Current Administration Hires Climate Denier at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Do you think David Legates should be in this position?
NPR Reports: Longtime Climate Science Denier Hired At NOAA
David Legates is a University of Delaware professor who has spent most of his career questioning whether or not climate change exists. And yet, he was hired for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Legates confirmed to NPR that he was recently hired as NOAA's deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. The position suggests that he reports directly to Neil Jacobs, the acting head of the agency that is in charge of the federal government's sprawling weather and climate prediction work.
Legates has consistently used his position in academia to progress the idea that climate science is false. Meanwhile, Americans are dealing with clouded skies from the massive wildfires burning down massive areas of the west coast.
In 2007, Legates was one of the authors of a paper that questioned previous findings about the role of climate change in destroying the habitat of polar bears. That research was partially funded by grants from Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute lobbying group and ExxonMobil, according to InsideClimate News.
Legates is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a think tank that works to convince Americans that climate change is a farce.
Steve Milloy, a Heartland board member and part of Trump's Environmental Protection Agency transition team, says he welcomes the Legates appointment. "David Legates is a true climate scientist and will bring a great deal of much-needed science to NOAA," Milloy writes in an email to NPR.
But climate researchers slammed NOAA's decision to appoint Legates to a key scientific position.
"He's not just in left field — he's not even near the ballpark," says Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at Oregon State University and head of NOAA under President Barack Obama.
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