As Fires Rage Across the West, Trump Bails Out Big Oil & Picks Climate Denier for Top Role at NOAA


Democracy Now!

Published on Sep 18, 2020

As climate-fueled wildfires continue to ravage the West, the Trump administration has tapped a well-known climate change denier for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. University of Delaware professor David Legates has written papers calling for more fossil fuel emissions and has had his work supported by the Robert Mercer-funded Heartland Institute and Koch Industries, as well as major gas companies. He was recently hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. We speak with David Goodrich, a former top climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who says Legates’s appointment goes against the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community. “You have about 97% of the scientists disagreeing with the position of Dr. Legates,” says Goodrich, who served as director of NOAA’s Climate Observations Division from 2009 to 2011. We also speak to David Goodrich about his latest book, “A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean,” in which he examines the impact of the fossil fuel industry through an epic bicycle journey from the Alberta tar sands to the Bakken oil field of North Dakota.

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