A decision of courage and fortitude

Scott Pruitt wants to stage a “debate” about climate change, on the grounds that nobody has discussed the things that in fact many many people have been discussing in great detail for decades. Exactly like Trump, Pruitt is stupid and uninformed enough to think that if he is unaware of X that means X doesn’t exist. That takes profound stupidity and ignorance. It’s a pity that someone that stupid and ignorant, as well as ideologically opposed to environmental protections, is head of the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the early stages of launching a debate about climate change that could air on television – challenging scientists to prove the widespread view that global warming is a serious threat, the head of the agency said.

The move comes as the administration of President Donald Trump seeks to roll back a slew of Obama-era regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, and begins a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement – a global pact to stem planetary warming through emissions cuts.

“There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered (about climate change),” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

No there aren’t. There are likely plenty of questions that haven’t been answered definitively, but that’s the nature of science and of inquiry in general. Definitive answers are often not possible, and definitive answers that never change are even more often not possible, because as conditions change they render existing answers incomplete or wrong. But of course Pruitt is just bullshitting; what he means is that there aren’t enough answers of the form “Everything is fine and we don’t need to change our practices at all.”

While acknowledging the planet is warming, Pruitt says he questions the gravity of the problem and the need for regulations that require companies to take costly measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

“It is a question about how much we contribute to it. How do we measure that with precision? And by the way, are we on an unsustainable path? And is it causing an existential threat?” he said in the interview.

And we’re meant to think that no one has asked those questions? Give me a break.

Since taking up his role at EPA, he has emerged as one of the more prolific Trump cabinet appointees, taking steps to undo more than two dozen regulations, and influencing Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate change deal, agreed by nearly 200 countries in 2015.

Pruitt rejected global criticism of the United States for pulling out of the climate deal, which Trump has said would have cost America trillions of dollars without benefit.

“We have nothing to be apologetic about,” Pruitt said. “It was absolutely a decision of courage and fortitude and truly represented an America First strategy with respect to how we are leading on this issue.”

Here’s a news flash: you can’t “lead” by saying “Me First.” That’s a non-starter. If the US is going to be the land of “we do what’s good for us and fuck all the rest of you” then it’s not going to “lead” anything, because the fuckees are going to go their own way.

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