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White House Hosts Roundtable Focusing on Climate Denialism

White House Hosts Roundtable Focusing on Climate Denialism
Dr. Jane Lubchenco at a ceremony for the Doctors Honoris Causa honorary degrees at Antwerp University, April 4, 2019. (JONAS ROOSENS/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 25 February 2022 11:22 AM EST

As Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian cities Thursday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) sat down with some of the nation’s top scientists for a roundtable discussion on how to counter climate change denialism and delay.

The Washington Post reported that the OSTP expected 17 climate scientists, social scientists, economists and engineers from across the country for the inaugural event.

"Clearly, we see tangible evidence of climate change all around us with sea-level rise, increases in extreme heat, increases in drought, wildfires, ocean acidification (and) floods," OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Jane Lubchenco told the Post when confirming the discussion.

"What we’re seeing now is a result of past inaction," Lubchenco said. "That past inaction is haunting us. And so, the question is, How do we accelerate effective action?"

Lubchenco said that the event will not focus on promoting President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which includes a major investment in green energy, but will instead investigate why some are hesitant to act on emissions reductions.

According to the Daily Caller, Steve Milloy, a member of former President Donald Trump’s transition team in 2016, told reporters at a Thursday press call that "this is just more clueless timing" from the Biden administration, referring to the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"We have this major situation going on, one that definitely affects us, and what’s the White House doing?" Milloy reportedly said. "They’re trying to figure out how to cripple our economy with their pointless energy policy."

During the call, Heartland Institute President James Taylor said that the timing was like a "dark comedy."

"It's absolutely astounding that they're going ahead with this, they're going ahead with this today of all days and that this is their highest priority," Taylor said.

A long-time climate advocate, Naomi Oreskes is a Harvard University historian of science who has argued that the fossil fuel industry uses disinformation tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry in the 20th century.

"To deny the urgency is to deny the science," Oreskes told the Post. "We have so much evidence now that serious extreme weather events like wildfires and floods and hurricanes have become substantially worsened by climate change. And it’s hurting people right here and right now."

Last year, Facebook pledged to attach "informational labels" to posts about climate change in the United States and other countries, the Post reported, however, the platform has only labeled about half of posts that reference climate denial, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

"My focus is going to be squarely on climate and how to counter the arguments that are delaying action," Lubchenco said. "Some of that is a result of disinformation. Not all of it."

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As Russian troops advanced on Ukrainian cities Thursday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) sat down with some of the nation’s top scientists for a roundtable discussion on how to counter climate change denialism and delay. ...
white house, roundtable, climate denialism
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2022-22-25
Friday, 25 February 2022 11:22 AM
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