Red team-blue team? Debating climate science should not be a cage match
The Conversation, feat. Richard Rood
Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has called for a “red team-blue team” review to challenge the science behind climate change. “The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” he said on a radio show, adding he hoped to hold the exercise in the fall.
It is difficult to imagine a more precipitous pivot from the energy, environment and climate policies of the Obama administration to those of the Trump administration. Coal, domestic oil and gas, and pipelines are in; the Clean Power Plan and CAFE standards are in suspended animation; the U.S. has announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and climate change is not to be spoken of in Federal agencies. One could be forgiven a feeling of whiplash. Against this backdrop, the work of the Energy Institute and its faculty affiliates has taken on new urgency.
The Environmental Protection Agency has reduced the mandate for renewable fuels, but subsidies for ethanol, the worst crony capitalism program in the country, will continue.
The announcement last week by President Donald Trump's EPA director, Scott Pruitt, reveals the difficulty in draining the Washington swamp. Republican politicians in the Midwest must appease corn farmers, who have become addicted to billions of dollars in government subsidies.
Business has much more to do if it wants to be a climate leader
The Globe and Mail, feat. Joe Arvai
If there’s one group that’s basking in the long shadow cast by Donald Trump’s ill-fated decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, it’s business. In story after story, reporters and pundits are hailing businesses – large and small – as the would-be saviours of much needed progress in the efforts to curb the risks associated with climate change.
This month, nine U-M faculty individuals and teams were awarded a second round of seed grants to conduct exploratory research on various scientific and societal aspects of carbon dioxide removal- a climate change reversal strategy aimed at reducing the amount of greenhouse gases entering the environment. Administered by the Energy Institute, the project is called Beyond Carbon Neutral.