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‘The Fauci of climate change’: Gina McCarthy is in charge of Biden’s massive climate agenda

By Ella Nilsen

New White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy has never been one to worry about what she can’t control.

In 2017, McCarthy watched as the Trump administration moved to dismantle her signature work as Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator, the Clean Power Plan. Even though glaciers were melting faster than scientists anticipated, oceans were warming at an alarming rate, and the United States was getting hammered by deadly hurricanes and wildfires, Trump was doing the opposite of fixing the problem. He pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, slashed environmental regulations, and installed fossil fuel lobbyists in top environmental posts.

All of this was devastating for many climate experts. But McCarthy wasn’t demoralized. “If you can’t do something about this shit, then stop worrying about it! Let’s just do what we can do!” a characteristically blunt McCarthy told HBO host Bill Maher in 2019 in her Boston accent.

Four years after she told an EPA staff shell-shocked by Trump’s win to “keep your asses in your seats” and weather the Trump storm, McCarthy is back in control. Just days before she was announced as Biden’s new climate czar, McCarthy said on a panel that “it’s time to get our Anthony Fauci of the environment,” returning science and facts to the EPA and other agencies. Now McCarthy is not just tasked with providing clear, science-based information about climate change to the public; she’s in charge of pushing the entire government to adapt as well.