Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wants scientists to debate the science of climate change, possibly on television.
Pruitt’s idea, outlined to Reuters, is part of a program he’s organizing to challenge the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, including that human activity via greenhouse gases is far and away the primary cause of global warming.
“There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered,” Pruitt said regarding climate science.
“Who better to do that than a group of scientists … getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see,” he said, according to Reuters.
Asked if the debate should happen on television, Pruitt continued, “I think so. I think so. I mean, I don’t know yet, but you want this to be open to the world. You want this to be on full display. I think the American people would be very interested in consuming that. I think they deserve it.”
Pruitt’s boss, President Trump, was a well-known reality television star before running for president, having hosted “The Apprentice” for more than a decade.
As outlined late last month, Pruitt wants the climate critique program to take the form of a “red team/blue team” exercise common in military and intelligence circles.
In those exercises, a team is tasked specifically with opposing the dominant viewpoint to fight flaws.
Pruitt has been an outspoken skeptic of climate science. But he has stated that he believes the climate is changing and humans contribute to some extent.
Nonetheless, he has acted to roll back nearly all of former President Barack Obama’s climate change rules, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and rules to restrict methane pollution. And as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt led multiple lawsuits against the Obama administration’s environmental regulations.
Scientists and environmentalists were largely dismissive of Pruitt’s “red team/blue team” idea, saying that years of peer review and other organized efforts to study the climate have thoroughly examined the science and potential flaws.