A senior official in the Trump administration may have violated US law by publishing papers downplaying the climate crisis

A White House spokesperson said the papers organised by NOAA scientist, Dr David Legates, were not cleared or approved by the administration. Louise Boyle discusses in an article on The Independent website.

 

‘Grotesque disinformation’: Trump official fakes White House approval on papers that downplay climate crisis

A senior official in the Trump administration may have violated US law by publishing papers downplaying the climate crisis with an unapproved use of the presidential seal and claim of federal copyright.

Titled “The Climate Change Flyers”, the papers claim to be published by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and include an introduction by Dr David Legates, who was appointed to a senior role at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by the Trump administration last year.

Dr Legates is a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware and affiliated with the Heartland Institute which worked for the tobacco industry in the Nineties and now opposes mainstream science.

He is also a signatory of the “Oregon Petition” which claims “there is no convincing scientific evidence” that humans are driving the release of greenhouse gases that are heating the planet and causing the climate crisis.

The papers were published on a non-government website for the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES). 
The “flyers” are branded in the top corner with the seal of the Executive Office of the President and indicate they are copyrighted by OSTP.

However Kristina Baum, OSTP Communications Director, tweeted on Monday: “These papers were not created at the direction of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy nor were they cleared or approved by OSTP leadership.”

OSTP did not reply when asked by The Independent whether Dr Legates had been ordered to remove the fake endorsements. Dr Legates did not respond to emails from The Independent.

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