EPA’s Pruitt Asks for TV Climate Debate

 

The science may not be settled, but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants it televised. He raised the idea of a TV climate change debate in an interview with Reuters:

“There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered (about climate change),” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

“Who better to do that than a group of scientists … getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see,” he added without explaining how the scientists would be chosen.

Asked if he thought the debate should be televised, Pruitt said: “I think so. I think so. I mean, I don’t know yet, but you want this to be open to the world. You want this to be on full display. I think the American people would be very interested in consuming that. I think they deserve it.”

We do deserve it, especially since every proposed solution involves raising our taxes, damaging our economy, and making citizens more submissive to federal and global bureaucracies.

Reuters helpfully labels Pruitt “controversial,” journalese for “we don’t like this guy.” But I’m curious what disagreement believers in apocalyptic climate change will offer to Pruitt’s idea, outside of mockery and #science hashtags. They’ll try to dodge a free and fair debate, since their “argument” has been mocking skeptics, equating them with Holocaust deniers, and suing them into silence. That strategy has only emboldened the doubters. And the eco-doomsdayers’ storied track record of bad predictions has hardly won them converts.

“If you’re going to win and if you’re so certain about it, come and do your deal,” Pruitt said. “They shouldn’t be scared of the debate and discussion.” Just so.

Published in Environment
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  1. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Can Al Gore, Jr. be in the debate? Please, please, please.

    • #1
  2. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    “Sunday, Sunday!, SUNDAY!!!”

    If they get the right people, it could be epic, like the Ultimate Smackdown Championship.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I LOVE this idea! But for those on our side, they need to get scientists who are balanced temperamentally; while they remain calm, the “experts” can go bonkers. And how about a studio audience! I’d buy tickets for that one.

    • #3
  4. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    “Sunday, Sunday!, SUNDAY!!!”

    If they get the right people, it could be epic, like the Ultimate Smackdown Championship.

    Oo Ooo Oooo. Will there be a video.

    Of the smackdown?

    • #4
  5. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Sorry.  The left does not debate.  They insult.

    Insult as a substitute for argument is so much more satisfying for them.

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I am able to click the little “like” button neither fast enough nor hard enough to express my approval of this idea.

    • #6
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    David Carroll (View Comment):
    Sorry. The left does not debate. They insult.

    Insult as a substitute for argument is so much more satisfying for them.

    Agree. It will never happen. No leftist would be stupid enough to get on the stage with a serious AGW-skeptical scientist. They know they’re lying, they just don’t want “the public” to know it by lending credibility to their opposition.

    I’d put money on the Left’s failure to participate.

    • #7
  8. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Skeptics demand more debate.

    Warmageddonists scoff at the idea (when they’re not talking about throwing the skeptics in jail.)

    That says a lot.

    • #8
  9. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    I’ve been begging for a real debate on this for years.  It remains one of the few good things that might come of the unending Mann/Steyn legal battle, an honest debate on climate chance.  But as others here have already said, the odds of the left showing up for this are zero, they’re not interested in a real open and honest debate.  I LOVE Scott Pruitt btw, a dream candidate if there ever was one to run the EPA.

    • #9
  10. rebark Inactive
    rebark
    @rebark

    Looks like this issue is really heating up….

    • #10
  11. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    It’s just  too dangerous for the general public to hear ideas and opinions that contradict SCIENCE (as understood by Bill Nye).

    • #11
  12. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Awesome, get Bjorn Lomborg involved.

    • #12
  13. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Awesome, get Bjorn Lomborg involved.

    I have seen several recently retired guys in various interviews (one on Louder with Crowder was particularly good).  Getting a couple of them on board is a double whammy.  You get to explain why so few scientists will speak out until they’re retired.

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Paging Judith Curry… Paging Doctor Curry….

    • #14
  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Awesome, get Bjorn Lomborg involved.

    The problem I have with Bjorn Lomborg is that he not opposed to spending trillions of public dollars, he just wants them spent on other things.  The things he wants to spend trillions on are better than fighting carbon dioxide, but still, I’d prefer not spending the trillions since we’re in the hole already.

    • #15
  16. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I LOVE this idea! But for those on our side, they need to get scientists who are balanced temperamentally; while they remain calm, the “experts” can go bonkers. And how about a studio audience! I’d buy tickets for that one.

    Me too! There are lots of outstanding scientists who don’t accept the Climate Change consensus and they are excellent debaters on this topic, such as Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and others who will stick to the science and argue in an honest,  calm, rational manner. However, as has been mentioned by others, the alarmists will never agree to such a debate.

    • #16
  17. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    This is the guy.  I know it’s long, but he’s worth your time.

     

    • #17
  18. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    The problem I have with Bjorn Lomborg is that he not opposed to spending trillions of public dollars, he just wants them spent on other things. The things he wants to spend trillions on are better than fighting carbon dioxide, but still, I’d prefer not spending the trillions since we’re in the hole already.

    I see where you’re coming from, but in this case that might be helpful as it would defuse the, “This is all political,” argument.

    • #18
  19. LawrenceKemp Coolidge
    LawrenceKemp
    @LawrenceKemp

    I’m all for this. I want this to happen for a lot of topics.

    What I don’t want is a repeat of that ineffectual health care debate between Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders. I understand that politics is a big part of this, but at least include some scientists who have worked in relevant studies. Have them explain the facts as they see them and how they got there.

    • #19
  20. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    This might be a fine idea, just like election debates. Then they will ruin it by their choices of moderators.

     

    • #20
  21. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    5 scientists on each side ought to work. If in the alarmists’ wisdom, they decide to include Bill Nye, the pseudo-science, engineer-of-no-discernable-repute guy, that should be allowed.

    • #21
  22. MarciaJ Member
    MarciaJ
    @

    Extra points for ‘”controversial,” journalese for “we don’t like this guy.’

    • #22
  23. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Israel P. (View Comment):
    This might be a fine idea, just like election debates. Then they will ruin it by their choices of moderators.

    How about Brian Lamb?

    • #23
  24. Gumby Mark Thatcher
    Gumby Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Awesome, get Bjorn Lomborg involved.

    The problem I have with Bjorn Lomborg is that he not opposed to spending trillions of public dollars, he just wants them spent on other things. The things he wants to spend trillions on are better than fighting carbon dioxide, but still, I’d prefer not spending the trillions since we’re in the hole already.

    I don’t think Lomborg significantly differs on the underlying science.  His dispute is with the policy solutions and relative costs and benefits versus other global challenges.

    • #24
  25. Gumby Mark Thatcher
    Gumby Mark
    @GumbyMark

    It’ll never happen; the scientists who are CAGW proponents will never agree as it would cede the moral high ground they have built for themselves by labeling anyone who disagrees as equivalent of Nazis; once you give that up by debate it is forever lost no matter what outcome is because you don’t agree to debate Nazis.  Just agreeing to debate concedes there is something legitimate to debate.

    But if it did happen, only scientists or others with demonstrated relevant expertise (Steve McIntyre, for example).  I do not want to see Bill Nye v Mark Steyn, which would be entertaining, but a waste.

    The other thing that would be interesting is that many of the scientists who do not accept CAGW theory, do accept that human generated CO2 has some impact on climate, but that the extent of that potential impact is highly overestimated and subject to much more scientific uncertainty than the public understands.  In other words, this is less a matter of fraud and more a matter of deliberate overstatement by proponents with current status “case not proven”.

    If it could happen, I’d prefer a series of discussions on discrete topics.  For instance:

    What is the evidence for a Medieval Warm Period and how does it compare to today’s climate?

    What are the assumptions behind the UNIPCC climate models and what is track record on accuracy to date?

    • #25
  26. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Gumby Mark (View Comment):
    It’ll never happen; the scientists who are CAGW proponents will never agree as it would cede the moral high ground they have built for themselves by labeling anyone who disagrees as equivalent of Nazis; once you give that up by debate it is forever lost no matter what outcome is because you don’t agree to debate Nazis. Just agreeing to debate concedes there is something legitimate to debate.

    But if it did happen, only scientists or others with demonstrated relevant expertise (Steve McIntyre, for example). I do not want to see Bill Nye v Mark Steyn, which would be entertaining, but a waste.

    The other thing that would be interesting is that many of the scientists who do not accept CAGW theory, do accept that human generated CO2 has some impact on climate, but that the extent of that potential impact is highly overestimated and subject to much more scientific uncertainty than the public understands. In other words, this is less a matter of fraud and more a matter of deliberate overstatement by proponents with current status “case not proven”.

    If it could happen, I’d prefer a series of discussions on discrete topics. For instance:

    What is the evidence for a Medieval Warm Period and how does it compare to today’s climate?

    What are the assumptions behind the UNIPCC climate models and what is track record on accuracy to date?

    How about:

    What is the optimum average global temperature, and why?

    Before you can claim that warming is bad, you should show that the optimum average temperature is less than the current average.  Everyone just skips over this.

    • #26
  27. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I don’t think that Lomborg would be the best participant.  He makes good points, but my impression is that he generally accepts the climate claims of the CAGW crowd, and argues that the consequences are not nearly as serious as they suggest.

    I’d like to see a debate about the science itself.  There is a serious question of manipulation of the temperature record itself.  There is a serious question about the accuracy of the predictive models, even if the temperature record is accurate.

    • #27
  28. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):
    I don’t think that Lomborg would be the best participant. He makes good points, but my impression is that he generally accepts the climate claims of the CAGW crowd, and argues that the consequences are not nearly as serious as they suggest.

    I’d like to see a debate about the science itself. There is a serious question of manipulation of the temperature record itself. There is a serious question about the accuracy of the predictive models, even if the temperature record is accurate.

    The question is really whether the general public would get a nuanced, complicated debate—because there’s room for “well, yeah, the climate is changing and human beings probably have something to do with that, but it’s not that big a problem, and we can probably manage it” along with “it’s all cr**.”

    • #28
  29. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    How about Micheal Mann v. Mark Steyn.  Oh wait, that is already to be scheduled.

    • #29
  30. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    But the lefties would be right to dodge this—just the plain fact of a debate would indeed suggest that this isn’t a slam-dunk, no matter how many viewpoints were represented. The “97% of scientists agree” thing would fall apart.

    • #30
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