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Trump scientist insists that ‘carbon dioxide is good for you’

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Sarah Okeson
Sarah Okeson

Our planet could reach levels of carbon dioxide high enough in the next decade to lock in dangerous planetary warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius, but a Trump physicist is trying to discredit the science behind climate disruption.

William Happer, the Trump administration’s champion for carbon dioxide, reached out to a prominent conservative think tank, the Heartland Institute, for help. Happer claims that carbon dioxide is good for humans.

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“At a time when we need to be reducing carbon emissions here in the U.S., the Trump administration is doing everything it can to block those efforts,” said climate scientist Michael Mann, a professor at Penn State. “Trump and the fossil fuel interests and plutocrats whose bidding he’s doing are the source of the problem.”

In May, sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded carbon dioxide concentrations of more than 415 parts per million. Scientists believe the last time our planet had so much carbon dioxide in the air, about 2.5 million to 5 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch, trees grew near the South Pole.

Exxon’s Spot-On Prediction

Exxon predicted almost 40 years ago, in 1982, that carbon dioxide levels would reach this level by 2020 because of burning fossil fuels but chose to invest heavily in disinformation campaigns to promote climate change denial. Inside Climate News obtained an internal company document about the predictions as part of its 2015 investigation.

The amount of carbon monoxide in the air is increasing by about 3 parts per million each year. At that rate, the carbon dioxide level will cross 450 parts per million in just over a decade which will probably lock in dangerous and irreversible planetary warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius. More than 90 people have died recently in the heat in the Indian state of Bihar.

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Scientists said recently that emissions need to be halved by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Permafrost in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted which could mean the global climate crisis is accelerating.

‘Like Jews Under Hitler’

Happer, who serves on the National Security Council, has said that carbon dioxide is being demonized “just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.” He has taught at Princeton University.

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In November, Trump rejected the warnings of a national climate disruption assessment by 13 government agencies that said global warming is causing ongoing and lasting economic damage.

“Any real climate solutions must attack the problem at its source,” Mann said. “That means holding these bad actors accountable, through every means possible.”

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Our country became the world’s largest producer of oil in 2018. The director of the U.S. Geological Survey, James Reilly, has ordered scientists not to predict long-term impacts of climate disruption. Reilly is a former petroleum geologist who doesn’t have a background in climate change science.

 

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2020 Election

Florida seniors are ‘highly susceptible’ to coronavirus — which could hurt Trump’s reelection chances

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On Monday, The Washington Post examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older voters' politics, and in particular how it is hurting President Donald Trump with the critical demographic in Florida — a state that is almost mandatory for the president to win for a second term.

"While Democrats have worried about Biden’s struggles to excite younger voters, older voters who are upset with the president are poised to be potentially more influential in November, especially in swing states whose populations skew their way, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin," reported Jenna Johnson and Lori Rozsa. "In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls. The state ranks as one Trump must almost certainly win to insure his victory, while Biden has other paths to the White House."

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Trump adviser’s ‘repugnant’ lack of concern for human life slammed by ethics expert

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On Monday, President Donald Trump's economic adviser Kevin Hassett appeared on CNN to urge the economy to reopen, saying, "Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work."

White House adviser Kevin Hassett: "Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work." #HumanCapitalStock pic.twitter.com/Yl9KwJf6KP

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 25, 2020

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Trump scorned for claiming he has ‘great reviews’ on COVID-19: ‘This is not a game show’

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On Monday, President Donald Trump complained on Twitter that he wasn't getting enough credit for his COVID-19 response, but that he was still getting "great reviews" on it all the same.

Commenters on social media were not pleased with the president's remarks.

Great reviews? Like on Rotten Tomatoes?

— Lira (@LoudmouthLira) May 25, 2020

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