The newest member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board is a climate change skeptic whose research has been debunked and who believes that burning fossil fuels is actually beneficial.
“There’s a benefit, not a cost, to producing energy from carbon,” John Christy, an atmospheric science professor at the University of Alabama in Hunstville, told E&E (Energy and Environment) News.
He didn’t elaborate, but he once told The Guardian: “Carbon dioxide makes things grow. Plants love this stuff. It creates more food. There is absolutely no question that carbon energy provides… longer and better lives.”
Christy also believes that regulations limiting greenhouse gases should be eliminated because he does not believe human activity is linked to global warming — which he is convinced is modest at best in any case.
“The overconfidence we have on the climate issue in the climate community is incredibly large, and we need to pull back on that,” he insisted to E&E News.
Christy initially argued in early research that the planet was actually cooling, not warming. But his findings were debunked by other scientists, and Christy eventually admitted that the research was flawed, The New York Times reported. He now insists the planet isn’t as warm as temperatures cited by scientific organizations indicate — but his scientific methods continue to be challenged by other researchers.
Christy is a frequent speaker at conservative think tanks that push the idea that global warming is unrelated to human activity. He told E&E News that he had been asked to apply to the board by EPA officials, whom he did not identify.
Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who was one of Christy’s graduate school supervisors, criticized his selection for the advisory board.
“He has made many statements before Congress and elsewhere that are at odds with the scientific evidence because of his personal value system,” Trenberth told BuzzFeed. “He is not an appropriate appointee for this advisory panel, unfortunately.”
Christy, who has worked as a missionary in Africa, believes whatever happens to the environment is God’s will, Trenberth said. He believes such views have “undermined his science objectivity.”
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, said in a statement that board members will “include experts from a wide variety of scientific disciplines who reflect the geographic diversity needed to represent all ten EPA regions.”
In fact, the board is being increasingly stacked with skeptics of the link between climate change and the burning of fossil fuels, which is overwhelmingly supported by scientific