How a scheme to discredit climate science spread from conservative media to the EPA chief

Scott Pruitt has embraced the “red team/blue team” idea that got exposure from Daily Caller and WSJ

Blog ››› June 12, 2017 1:09 PM EDT ››› KEVIN KALHOEFER

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is calling for a “red team/blue team” review of climate science that would attempt to cast doubt on well-established science and lend an outsize voice to fringe scientists. The idea spread from a climate-denying scientist to conservative outlets like The Daily Caller and The Wall Street Journal to Pruitt, and now more right-wing outlets are promoting it.

How the “red team/blue team” idea spread

John Christy, a fringe scientist and climate denier, proposed the creation of a “red team” in comments submitted to the EPA in 2014. His proposal was promoted by the denialist Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of organizations that “question global warming alarmism.” In his comments, Christy wrote:

The EPA should constitute a “Red Team” of analysts, independent from the climate modeling industry, to judge the current state of knowledge, i.e. the current state of how much we know about the “why” of climate variations. Such an examination would provide transparency to the process and give confidence to the public that the agency values open examination of its methodology.

In 2015, Christy again promoted the idea of the federal government funding a new “red team” that would review the climate science currently being produced by what he calls the “blue team.” The Daily Caller reported on Christy’s proposal in December 2015:

Christy told the [Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and
Competitiveness] he believes the attempt to study climate change objectively is thwarted by the federal funding process.

Christy, a well-known climate change skeptic, suggests Congress can fix the problem by directly funding independent “red team” programs.

And in March of this year, Christy promoted the idea during a hearing held in the House Science Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), a noted climate denier. Judith Curry, another scientist who’s been skeptical of the mainstream consensus on climate change, also testified in favor of the idea. The Washington Post reported on Christy and Curry’s testimony and the “red team” idea:

…(read more).

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