Trump cabinet member seeking televised debate on contested issue

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In an effort to challenge the alleged overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wants scientists to debate the issue, possibly on television.

According to Reuters, Pruitt’s proposal is part of a program he is organizing to combat the pervasive idea that climate change is “settled science,” and that human activity that produces greenhouse gases is the major cause of global warming.

“There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered,” Pruitt said regarding climate science. “Who better to do that than a group of scientists … getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see.”

When asked if the debate should be broadcast on television, Pruitt replied, “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.”

As outlined in late June, Pruitt wants the climate critique program to resemble a “red team/blue team” exercise common in military and intelligence circles.

In such exercises, a team is tasked specifically with opposing the dominant viewpoint to identify and diffuse flaws.

Although Pruitt has been an outspoken skeptic of climate science, he has stated that he believes the climate is changing and that humans might have a role in affecting its fluctuations.

Since Pruitt took over at the helm of the EPA, he has acted to roll back nearly all of former President Barack Obama’s climate change initiatives, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and rules to restrict methane pollution. As the attorney general in Oklahoma, Pruitt led multiple lawsuits against the Obama administration’s environmental regulations.

Pruitt’s “red team/blue team” proposal was largely dismissed by scientists and environmentalists who claimed that years of peer review and other organized efforts to study the climate have thoroughly examined the science and potential flaws of its associated theories.

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