Judge to Pruitt on Climate Denial: Put Up or Shut Up

June 6, 2018

Above, latest jaw-dropping scandal for Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s EPA chief.
He used his position to try to secure a Chik-Fill-A franchise for his wife.
Let me repeat: He used his position to try to secure a Chik-Fill-A franchise for his wife.

Let that sink in.


Meanwhile, a judge is not having Pruitt’s statements that “no one knows” whether humans are prime movers behind climate change.

Boing Boing:

Embattled EPA Director Scott Pruitt went on national TV to announce on behalf of the US government that “I would not agree [CO2 is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see… There’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of the impact [of] human activity on the climate.”

So the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the EPA to turn over documents Pruitt relied on to form this view, which is wildly out of step with the scientific consensus.

Instead of complying, the EPA refused, so PEER sued. In court, the EPA argued that complying with the request would be unduly burdensome, consuming “countless hours researching and analyzing a vast trove of material on the effect of human activity on climate change” which is “a subjective assessment upon which reasonable minds can differ.”

The judge ruled against the EPA and slammed them in his decision, calling the EPA’s response an “epistemological smokescreen” that was “both misplaced and troubling.”

Pruitt is a trumpist and thus a subscriber to Norman Vincent Peale’s fake it till you make it doctrine in which you just insist that you are right until you are either revealed to be right or you get bored and start claiming you’re right about something else, or possibly until you die.

“The agency asks ‘how is one to even know precisely what documents one relies on in forming one’s beliefs?’” the judge wrote in her brief. “As the plaintiff points out, however, nothing in the FOIA request seeks information ‘about Administrator Pruitt’s beliefs or how they were formed.’” Instead, the FOIA only requests any agency documents that the administrator relied on to formulate his public statement.

The judge also called it “particularly troubling” that the EPA argued that evidence for a factual statement by the Administrator can be unknowable. “EPA’s strained attempt to raise an epistemological smokescreen will not work here to evade its obligations under the FOIA,” Judge Howell wrote.

The judge also accused the EPA of engaging in “a thinly veiled effort to make the request more complex and burdensome than it is.” Howell concluded: “When the head of an agency makes a public statement that appears to contradict ‘the published research and conclusions of’ that agency, the FOIA provides a valuable tool for citizens… Compliance with such a request would help ‘ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society.’”

I made the video below following administration statements expressing doubt about consensus science. See archival footage from climate experts predicting effects of climate change in the 1980s, before many effects had even been observed.
Ask yourself how well experts understand the phenomena.


10 Responses to “Judge to Pruitt on Climate Denial: Put Up or Shut Up”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    If this doesn’t finish Pruitt, nothing ever will. Trump can then delegate him to shoot Jeff Sessions in broad daylight in front of the White House, and he likely won’t even be prosecuted—-even if he is, Kim Kardashian can wiggle her butt in front of Trump and Pruitt will get pardoned.

    One plus is that Chick-fil-A now won’t have a franchise displaying a sign with a chickun saying “Eat mor s**t sanwitches” (recipe provided by an old Oklahoma family).

    (And I sympathize with Chick-fil-A—-they have the best food and the best service of any fast food restaurant I’ve ever visited. I wonder if Pruitt’s wife thought of them because the company is so “Christian”—they are even closed on Sunday, something almost unheard of any more, and costly to their bottom line).

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    That’s gonna be interesting. Also in Scientific American => Judge Orders EPA to Produce Science behind Pruitt’s Warming Claims

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Meanwhile, two Republican congressmen are using a U.S. House committee to investigate the Natural Resources Defense Council—a group that has repeatedly sued the Trump administration over climate policy rollbacks—saying it may be under “undue influence” by the government of China. The NRDC works in China and other countries to promote clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use.

    => GOP Congressmen Launch ‘Foreign Agent’ Probe Over NRDC’s China Program

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