Question authority

Who is Myron Ebell? He’s a climate change denialist who directs environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

(What’s the Competitive Enterprise Institute? Let’s ask SourceWatch:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is a advocacy group based in Washington DC with long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns and more recently to climate change denial. It calls itself “a non-profit, non-partisan research and advocacy institute dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace.”[1] The Competitive Enterprise Institute is an “associate” member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.[2])

Why do we need to know who Myron Ebell is? I bet you can guess.

In looking for someone to follow through on his campaign vow to dismantle one of the Obama administration’s signature climate change policies, President-elect Donald J. Trump probably could not have found a better candidate for the job than Mr. Ebell.

Mr. Ebell, who revels in taking on the scientific consensus on global warming, will be Mr. Trump’s lead agent in choosing personnel and setting the direction of the federal agencies that address climate change and environmental policy more broadly.

Mr. Ebell, whose organization is financed in part by the coal industry, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the linchpin of that policy, the Clean Power Plan. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the plan is a far-reaching set of regulations that, by seeking to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation, could result in the closing of many coal-burning power plants, among other effects.

So…sorry kids and grandkids. Sorry everybody who won’t be dying in the next two or three decades. Donald Trump and Myron Edell would rather protect the immediate profits of the coal industry and other carbon-emitting industries than worry about your late-to-the-party asses.

Mr. Ebell, who did not respond to a request for an interview, grew up on a ranch in Oregon. He got his undergraduate degree at Colorado College and master’s at the London School of Economics, where he studied under the conservative political philosopher Michael Oakeshott. He has described himself as “sort of a contrarian by nature and upbringing,” and has said he was very strongly influenced by the “question authority” ethos of 1960s and ’70s counterculture.

“I really think that people should be suspicious of authority,” he told an interviewer last year. “The more you’re told that you have to believe something, the more you should question it.”

Right, and the coal industry is the epitome of that “question authority” ethos of the 1960s and ’70s counterculture. All the critical thinkers work for the coal industry, and the mindless authoritarian dogmatists are found only among climate scientists.

This is Trump draining the swamp again.

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