William Happer Joining Trump’ National Security Council… CNN Report: happer-climate-denier-trump-adviser

Guest commentary by David Middleton

Dr. William Happer “is joining the National Security Council as senior director for emerging technologies.”

From the Climatariat News Network’s Non Sequitur Desk…

Trump to name climate change skeptic as adviser on emerging technologies

By Jenna McLaughlin

Tue September 4, 2018

Washington (CNN) William Happer, a Princeton atomic physicist and prominent skeptic questioning whether humans are causing rapid climate change, is joining the National Security Council as senior director for emerging technologies, according to NSC officials.

Happer, 79, is an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton who served in the Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s. He did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

His public stance on climate change is in opposition to near universally accepted science.

He told CNN in April 2017 that carbon dioxide is not the toxic “pollutant” it’s made out to be and “the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted.” He compared the Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015 by the US under President Barack Obama and 194 nations, to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s and said it was “silly” and “should be canceled.”



According to her LinkedIn page, Jenna McLaughlin has a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University.  She started her extensive journalism career with Mother Jones in 2014.  She is currently a National Security Reporter with CNN.

What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports does Dr. Happer’s views on climate change have to do with his joining the National Security Council as senior director for emerging technologies?

On what basis can a 20-something person with a BA in Writing Seminars assert that Dr. Happer’s “public stance on climate change is in opposition to near universally accepted science”?  Recent surveys of the American Meteorological Society indicate that 1/3 to 1/2 of atmospheric scientists’ views “on climate change” are also “in opposition to near universally accepted science”… Maybe they didn’t cover the definition of “universal” in her Writing Seminars.

The really galling (or hilarious) thing is that the CNN URL for the article calls Dr. Happer a “climate denier”…


Maybe CNN didn’t read their own article…

Happer has said he is not a “climate denier.” He told Foreign Policy magazine in May 2017 that “climate has been with us forever” and it’s ridiculous to “deny” it.

Ms. McLaughlin worked for Foreign Policy magazine in between here Mother Jones and CNN gigs.

The only deniers here are the clowns at CNN…

He told CNN in April 2017 that carbon dioxide is not the toxic “pollutant” it’s made out to be and “the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted.”

(Some of the following was copied from my previous rebuttal of a Climatariat News Network article.)

Thirty years ago, NASA climatariat “scientist” James Hansen disproved catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (AKA Gorebal Warming)…

Scenario C features humans essentially undiscovering fire in 1999.  (Hansen et al., 1988).

Hansen’s spectacular disproving of Gorebal Warming is even more apparent in his 5-year average temperature plot:

Scenario C: CO2 stops rising after the year 2000.

Bear in mind.  I’m using Hansen’s own temperature data, despite his penchant for influencing “the nature of the measurements obtained, so that key information can be obtained”…

What’s that?  The models have improved since 1988?  “Improved” is a relative term.

Here  are the RSS satellite temperature data and a suite of climate models:

“Fig. 1.  Global (70S to 80N) Mean TLT Anomaly plotted as a function of time.  The black line is the time series for the  RSS V4.0 MSU/AMSU atmosperhic temperature dataset.  The yellow band is the 5% to 95% range of output from CMIP-5 climate simulations.  The mean value of each time series average from 1979-1984 is set to zero so the changes over time can be more easily seen.  Note that after 1998, the observations are likely to be in the lower part of the model distribution, indicating that there is a small discrepancy between the model predictions and the satelllite observations.(All time series have been smoothed to remove variabilty on time scales shorter than 6 months.)” Remote Sensing Systems

95% of the model runs predicted more warming than the RSS data since 1988… And this is the Mears-ized RSS data, the one in which the measurements were influenced to obtain key information (erase the pause and more closely match the surface data).

Describing this as “a small discrepancy” would be like CNN calling this “near universally accepted science”…


The observed warming has been less than that expected in a strong mitigation scenario (RCP4.5).

Output of 38 RCP4.5 models vs observations.   The graph is originally from Carbon Brief.  I updated it with HadCRUT4 to demonstrate the post-El Niño divergence.

RCP4.5 is a strong mitigation scenario with the atmospheric CO2 concentration leveling off below 540 ppm in the second half of the 21st century.

RCP 4.5:
The RCP 4.5 is developed by the MiniCAM modeling team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI). It is a stabilization scenario where total radiative forcing is stabilized before 2100 by employment of a range of technologies and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The scenario drivers and technology options are detailed in Clarke et al. (2007). Additional detail on the simulation of land use and terrestrial carbon emissions is given by Wise et al (2009).

The MiniCAM-team responsible for developing the RCP 4.5 are:

Allison Thomson, Katherine Calvin, Steve Smith, Page Kyle, April Volke, Pralit Patel, Sabrina Delgado, Ben Bond-Lamberty, Marshall Wise, Leon Clarke and Jae Edmonds

RCP Database

The observed warming has consistently tracked strong mitigation scenarios, despite the fact that very little mitigation has occurred.  This is a pretty strong indication that the climate is relatively insensitive to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration… Whereas hammers and feathers are equally sensitive to the force of gravity.

Ms. McLaughlin…

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September 6, 2018 6:22 am

Great post David. You beat me by less than 2 minutes! Mine is short and complementary to yours, so I scheduled it for 6:30 PST, hope that is OK.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 6:40 am

Well, we are “mostly” a thoughtful website, quality takes time. I just found out about Will Happer’s appointment last night, but I was still working on the report and didn’t want to post until it was done. Anyway, like I said, our posts complement each other nicely.

Bryan A
Reply to  Andy May
September 6, 2018 10:20 am

Intriguing that the very MSM crowd that is labeling Skeptics as Deniers (akin to holocaust deniers and likened to Nazis) is in fact using the same shaming denigrating tactic employed by those same Nazis against their Jewish Populace back in the late 30’s.
The MSM is utilizing the “Denier” tagline to espouse Shame upon Dr. Happer for his views on a certain subject.
The MSM and certain vocal Science Activists use the “Denier” tagline much like the Nazis used Gold Triangles or Stars to identify (and shame) their Jewish populace and to further shame those who might sympathize with or offer support to any who wore the mark.

Reply to  Bryan A
September 6, 2018 3:08 pm

A “Goodwin point, so early in the discussion. Congratulations!

Reply to  Bryan A
September 7, 2018 11:51 am

Well I was favourably surprised by the opening comment:

a “prominent skeptic questioning whether humans are causing rapid climate change”. Seems pretty fair.

It’s been many years since I’ve seen an alarmist not wade straight in the denier insults before discussing anything else.

If the article uses the word when quoting Happer directly, I have no issue with that. Much as I find this unexpected, I have to say fair play to CNN for that article. I won’t spend too much time trying to find a means to denigrate the author.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 7:20 am

Steve McIntyre, debunker of Mann’s hockey stick and other derivative studies and owner of the Climate Audit blog, summed up his observations on the quality of leading climate scientist doomsayers he tangled with during the course of his long battles to obtain supporting data through FOI requests:

“It seems to me that most famous “amateurs” from the past were highly professional in their field. Nor do I find invocation of their stories very relevant since the sociology of the science enterprise has changed so much.

In my opinion, most climate scientists on the Team would have been high school teachers in an earlier generation – if they were lucky. Many/most of them have degrees from minor universities. It’s much easier to picture people like Briffa or Jones as high school teachers than as Oxford dons of a generation ago. Or as minor officials in a municipal government.

Allusions to famous past amateurs over-inflates the rather small accomplishments of present critics, including myself. A better perspective is the complete mediocrity of the Team makes their work vulnerable to examination by the merely competent.

– Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Aug 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM”

Steve is a rather polite, calm, kindly fellow. Such a quote is more powerful for that fact. It was a “Quote of the Week” on WUWT


This is why there is continual sniping and avoidance of debate by the hothouse proponents.

John Endicott
Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 11:33 am

CNN-bashing is a worthy sport.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Endicott
September 6, 2018 1:55 pm

“CNN-bashing is a worthy sport.”
It should be elevated to Olympic status.

September 6, 2018 6:28 am

David, you almost make it sound like you don’t think CNN has a hard left political agenda driving their reporting (and that they actually care about accuracy). Too much of this and your tongue could leave a permanent impression in your cheek.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 7:52 am

Depends on how kinky you are.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 8:15 am

A touch-screen might be more applicable.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 6, 2018 10:23 am

September 6, 2018 6:30 am

Happer is a lukewarmer, which puts him in the xx%. So Climatariat Fake News Network is wrong again. Asking people with creative writing qualifications to base their articles on research is probably a demand too far. Would you tell a wolf to behave like a veggie, and expect it to happen?

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
September 6, 2018 6:41 am

To the climate crazies and their political allies in the media, there are no lukewarmers – either you fully buy into the story or you’re a [insert your favorite pejorative].

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Craig
September 6, 2018 8:50 am

It is the argument style of dialectical materialism. You state your case, redefining words as needed, then accuse everything else of being denial of social or material science. It is not intended to inform, it is a technique used to “win” by defining those who disagree as losers.

It is very 1920.

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
September 6, 2018 10:52 am

Happer is a lukewarmer

Indeed, to them, anyone who is not a Talebanic ecofascist like them, is a “denier”.

Honest liberty
Reply to  Phil Salmon
September 6, 2018 11:44 am

Here’s what’s crazy…
Both sides play this game yet the right isn’t nearly as zombified regarding different opinions. Typical of someone who appreciates the value of the individual. They can disagree, sometimes quite strongly, but still respect the individual. Yes, we enjoy similarity but that is also boring.

I ascribe to the eternal vigilance of voluntaryism. I have zero appreciation for government and I do not recognize it as a necessary evil, only an evil that sometimes provides good things to it’s slaves of financial theft. Here’s the rub:

Half of my politics are considered hard left:
Anti GMO, anti vaccine, anti Israel, anti imperialism, anti Peel’s model of policing, pro association especially for sexual proclivities.
The other half apparently is hard right:
Anti government, pro individual, anti tax, religious freedom, isolationist (could be also anti imperialism so whatever), personal responsibility, anti welfare, anti affirmative action, anti abortion, anti communist, anti CAGW narrative.

When I take with leftists… They claim to be tolerant yet are extremely judgmental. When I disagree with Christians or hard right Republicans, we still find common ground even though they are perplexed at how I arrived at my different opinions.

Life as an anarchist tends to create tension and division with everyone, but it’s worth it. I’d rather live honestly and consistently instead of attaching myself to passing trends or an inconsistent worldview.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Honest liberty
September 6, 2018 12:08 pm

Anarchists have a hard time explaining who would restrain the pedophiles and serial killers from repeating their crimes if there was no central policing authority?

September 6, 2018 6:30 am

Well hopefully this is really good news.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 6, 2018 6:41 am

It is.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  David Middleton
September 6, 2018 6:56 am

Thankfully, things will change for the better, but some infections can take a long time to be flushed through the system! 😉

September 6, 2018 6:46 am

CNN? Climate Nonsense Numskulls??

Honest liberty
Reply to  KAT
September 6, 2018 11:47 am

Criminal Neo-Marxist Network

Alan the Brit
September 6, 2018 6:54 am

“His public stance on climate change is in opposition to near sheep-like accepted belief.”

There, fixed that for her!

September 6, 2018 6:55 am

Just in case some “warmers” read this, or that journalist:
Physicist = Skeptic.
Bob Hoye

September 6, 2018 6:58 am

“His public stance on climate change is in opposition to near universally accepted science.”

And yet AGW has not been universally proven.

John Bell
September 6, 2018 7:24 am

Leftist alarmists do not need to do any research, they already know everything. I have some friends like that, they are idiots.

Reply to  John Bell
September 6, 2018 8:13 am

I find it possible that this particularly describes former young BA writers at Mother Jones. It is so nice when somebody employs you and pays money for your smear pieces, as in this case. Pretty ugly, very idiotic, but also just “die Zeitgeist”.

Reply to  John Bell
September 6, 2018 9:55 am

They have paid so much for their fancy degrees that it causes mental anguish for them to believe that anything they were taught could be wrong.

September 6, 2018 7:45 am

His position has to do with evaluating new technology. It has nothing to do with climate.

Their is no reason for a sane person to object to this appointment.

Reply to  MarkW
September 6, 2018 8:18 am

You make the mistake of invoking sanity. This is not about sense, but tribes. She found Happer from a list of hated persons at some point. She’s just reiterating her tribe’s position and doing it in terms of hate speech allowed to her.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
September 6, 2018 11:39 am

Their is no reason for a sane person to object to this appointment

Unfortunately, sanity is sorely lacking from the left these days. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) and GWDS (Global Warming Derangement Syndrome) has pretty much destroyed what little sanity they had.

Patrick B
September 6, 2018 7:49 am

Once, more – whenever a graph shows model versus measured temperature, a bright red vertical line should be inserted on the date of the model run. Otherwise most of these graphs show a lot of hind-casting as if the models have some proven validity, instead of simply being tuned to match known data.

Reply to  Patrick B
September 6, 2018 11:39 pm

And that “known” data, has been fiddled and adjusted so it no longer resembles reality.

So fitting to that data makes any model even more meaningless, if that is even possible.

September 6, 2018 8:19 am

Enviro-activists will be outraged, calling him a paid shill of the fossil fuel industry – without a shred of evidence to prove that accusation, of course. Greenpeace will predictably trumpet how they caught him in that situation, but keep this in mind: when Greenpeace activists ambushed him at Ted Cruz’s December 2015 Senate hearing, they revealed to the world how they had to concoct ‘evidence’ for this accusation, and further that they’ve never had evidence to back up this overall accusation for over two decades. I detailed that here, “Long Established Evidence Proving Skeptic Climate Scientists’ Guilt, Baked Fresh Today!” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=3431

Reply to  Russell Cook
September 6, 2018 9:33 pm

The video of the encounter with the Greenpeace guy was here on WUWT a long time ago. It showed Happer merely saying that he could provide information that he had long since already published and that he would not accept payment to himself.

September 6, 2018 8:28 am

“The really galling (or hilarious) thing is that the CNN URL for the article calls Dr. Happer a “climate denier”…


If its in the URL, it means it was the original title of the article and has since been changed. It shows CNN went overboard on trying to discredit Happer and then had second thoughts. It also demonstrates doubt and flip-flopping over Happer’s true scientific authority.

This URL change phenomenon also happened over the coverage of Trump’s Paris Agreement speech: a changed headline betraying a stronger accusation on which they subsequently rowed back (can’t remember which newspaper it was though).

Reply to  Scute
September 6, 2018 9:57 am

It really is amazing the wide variety of things you can learn here at WUWT.
Thanks for that Scute.

September 6, 2018 9:02 am

Climate denier … damn that phrase! — it is meaningless.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
September 6, 2018 9:57 am

It’s meaningless on purpose.
It allows the reader to fill in meaning as they please.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
September 6, 2018 11:42 am

And not to fill with just any meaning, it was crafted specifically to invoke parallels to holocaust deniers.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Endicott
September 6, 2018 2:01 pm

Opinion Acidification!

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
September 6, 2018 11:43 pm

One should use the terms “Climate Apologist” or “Climate Collaborator” to describe members of the AGW religion.

Michael Ioffe
September 6, 2018 9:08 am

As skeptics, as scientists of climate change, especially James Hansen do not understand properties of water, which are cooling the atmosphere, despite water vapor is a greenhouse gas,
These two types of persons, which flooding the mass media with their very dangerous agenda must be stopped as soon as possible.

September 6, 2018 9:14 am

“His public stance on climate change is in opposition to near universally accepted science.”

Universally, really? Isn’t that even more than 97%?

John Endicott
Reply to  JimG1
September 6, 2018 11:51 am

1.of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases

Universal = all = 100%.

However, the phase was “near universally”

1.at or to a short distance away; nearby.
2.a short time away in the future.

so it can be argued that 97% is close enough to 100% to count as “near”.

Bottom line, semantically, substituting “near universally” for 97% isn’t a problem. The real problem with that sentence is that (as we “near universally” know) the 97% meme is bogus to begin with.

David Wells
September 6, 2018 10:01 am
September 6, 2018 10:34 am

GOOD ! MY President is restoring SCIENCE to the Federal bureaucracy.

Reply to  Kenji
September 6, 2018 9:38 pm

Trump could do even better by appointing Happer to be his Science Advisor, as John Holdren was for Obama. Happer has expressed an interest in that position, but so far it has not been filled. Perhaps he could hold a dual appointment. A flurry of emails to the White House to make such a recommendation might help.

September 6, 2018 1:09 pm

I hope the pay is commensurate with the abuse he’ll take, and leave him with a little time to educate.

September 6, 2018 4:44 pm

More “universally accepted science”:

Earth is the center of the universe (for 1500 years!). It wasn’t until the 16th century that Ptolemy’s geocentric model began to be replaced by the current heliocentric model of the solar system.

Stress causes ulcers. Until Australian internist Barry Marshall convinced the world in 1982 that the cause of most ulcers was a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, that could be treated with antiobiotics, treatments for ulcers ranged from reducing stress to having stomachs removed. Some suffers bled to death from their ulcers.

The Milky Way Galaxy comprises the entire universe. Edwin Hubble upended that idea in 1924.

Only for the scientifically illiterate is the theory that CO2 is the main cause of “global warming” “universally accepted”. (“Scientifically illiterate” is a nice way of saying “dumb people”.) Not that consensus has anything to do with science, but the consensus isn’t “universal”. It may not even be a majority, contrary to the nonsensical, unsupported “97% consensus” claim.

September 6, 2018 10:34 pm

“On what basis can a 20-something person with a BA in Writing Seminars assert that Dr. Happer’s “public stance on climate change is in opposition to near universally accepted science”?”

On the basis of the facts. You say: “Recent surveys of the American Meteorological Society indicate that 1/3 to 1/2 of atmospheric scientists’ views “on climate change” are also “in opposition to near universally accepted science…”.

Meaningless. Here this it what your 1/3 to 1/2 links to:
“found that 83% of meteorologists surveyed were convinced human-induced climate change is occurring”

Thats why she said it, its accurate.

Dale S
Reply to  RyanS
September 7, 2018 12:38 pm

It’s not accurate, because Happer isn’t disputing that CO2 will raise the temperature — he’s questioning the *rate* of rise induced by CO2 and disputing the *harm* that comes from CO2, and neither point is “in opposition to near universally accepted science.” Happer is a lukewarmer. Here’s a quote:

“There is no scientific basis for the claim that increases of atmospheric CO2 due to burning of fossil fuels will cause climate change that will have substantial adverse impacts on humanity and on natural systems. If fossil fuels are burnt responsibly to limit real pollutants like fly ash, oxides of nitrogen or sulfur, heavy metals, etc., the CO2 released will be a benefit to the world. Any resulting climate change will be moderate, and there will be very major benefits to agriculture and other plant life.”

September 7, 2018 6:47 am

Just an FYI. The 1988 Hansen graph shows the Eemian T anomaly to be only 1C degree. Newer studies using more ice cores and a multitude of other proxies now estimate global T during Eemian to be 4C degrees or more, warmer than today. the Arctic ocean was 8C degrees warmer than today.

September 7, 2018 7:52 am

Mother Jones…hahaha. I’m banned for life from that site, along with HuffPo, LAT, Rolling Stone, and San Jose Mercury News. The Left are censors, bigots and bookburners

R Hall
September 7, 2018 12:16 pm

I’d rather have an accomplished Cold War physicist advising the POTUS than a third rate left wing climate scientist.

Dr. Strangelove
September 7, 2018 7:48 pm

“Climate hysteria, an extraordinary popular delusion.” – William Happer

September 7, 2018 11:56 pm

What’s that popping I can hear?

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