Barry Meyers is a renegade. He is one of a very few Trump administration leaders who have the courage to declare that it is extremely likely human activity has caused global warming.
In his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday morning, Barry Myers, President Trump’s choice to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he agrees humans are the primary driver of recent climate change. Myers’s unqualified acceptance of mainstream climate change science represented the most surprising development at his hearing.
Myers’s unambiguous acceptance of the human role in climate change marks a clean break from other members of the Trump administration, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Trump himself — all of whom have questioned the extent of human contributions.
Myers, the chief executive of the private weather forecasting company AccuWeather, was first questioned about human contributions to climate change by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass). Markey asked Myers if he agreed with the climate science report released by 13 federal agencies earlier this month which stated it is “extremely likely” human activities are the dominant cause of recent climate warming. “I have no reason to disagree with the reports,” Myers said.
Markey pressed Myers further. “So you agree humans are the main cause of climate change?” he asked. Myers responded, “Yes.”
In a written response to questioning from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Myers also said he accepted the federal report and a supportive statement from the American Meteorological Society “as the current state of the articulated science.”
Despite these authoritative reports, efforts to publicize climate change science research findings have been undermined at a number of federal agencies, probably reflecting the dismissive stance of their leadership. The EPA, for example, took down its climate change website and blocked researchers from presenting scientific results at a recent conference.
Sensitive to the issue of the suppression of science, several Democratic senators asked Myers if he would interfere with climate science research and its dissemination at NOAA. Myers was adamant that he would not as long as the work was peer-reviewed. “I fully support the ability of scientists to do their work unfettered,” Myers said in response to questioning from Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Meyers added “Quality, peer reviewed, scientific research, and the underlying data, to provide an ongoing narrative about our environment, which can offer the scientific basis for policy considerations and ongoing scientific discussion and advancement, are national assets that should be disseminated to the nation.”Tweet