it would cost.”
For the record: Inhofe said through a spokeswoman that he doesn't think the extent of humans' role is settled.
The bottom line: On climate science, there aren't two reasonable sides. One is the scientific consensus, and the other is a small but vocal faction of people trying to fight it.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Written by Axios
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