Leak: EPA tells staff to promote 'gaps' in climate science, contradicting evidence

Scott Pruitt, now the EPA administrator
Scott Pruitt, now EPA administrator, at Trump Tower in 2016.
Andrew Harnik | AP file

Environmental Protection Agency leadership is encouraging staff to promote skepticism of well-established science showing humans are causing the climate to change, according to news reports on a leaked memo.

The instructions came as part of a list of eight talking points distributed to EPA employees Tuesday night intended to "develop consistent messages about EPA's climate adaptation efforts." The Huffington Post first reported on the memo.

The portions of the memo suggesting EPA leadership want staff to sow discord on human-caused climate change science are spelled out in three of the talking points:

• Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.

• While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.

• As a key regulatory voice, it is important for the Agency to strive for a better understanding of these gaps given their potential significant influence on our country's domestic economic viability

This continues a line of anti-climate-science action from Scott Pruitt's EPA, which has included the removal of climate change data from agency websites.

Pruitt, the EPA administrator, doesn't believe carbon dioxide is the primary cause of global warming, which he has said might be a good thing for people. President Trump has also shown skepticism over what role humans play in climate change.

Both men's viewpoints are contradicted in a major government review of climate science from November that concluded it's "extremely likely" humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming.

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