As nominees for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) keep rolling in, one in particular rendered a Senator incredulous after he refused to acknowledge two lines on a simple graph.
During his confirmation hearing, one William Wehrum – who's been picked to lead the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation – was shown a NASA-produced graph, one that tracks rising global temperatures with rising greenhouse gas emissions, by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore).
You’re probably well aware that plenty of nominees to senior posts in the Trump administration are very adept at ignoring or warping the science behind climate change. They’re trained, before their nomination hearings, to claim that there’s “uncertainty” in the data or that “humans have had some influence” on a climate that’s “always changed.”
Wehrum has somehow taken things to a new nadir.
We’ve heard of climate change denial, but this takes things to a whole new level. It’s hard to sum up in words just how strange this response is, so we’ve managed to find it for you in gif format.
Rather than obtusely deal with the data and try and misrepresent it as other nominees have done, this fossil fuel-friendly nominee simply refused to acknowledge the data in any way. Although Sen. Merkley pressed on, he could get nothing out of Wehrum, let alone an agreement that the lines were going in the same direction.
Watch the bizarre exchange here:
According to his own bio, Wehrum “is well known for his thorough grasp of environmental issues,” and adds that “he has testified before Congress on air quality issues on numerous occasions,” as well as being “a frequent speaker at environmental conferences.”
Based on his performance at the hearing, this strikes us as a little curious.
Video Credit: @SenJeffMerkley