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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  February 27, 2017 4:30am-5:00am GMT

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in los angeles for production design and best original song. the musical is up for a record—tying 1a nominations. mahershala ali wins best supporting actor at the oscars in hollywood for his moving portrayal of a miami drug dealer in coming of age drama "moonlight." best supporting actress went to viola davis for her role ' they are the first black actors to win an award since 2014. in other news: indonesian police have reportedly been involved in a gun battle with unknown assailants after an explosion in a government building in the city of bandung. an exchange of gunfire could be heard on indonesian tv footage filmed from outside the building in westjava.
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the implications will be profound on everything from fossil fuel production to climate change policy. my guest today is myron ebell, who led the trump transition team on environment policy and has long been an advocate of radical reform of the federal environmental protection agency. in america's new politics, will the interests of big business consistently trump environmental concern? policy in the united states? everything that he has said in the campaign, it seems to me suggests that it is a fundamental reset and that we will be turning a corner and moving to a much brighterfuture. yes, i mean, you obviously have the inside track on this,
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because you were part of the transition team very much involved with drawing up a roadmap forfuture policy on environmental matters. so, just give me a sense of the way in which your input and his insights to you worked together. were you both on the same page, were you both talking about really moving in a very different direction from the obama administration? first, i have no role in the trump administration. my work in the transition is over, so i don't represent or speak for the trump administration, orfor the president. i was asked to lead the transition team on epa because in fact my views largely respond to the views that the president campaigned on and that he promised the american people he would do if he was elected. so, yes, i think that we share most views on energy and the environment. let's talk big picture sort of mindset before we dig down
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into the detail of environmental policy making. in terms of your approach and the president's, and i take the point that the transition is over and you are not part of the team today, but in terms of both of your mindsets, do you believe that when a scientists, when politicians in the western world, when environmental campaigners all talk about the urgent need to de—carbonise the global economy, do you think they are wrong? yes, i do, and i think that the campaign that we have just witnessed in the united states is interesting, because it is the first presidential campaign that we have had where both candidates, secretary clinton and mr trump, campaigned on climate policy and on energy policy and put forward very different views. one side won and the other side lost, so i think the american people basically agree with president trump, that climate change is not one of their top concerns and that there are a lot more pressing issues to take
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up by the government. do you think the american people agree with president trump when he tweets, as he has, in the last few years, in fact, because it is a consistent thought of his, that global warming is a hoax? "i am not a believer" he has said. "we have the weather, it goes up and down, but we have much bigger problems than that." do you think with those sorts of messages that he tweets out, he is speaking for the american people? i think he is speaking for a majority of the american people and i think, you know, he tends to exaggerate for a fact and then he walks back, so he said climate change is a hoax and later when asked about it he said, "i was making a joke, but i don't think it is a big
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problem," is the gist of his position, i think. i mean, i was about to say i am assuming you don't think climate change, given all of the consensus, you don't think man—made climate change, the warming of the planet, you don't think it is a hoax, do you, or do you? no, but i think a great deal of exaggeration has entered the debate by the campaigners for very rigourous climate policies, and i think if you actually look at the science, it doesn't support what i would call the alarmist position. and, you know, we can discuss that, but i think the fact is that there are large interests, both in the scientific community but also in the business community, that it is in their interest to exaggerate the impact of climate change. well, let's try to keep it out of politics and the realms
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of exaggeration, let'sjust, and i don't want to spend long on it, let's be specific, two of the us federal agencies that have voiced most concerned about climate change, are nasa, and goodness knows they rely on science, and the us department of defence, which have stated in 2015 that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, so, leave aside politics, leave aside exaggeration, you would accept the words of nasa and the pentagon, would you? no, i think that the department of defence was under very strict political supervision from the obama white house and that they were told to make sure that climate change is involved in all of your thinking about defence, so, no, i do not accept that and i think that opinion at nasa is divided between the modelling community and what i would call the empirical community, people who rely
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on temperature datasets. right. i mean, it is probably inportant to remind everyone you come from a background, the competitive enterprise institute centre for energy and environment, which we know the past has been funded by exxon mobil, by the koch brothers, by people who clearly have an interest in pouring scorn on the climate change agenda, so it is indeed interesting that "=="== iéiiééi ti. fit; . ~ — ., ~ — someone who has had experience working inside the agency or the department. i do not have that, i have always been an outsider. but i don't think the funding sources of my organisation have much to do with the policies that we pursue. the fact is that we adopt policies based on what we think are the facts and our political beliefs, which are for free markets and limited government, and then we go out and try to attract funding from sources that agree with us.
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sure, but in the end you're not a scientist. i mean, i was talking about nasa's science and all of the data they collected and their conclusion that carbon dioxide particles in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years, that global temperatures have risen much more than one celsius since 1880, you know, this is scientific data, you are not a scientist, and the group that you have come from and that you have very ably represented, very influential in represented, has an agenda which is driven by people who have an interest in denying climate change.
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i think that the facts are that the warming we have seen since the end of the little ice age in the middle of the 19th century is modest. it may be that there is an increasing component of that change caused by human activity, primarily burning coal, oil and natural gas, but, for example, we have produced — humanity as a whole has produced about 31% of the total greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the industrial age, have been emitted in the last 20 years, and yet there has been a pause, ora hiatus, or a plateau of warming in the last 20 years. if the climate is as sensitive to co2 as is claimed by the alarmists, we should have seen significant warming in the last 20 years. now, there was an attempt to rewrite the temperature record and that has just this week been exposed as a hoax. well, i do want to get into the detail of what you think
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is going to happen to environment policy under the trump administration but one last point on the politics of this, and again i think it's instructive to look at where conservative parties and politicians sit around the world on this issue, and i have looked from, you know, western europe, australasia, everywhere else, and, frankly, right of centre politicians on the whole are now very accepting of the scientific consensus around climate change. and it's instructive to me that two of the grandees of the republican party, jim baker and georgia schultz, on this very day have published an article arguing for a carbon tax, saying that there is mounting scientific evidence of the problems with the atmosphere, they are too compelling now to ignore. are you swayed by the fact that, you know, so many conservative political fears are now saying this? no, in fact, the house of representatives held a test vote
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on a carbon tax last year and every single republican, including those who agree with your statement that climate change is a growing problem, voted against a carbon tax. every single republican. so i think that the republican party is united, and we have some people who have perhaps served their country well many decades ago but they really... they are out of the debate, they are not a significant part of the conservative movement today. right, well, let's look at what donald trump as president, surrounded by people from the conservative movement, to 5000, that a huge amount
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of their grant’giv'mg’attivity donald trump will supervise and look after? the document i prepared, an action plan for the administration, was advisory and was meant to translate the campaign and the candidate's promises and commitments into governance. so, let me tell you what president trump said during the campaign. he promised to withdraw from the paris climate treaty, he promised to defund united nations‘ climate programmes, and he promised to get rid of or withdraw or rescind a number of greenhouse gas rules and other environmental rules that he said, and i think quite correctly, had very little to do with environmental protection, but have a huge negative effect on the economy, and they are blocking investment in the economy and creating jobs. so, that's what he promised, and so that's what i imagine he's determined to deliver. but the fact is that he also promised, or said he wanted to abolish, the epa,
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so when i have been quoted recently as saying, "i think we ought to aim for some radical downsizing at the epa," i'm actually taking a more moderate position than he did when he said he wanted to abolish it, or at one point he said, "we'll leave a little bit." so, let me get this clear in my head, you believe that donald trump is going to revoke the clean air act, that he is going to revoke the standards that he imposed on coal and natural gas power plants, he's going to revoke some of the clean water regulations, the waters of the us rule, the standards imposed on the chesapeake bay, these are all gone as far as you're concerned, if donald trump gets his way?
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not the clean air act but the greenhouse gas rules that have been propagated under the clean air act. sure, which are very important to the future operations of power stations across the us? yes. so i think, yes, it will take some time to withdraw and rescind some of these rules but i think that that is...those are his commitment and i think largely you can make a very strong case that the reason he won the election is because these policies and similar policies forjob creation resonated across america in places where we still have manufacturing, we still have energy—intensity industries and we still have resource production. and americans breathing dirtier air and some of them living with dirty water — that is a prize worth paying? no, in fact, president trump said during the campaign that he wanted
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to return the epa to its core functions of protecting the air and the water. the fact is the greenhouse gas emissions have nothing to do with clean air. carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring trace gas necessary for life on earth, it is not a pollutant and the waters of the us rule has nothing to do with safe drinking water it has to do with expanding federal jurisdiction over wetlands — another term for wetlands is swamps and you will recall president trump said he wanted to drain one particular swamp here in washington and so it is no surprise that he wants to withdraw a rule swamps. vewtereflwfiu— ,, ,,
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