CIA Director Designate Evasive on Climate Change

January 13, 2017

Climate Central:

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), President-elect Trump’s pick to head the CIA, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, during which he refused to answer whether he accepts the overwhelming evidence that climate change is occurring, let alone that it represents a threat to global stability.

Pompeo has previously referred to the Paris Agreement as a “radical climate change deal” and heavily implied that terrorism and climate change are separate issues. That’s a view that is not in line with the Pentagon, which has said that climate change poses “immediate risks.”

Pompeo has also cast doubt on the findings from the vast majority of climate scientists.

“Look, I think the science needs to continue to develop,” he said during a 2013 C-SPAN appearance. “I’m happy to continue to look at it. There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change. There’s some who think we’re warming, there’s some who think we’re cooling, there’s some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment.”

These statements stand in stark contrast to reality. The global average temperature has risen roughly 2°F since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and an overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists agree that’s due to human carbon pollution. All 10 of the world’s hottest years have occurred since 1998.

By standing by his statements, Pompeo is signalling that climate change is unlikely to be a priority at the CIA if he’s confirmed. That could leave the CIA without crucial context as it evaluates threats around the world.

“Climate change has contributed to the emergence of civil war, refugee flows and other elements of instability,” Marc Levy, the deputy director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, told Climate Central last year.

Later in Thursday’s hearing, Harris pressed Pompeo on if he would accept the science of climate change when presented with evidence.

“Will you . . . defer to that evidence even if it requires you to change a previously held position that may have been politically helpful to you?” she asked.

“Senator, you have my commitment to that. I’m an engineer by training,” he replied. “Facts and data matter, and you have my assurance if I’m confirmed in my role as CIA director, I will look at the evidence and give a straight-up answer to you and all the policymakers to whom I have a responsibility.”

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14 Responses to “CIA Director Designate Evasive on Climate Change”


  1. A lot of the science skeptics are paid hacks by the oil industry. These are the much lower skilled and sell their souls type for the all mighty greenback.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Since we’re citing Wikipedia on so-called science skeptics today, we should balance it out with a citation to what the “paid by the oil industry hacks” think about AGW.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveys_of_scientists'_views_on_climate_change

    • schwadevivre Says:

      Nice way to lose a scientific argument – cite Wikipedia as your only source. Now let’s look at the list.

      It is divided into:

      1 Scientists questioning the accuracy of IPCC climate projections (22 entries)
      2 Scientists arguing that global warming is primarily caused by natural processes (27)
      3 Scientists arguing that the cause of global warming is unknown (11)
      4 Scientists arguing that global warming will have few negative consequences (4)

      Note that this is a miniscule number, 64 in total. They are probably outnumbered by the number of scientists who are young earth creationists.

      Many of them are unqualified in geochemistry or any type of atmospheric dynamics. Of those that do have such qualifications many are not current in the field. Some are employed directly or otherwise funded by the fossil fuel industry.


      • Go one step farther and look at the number of references at the bottom. There are 176 references.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          176 REFERENCES! WOW! And my wife and I have 40 fingers and toes between us! And 37 of them have never been broken! WOW again!

          I was going to suggest that schwaD was being a bit hard on you and that your head and heart were basically in the right place, but your naivete has trapped you again and made you look foolish. Go two steps further and try to access some of those so-called “references”, and you’ll find they don’t exist anymore. Go three steps further and look at the names in those references and you’ll find that the deniers are WAY overrepresented—-the “references” are only any good if you want to read denier bullshit. Go four steps further and look them up individually by name at a site like desmoglblog, and see for yourself what schwaD is pointing out about “qualifications”. Look particularly at the Nobel Prize winners, the vast majority of whom won their Nobels in fields that have NOTHING to do with climate science.


          • I suggested it as a start to the conversation. I did not present the whole conversation nor do I intend to in the comments section.

          • schwadevivre Says:

            Not to mention that several of those listed are quite conflicted. Check the history of the botanist David Bellamy. He is pretty famous for his work in conservation and infamous in the UK both for his eccentricities and his association with the Referendum Party, an early version of the Brexit Campaign.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      list of “Dead scientists” always impressive

      • dumboldguy Says:

        LOL. Even if their hearts are still beating and their lungs are still breathing, many are “brain dead” either through senility or political brainwashing. There is little science left in what they do.


  2. I have a degree in engineering tech and it is now quite easy to tell that humans are 100% responsible for 100% of the warming on earth. This is one blind engineer by training.

    “Senator, you have my commitment to that. I’m an engineer by training,” he replied. “Facts and data matter, and you have my assurance if I’m confirmed in my role as CIA director, I will look at the evidence and give a straight-up answer to you and all the policymakers to whom I have a responsibility.”

    • webej Says:

      People like this guy think politically. Any matter of substance is judged operationally, not in terms of its merits: it’s a matter of what kind of people are endorsing it, can you earn success or demerit points by going with it or against it, etc. You can turn them in a heart beat if you can convince them that it is politically suicidal to be against climate science, and convince them to pose with the other side if there are brownie points in doing so.

  3. indy222 Says:

    Hansen is right, in his latest interview in “Rolling Stone”. We need a revolutionary change in our political economic system. This patient asking for help from our politicians by too many liberals of a kind and gentle nature, has sold out our future by inaction.

  4. ubrew12 Says:

    “I’m an engineer by training” This is the testimony of somebody who has been holding his finger up to the wind for decades. He’ll tell you whatever you want to know. No self-respecting engineer would take those positions, a full 120 years after Svante Arrhenius (no slouch in the field of thermodynamics) formally declared Global Warming to be a recognized Scientific reality.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Pompeo’s training as am engineer was at West Point, hardly a hot bed of engineerng and science excellence, and he used it little on his way to a law degree and “morph” into a right wing Tea Party ideologue. Don’t count on him to apply any real reasoning to the problems that face us.


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