One Team, Two Team, Blue Team, Brown Team

March 12, 2018


Scott Pruitt narrowly avoided embarrassing himself and everyone concerned when John Kelly and others pulled the plug on Pruitt’s proposed “Red Team – Blue Team” re-litigation of climate science.

Of course, the actual debate on climate has been conducted in the scientific literature over the last 150 years. Stefan Rahmstorf explains below.

New York Times:

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has killed an effort by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to stage public debates challenging climate change science, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, thwarting a plan that had intrigued President Trump even as it set off alarm bells among his top advisers.

The idea of publicly critiquing climate change on the national stage has been a notable theme for Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the E.P.A. For nearly a year he has championed the notion of holding military-style exercises known as red team, blue team debates, possibly to be broadcast live, to question the validity of climate change.

Mr. Pruitt has spoken personally with Mr. Trump about the idea, and the president expressed enthusiasm for it, according to people familiar with the conversations.

But the plan encountered widespread resistance within the administration from Mr. Kelly and other top officials, who regarded it as ill-conceived and politically risky, and when Mr. Pruitt sought to announce it last fall, they weighed in to stop him. At a mid-December meeting set up by Mr. Kelly’s deputy, Rick Dearborn, to discuss the plan, Mr. Dearborn made it clear that his boss considered the idea “dead,” and not to be discussed further, according to people familiar with the meeting. All spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe internal White House deliberations and meetings.

During that meeting, according to two attendees and a third person briefed on the discussion, administration officials and White House aides were in agreement that Mr. Pruitt’s idea was unwise. Their main concern was that a public debate on science — particularly on an issue as politically charged as the warming of the planet — could become a damaging spectacle, creating an unnecessary distraction from the steps the administration has taken to slash environmental regulations enacted by former President Barack Obama.

In other words they didn’t want a sideshow distraction while they dismantle environmental protections under the radar – insuring a thousand new Flints and Love Canals.

The “Red Team” idea was so poorly conceived that even climate denial sweethearts like Judith Curry and John Christy find it embarrassing.


Reposting from 10/8/17:

“Quite elderly”. “Third Rate”.

And that’s what their friends are saying.


Redshirt is a term used by fans and staff of Star Trek to refer partially to the characters who wear red Starfleet uniforms, and mainly to refer to those characters who are expendable, and quite often killed, sometimes in great numbers, often security guards, or an engineer.


U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faces a predicament: If he picks certain climate skeptics for an attempt to poke holes in mainstream climate science, he risks alienating others and undermining the entire effort.

Yesterday, lists of candidates that a conservative think tank is promoting for the climate “red team” were made public by an advocacy group. The lists were sent to EPA by the Heartland Institute, according to the environmental group Climate Investigations Center, and include names of dozens of scientists and economists skeptical of mainstream climate science whom conservatives want to be part of the effort. Pruitt has repeatedly said that he wants to put climate science through a red-team, blue-team approach, modeled after a military exercise designed to expose planning flaws.

If he goes ahead with the climate red team, its roster will be critically important to how its findings are ultimately viewed. And some of the candidates on the list suggested they won’t participate if others are on board.

The Heartland roundup includes some scientists who have had research published in mainstream journals, but it also heavily relies on emeritus researchers, lawyers and self-funded hobbyists.


Others have published books like “Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left” or “Climate Realism: Alarmism Exposed.” Joe Bastardi, who’s on the list, is a meteorologist who often appears on Fox News to discuss his skeptical views and who has also made a name for himself debating climate activist Bill Nye. Others hold advanced degrees in mechanical engineering, nuclear physics or other fields not related to climatology. Some of those on the list said they were not even consulted before their names were forwarded.

Also included on the lists are some scientists with a long history of peer-reviewed research, such as Judith Curry, a former professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Both told E&E News yesterday that they had not been contacted by EPA to work on the red team, which they would only do if they viewed it as a serious effort.



6 Responses to “One Team, Two Team, Blue Team, Brown Team”

  1. Keith McClary Says:

    The names on the Heartland list of scientists are almost entirely Anglo-Euro.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    Chief spokesman for the brown team:

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Where are their brown shirts?

    • Sir Charles Says:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      -Joseph Goebbels

  4. insuring a thousand new Flints and Love Canals.

    How much are the insurance premiums?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      LOL Peter was trying to “assure” you that the actions of the Trump kleptocracy “ensure” future environmental disasters, and the premiums to “insure” against this happening can be found in the bottom lines of the Kochs, Exxon, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, etc.

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