After President Donald Trump repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” on the campaign trail, his administration has been clear that its policy will be to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are causing rapid climate change.
Now, it appears maintaining that denial is a prerequisite for working for the president, even if that stance doesn’t square with your previous views. So don’t expect new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to repeat anything like this tweet from last year, in which he referred to climate denial as “disheartening.”
In June of 2016, a month after he had announced that he would back then-candidate Trump, Scaramucci echoed those views in an interview with a financial outlet.
“The science of climate change is pretty much irrefutable at this point, and I find it tragic that so many people in this country believe global warming is some sort of elaborate hoax perpetuated by every credible scientist on the planet,” Scaramucci, a hedge fund founder, said. “In addition to the whole humanity angle, investing in sustainable energy makes sense from an American national security perspective.”
Scaramucci had offered similar comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier that year, saying that the world was moving to a renewables-based society. (The Trump administration has ridiculed clean energy and vowed to increase production of fossil fuels.) At the time, Scaramucci acknowledged that “most” Republicans “do not believe in climate change, but I do,” he said.
— Evolutionary Leaders (@EvoLeadership) January 21, 2016
Scaramucci seems to have changed his tune on climate change sometime before he joined Trump’s transition team in January of 2017, because in December he appeared on CNN to offer the same convoluted and misleading message that much of the Trump administration has parroted over the past six months.
“I know that the current president believes that human beings are affecting the climate,” Scaramucci said on CNN’s New Day. “There are scientists that believe that that’s not happening.” When told that there is scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change, Scaramucci countered that “there was overwhelming science that the earth was flat and there was an overwhelming science that we were the center of the world.”
“We get a lot of things wrong in the scientific community,” said Scaramucci, who had appeared on CNN to defend the presidential transition team’s request for a list of staff members at the Department of Energy who had worked on climate issues.
“I’m not suggesting that we’re not affecting the change,” he concluded. “I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.”
It’s hard to square this kind of dramatic about-face on an issue that is so critical to humanity. To go from “the science of climate change is pretty much irrefutable” to “I don’t know, I’m not a scientist” shows an almost unbelievable change of stance — and it’s a troubling sign of the times. The United States is currently led by someone who has disregarded facts and science, but rather than standing up for science, fact, and humanity, his staff is adopting Trump’s own views.