The President-elect’s choice of Myron Ebell for Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team, combined with his promise to rescind all of President Obama’s executive orders, bodes ill for our air and water supplies. How many more Flint, Michigans can we tolerate? Will hospitalizations for asthma crises increase dramatically over the next few years?
Would that Myron Ebell would be trapped in a room with those scientists who know most about pollution, health, and climate change. A few hours of the history of environmental science, more of explanations geared to laymen (something I could understand well enough to explain it to our grandchildren), and then enough technical data on ocean currents, Greenland’s glaciers, and Alaskan village inundation to make his head spin.
I doubt that scenario would change his mind. It appears that facts matter to Ebell not at all; he emphazises what is still unknown–and that is plenty. That’s why scientists continue to study climate and environmental changes. What we don’t know is also a good reason to abide by the Paris Agreement. To paraphrase Donald Trump himself: There’s something going on and we need to find out what. We do need to understand weather patterns, ocean currents and salinity changes, species migration, earthquakes, and a great deal more. That’s why scientists study them. But we can’t wait until we have obtained all knowledge before acting on what we now know. And we know a great deal more than Ebell and his ilk will admit.