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EPA Considering Public Climate Debate

by Countable | 12.15.17

What’s the story?

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is considering holding a public debate on the science relating to human-caused climate change

Pruitt said the EPA has been working for several months to set up a "red team, blue team" debate to provide Americans a “real-time review of questions and answers around this issue of CO2.”

Why does it matter?

As evidenced in Countable’s Tracking the EPA’s Actions, the agency has spent the past year rolling back Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming. Pruitt, President Donald Trump, and other senior members of the administration have repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide (CO2) from human-related activities is driving climate change.

In September, Pruitt told Fox News that "we know the climate's always changing. We know that humans contribute to it in some way. To what degree, to measure that with precision is very difficult, but we don't know is, are we in a situation where it's an existential threat."

Pruitt said a debate could help answer some of those questions.

"Bring scientists in, red team scientists, blue team scientists, have a discussion about the importance of this issue. The American people deserve that type of objective, transparent discussion."

Do you want to see a debate?

Earlier this month, Pruitt told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that "We may be able to get [a debate] as early as January next year." Want to see it? Have ideas for questions? Let Pruitt know:

(Nothing here? The widget to contact Pruitt is not available on iPhone, but you can access it on the Countable website.)

And make sure to hit Take Action and tell your reps.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: Iphotography / iStockphoto)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(227)
  • Mark
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Climate change is not a debate, it’s a scientific fact. It’s that simple. The short term economic gains from ignoring and denying such facts are far outweighed by the long term hazards this country and the world will face in the years to come. I fear the corruption and immorality of the Trump administration and the GOP will lead to the unnecessary loss of lives on a global scale.

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  • Eric
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Holding a debate on climate change??? That's not how science works! The evidence is in and is overwhelming. The evidence continues to come in and is consistently and objectively confirmed. We are able to use amazing technology to supply feedback on this stupid debate idea because science works. We are living longer, healthier lives because science works. Kleptocrats are trying to give tax breaks to people who own jets. Know why those jets fly? Not because we held debates on Newton's laws of motion. It's because science works!

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  • Rebecca
    12/15/2017
    ···

    This is ridiculous. Perhaps future “debates” will feature physicists vs. flat earthers, chemists vs. alchemists, doctors vs. Christian scientists, and evolutionary biologists vs. young earth creationists. Or we could embrace science and use it to craft regulations. It’s not a crazy idea. Lots of countries do it that way, and they aren’t the laughingstock of the world!

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  • Griffin
    12/15/2017
    ···

    I will only be in favor of this debate if the side arguing that climate change is an imminent, man-made problem gets 97% of the floor time, corresponding with the 97% of scientific studies that arrive at the same conclusion.

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  • Tim
    12/15/2017
    ···

    This isn’t an issue of debate unless you want to set teams up proportionately for 98 scientists who believe in climate change against 2 that don’t. This is a ruse to misrepresent that representation

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  • Scott
    12/15/2017
    ···

    If Scott Pruitt has evidence to the contrary, let him publish it in a peer reviewed journal, that is how the scientific process works these days. He should have plenty of resources to get many articles published if he has the data (which we know he does not).

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  • Donna
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Really? This is how we are going to resolve our climate change issue? With an Apprentice-type reality photo op? He fired all the scientists. He rolled back the Clean Air Plan. He released mining companies from their financial responsibility to clean up their own toxic messes. He is rolling back more regulations than we can track. Now he thinks he can 'settle' the debate of raging wildfires across the west, rising sea levels in the east, hurricanes in the gulf and droughts everywhere with The Apprentice? Save my tax dollars. This planet is screwed until this administration is gone.

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  • Abbi
    12/15/2017
    ···

    I'd much rather we have real science in charge at the EPA. Besides if Ajit Pai and the GOP tax scam taught me anything this open to the public thing is really only a show and no one cares what we think.

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  • Elyse
    12/15/2017
    ···

    I definitely don't trust Scott Pruitt to set up an honest debate about this issue. It sounds like political ploy to make both sides seem like they stand on equal footing, when clearly climate change deniers have no sound evidence to stand on and his terrible decisions made at the EPA so far are to protect wealthy investors in the oil and gas industries.

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  • Alex
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Drinking game idea: take a shot every time somebody prefaces some irrelevant anecdote about it being cold outside with “I’m not a scientist but...”

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  • Sylvan
    12/15/2017
    ···

    It’s appallingly clear Pruitt doesn’t understand how science works. Science is not, nor will it ever be, a matter of opinion. In the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson, “The good thing about Science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”

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  • John
    12/15/2017
    ···

    The majority of scientists already are in agreement about human-caused climate change. This is another Republican attempt to legitimize a fringe position & give it equal weight with science. There’s been enough talk. ACT TO PRESERVE THE PLANET!

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  • Dave
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Coal is being replaced with cheaper energy in general, the Conversation should be how we get the coal miners re-educate , up to speed to build the energy and live style of the future, Not leave them behind! Building clean energy and environment will create jobs and help the world.

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  • William
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Pruitt is simply putting up a smoke screen to look concerned but actually wants to BURY the climate change issue in endless “studies”!! DON’T BE FOOLED!!! CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!!! TRUMP - impeachment or Amendment 25, Section 4 , NOW!!!!

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  • Patrick
    12/15/2017
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    There’s already been a red team / blue team debate. It’s called science.

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  • Rebecca
    12/15/2017
    ···

    NO. The public doesn’t get to decide whether climate change is real. We are seeing it now, with two disastrous hurricanes and wildfires. We have to ACT, or the world will be inhospitable for humanity.

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  • Wynsum
    12/15/2017
    ···

    While I like the idea of a publicized broadcast to inform the American public of issues regarding climate, I am wary of Pruitt’s intention to set it up as a “red team scientists” vs “blue team scientists”. Science is not about political party, and any credible scientist will base their conclusions off of data and evidence, regardless or political leaning. Science is impartial, so the very notion of taking sides over scientific issues is worrisome and will likely lead to deep seated bias in scientist selection and information presented, and that is precisely the opposite that we’re seeking to accomplish.

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  • Leslie
    12/15/2017
    ···

    Good, no matter what party you belong to, or refuse to belong to, failing to support clean air, water and soil will lead to YoUR death. War raging all around the globe destroying habitats, choosing to use dirty energy when we have the capacity to switch to clean, and ignoring the death of species and diversity are sins of mankind brought upon the earth. The earth will survive, we are the ones choosing to create our own demise.

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  • Ticktock
    12/15/2017
    ···

    A debate sponsored by an admitted climate change doubter is to be trusted? Scientists all over the world from many different countries, cultures, disciplines and backgrounds have provided quantifiable evidence of environmental change and the proof of human responsibility. We are now in the sixth great extinction event and proof has been provided that shows that humans are the driver. Politicians nor lay persons have more knowledge or expertise in this area but yet it is they who dispute scientific evidence not because they have proof to rebut evidence to the contrary but because it is inconvenient financially. This extinction event may well in the end take humans but the time we are and have waisted may have been the margin needed to save ourselves. For a lay person and politician like Scott Pruitt to single handedly defy and jeopardize our civilization is disgusting.

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  • Mark
    12/16/2017
    ···

    Fine- have this debate. Not in front of Congress, not in front of Pruitt, not in front of the President. Have it in front of scientific societies and communities around the world. They are able to understand and evaluate the debate, not Pruitt, not Congress, and certainly not the President. Believe it or not, that is NOT a slam of their intelligence. There are many smart people who are not well versed in science- why ask them to decide the debate? Let the experts decide and then LISTEN to the consensus that will emerge.

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