VIa the Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Writers John Siciliano and Josh Siegel
UNDER-WRAPS WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE PANEL MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY SOON:The White House is keeping the panel of climate change skeptics its developing under wraps, saying it is still in the formative stages, while sources advising the group say to expect an announcement soon on its exact purpose and direction.
The climate change panel is being developed within the National Security Council by one Dr. William Happer, a 79-year-old physicist by trade with a skeptical attitude toward manmade climate change.
The purpose and direction of the climate panel could go two ways: it could objectively look at the science of climate change to assess the threat of global warming to national security, or it can function as a sort of antagonistic rebuttal machine to take on the findings of government studies that demonstrate climate change as a serious threat.
The latter is what many believe to be true about the direction of Happer’s panel.
Yet, the deliberative process underway at the White House in creating the panel hasn’t given any definitive word on its status for months, since the news broke earlier this year that the National Security Council had taken up the project.
President Trump was scheduled on Wednesday to hear from Happer’s group of skeptics, while also hearing from critics of the Happer’s antagonistic direction.
Friends of Happer, and some advising the formation of the group, say they expect an announcement soon from the panel on its direction and structure.
One such confidant to Happer is Myron Ebell, the energy and environment director at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Ebell, who served as Trump’s EPA transition chief, says the panel has come under fire by the climate science community “because they’re scared of being exposed.”
He argues that climate science is not “normal science.” Instead, its conclusions are generated by consensus, and not achieved by the “usual scientific methods which involve productive disagreement at every stage.”
He expects Happer’s panel will provide that step-by-step “critical review,” where “the climate consensus cannot survive.”
Other sources with close White House ties tell John there may be more to say about the panel on Friday, although most were tight-lipped in divulging any details.
The decision to create the panel surfaced earlier this year in the wake of the U.S. National Climate Assessment and a recent U.N. climate panel report. Both called for aggressive action to combat the threat of global warming to the economy and the society at large.
The recent U.N. climate assessment formed the basis for much of what was later published in the progressive Green New Deal resolution.