NOAA hiring of climate denier undermines trust at critical time for our nation

September 14, 2020
Justine Schmidt, (202) 572-3321

The following is a statement by Eric Schwaab, senior vice president at Environmental Defense Fund Oceans program and interim senior vice president of Ecosystems program, on the hiring of a climate denier to a top-level position by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.  

β€œIt is hard to believe that as hurricanes and wildfires amplified by climate change threaten American lives, this administration has decided to install David Legates, a climate denier, to one of the top posts at NOAA. As the lead climate, weather and ocean science agency in the U.S., NOAA provides weather predictions that save lives, and data that people rely on for their livelihoods. Placing someone who distorts science in order to push false climate theories in such a prominent position at NOAA is dangerous. It undermines the public trust and credibility that agency scientists have earned based on their expertise and years of hard work.  

As we have seen with other federal agencies, this administration is not above distorting the facts to achieve its political goals. A disregard for reality never begets good policy, and climate denial has no place at NOAA. People and businesses must be able to give their full faith and trust to the information NOAA provides β€” and that includes full faith and trust in the leadership of the organization.”

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