Donald Trump appoints climate skeptic at Ocean and Atmosphere Agency

Donald Trump has placed a new climate skeptic in an administration that funds a lot of environmental research. David Legates, a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware who does not attribute the warming of the Earth to the combustion of fossil fuels, became one of the persons in charge of the NOAA, the administration in charge of the ocean and the atmosphere. If he does not become the general manager either, the revelation of this appointment last weekend by the NPR public radio channel provoked a new outcry against the environmental policies of the President of the United States.

David Legates. The Heartland Institute

The appointment of David Legates comes, in the midst of the campaign for the election of the President of the United States, at a time when California and Oregon are suffering the most important forest fires since 1987. And Donald Trump assures us that these disasters have not nothing to do with climate change …

A “Appointment that undermines the scientific integrity of NOAA” , the American Geophysical Union

L’American Geophysical Unione (AGU), a powerful learned society that chaperones, among other things, climatology, deplored an appointment whose “consequences will be felt around the world». Car «with climate change causing wildfires in the western United States and devastating hurricanes in the Atlantic, our nation – and the world – cannot afford for our federal government to undermine the important work of climate scientists. The Legates appointment not only threatens our ability to fight the climate crisis and protect our planet for future generations, it undermines the scientific integrity of NOAALaments the AGU. Scientists are thus calling for therevocation» de David Legates.

In the meantime, the scientist becomes the deputy of Neil Jacobs, which was notably in charge of airborne measurements at the World Meteorological Organization, and which oversees strategic research directions and annual investments of over $ 5.5 billion.

Links with the oil industry

David Legates is linked to the interests of the oil lobby in the United States. In 2011, he had to give up his role as chief climatologist of the State of Delaware, under pressure from the Democratic governor, because he had doubted the impact of fossil fuels, particularly in the rise in sea levels, report it Washington Post. In addition, the scientist is linked to the Heartland Institute, a think tank funded by the oil industry. The “think tank” has vigorously attacked NPR article. The latter calls into question the skills of its author, qualified as“Ignorant journalist, funded by taxpayers, who ignores the scientific method” and who confuses “Science and dogma”.

The position to which David Legates has been appointed does not require the approval of the United States Senate, as is the case with some key positions in several administrations.

In 2017, the senators had for example retested the appointment of Andrew Wheeler, at the head of the” EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agencyt). But his appointment was finally accepted a year later thanks to the support of senators from the Democratic Party, as deputy director and then director general in 2019. The latter, “lobbyistFor the coal industry, he and his predecessor Scott Pruitt had helped unravel the Obama administration’s air quality law.


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