State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

CO State Senator Rep Ray Scott (R), climate change denier and citer of foul-mouthed climate change denial author

Three days ago, Colorado State Senator Ray Scott (R-Dist. 7) posted a link on his blog to a Forbes article titled “’97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong.”

Scott posted the article as a way to tell his constituents who value the environment, “Ha! I told you so! Global warming is fake!”

The author of the article is Alex Epstein, who has a BA in philosophy from Duke University, but no scientific background. Epstein is a staunch, paid philosophical defender of the fossil fuel industry. His biggest claim to fame is a book he authored in 2014 called “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” which seeks to make a philosophical case for fossil fuel use, evidently because a valid scientific case for continued fossil fuel use can’t be made.

Epstein writes in his book that:

“Compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment.”

Epstein’s other claim to fame is his for-profit think tank called the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) that operates on gifts from donors. Epstein speaks at corporate events and offers “consulting” services for the energy industry. CIP has described its consulting service as being “unmatched in its ability to successfully out-message ‘environmentalists’ and turn their supporters into your supporters.”

Epstein made Rolling Stone’s 2013 list of Global Warming’s Denier Elite, along with such well-known people and entities as Charles and David Koch, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon who is now Secretary of State under Trump.

Alex Epstein, one of Rolling Stone’s 2013 Top Ten Climate Change Denier Elite. Epstein sent a nasty tweet to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy after she subpoenaed his correspondence with ExxonMobil. Ray Scott cited an article by Epstein in Forbes magazine in an attempt to justify his continued climate change denial.

The Center for Industrial Progress’ blog has articles that praise oil refineries and urge people to “embrace DDT.” 

Epstein started a Facebook page in 2012 called “I Love Fossil Fuels”  and sells swag (T-shirts, lapel pins and other stuff) that says “I Love Fossil Fuels.”

Epstein Mouths Off to MA Attorney General

In 2016, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy subpoenaed 40 years of communication between ExxonMobil and free market groups like Epstein’s Center for Industrial Progress to investigate ExxonMobile’s internal research on global warming after reports published in 2015 suggested the company encouraged confusion over climate change while its own scientists recognized the risks. At a March, 2016 press conference Healy said:

“Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be, must be, held accountable. . . . We can all see today the troubling disconnect between what Exxon knew, what industry folks knew, and what the company and industry chose to share with investors and with the American public.”

Epstein’s organization, CIP, was one of the groups whose documents Healy subpoenaed in this investigation.

In response to the subpoena, Epstein issued the following tweet:

 

Very professional.

This is all Ray Scott’s constituents to know about the kind of people he cites to help bolster his losing climate change denial arguments.

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P.S. – Ray Scott could also use a grammar lesson:

 

 

8 comments for “State Senator Ray Scott’s Flawed, Nasty Source of Info on Climate Change

  1. American Patriot
    April 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Hey Anne, it ain’t Bourbon. It ain’t gonna get no better with age.. Oh Lord, I’m stuck in moderation again….

  2. Benita Phillips
    April 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    American Patriot is right on….”Retired Coal Miners Could Lose Health Insurance this Week” thanks to Peabody Energy.

    • Anne Landman
      April 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Alex Epstein is in the same league as the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce’s “expert” economist, Eric Fruits of Portland, Oregon (see http://annelandmanblog.com/2016/10/why-we-need-to-question-the-chambers-experts/). Namely, he is a “consultant” who started a “corporation” expressly for the purpose of sucking up money from the oil and gas industry in exchange for generating pronouncements, privately-published research papers, giving “expert” testimony in court cases, etc., that bolsters the oil and gas industry’s case. There should be a word for guys who do this…

    • American Patriot
      April 25, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Hillary Clinton; “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”

      Wonder who she meant by “we”? Maybe Bernie was right? She is working for the nuclear energy industry.

      What I said was, I don’t dance. I never said I couldn’t.

  3. American Patriot
    April 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    And oh yeah, there will be collateral damage; the coal miners of West Virginia. But then you knew that. Or did you expect the Peabody Coal Train to just haul them away? You gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road, if you don’t stop to smell the roses along the way. And a rose by any other name?

  4. Benita Phillips
    April 25, 2017 at 11:37 am

    We need to get rid of politicians like Ray Scott, that have NO vision and are afraid of change. I can only bet that he is heavily invested in fossil fuels. He has the longest job now that he has ever held. This has to change….or are we too afraid of change ourselves?

  5. Benita Phillips
    April 25, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Never mind Alex Epstein. If you read more of what he writes, it becomes abundantly clear that he is desperate to “convince” his side of the issue to keep that “donation” money flowing in his direction. He plays to fear and unwillingness to change. He reminds me of the Erie Canal mule barge drivers when the trains started moving. He represents the worst kind of “sage” of fossil fuel positioning. You have to give him credit for identifying and implementing a system for sucking money from the fossil fuel businesses and fearful investors.

    What is important is the fossil fuel company movements themselves. Saudi ARAMCO is selling off part of its company as an IPO in order to finance “alternative” energy development. This is unprecedented. We all know that Saudi Arabia has more than its share of fossil fuel and sun. Even when we were still with the company as active employees, the ideas of developing alternative energy was getting more support from the Royals and Upper management. Now the company is making that turn.

    Coal is NEVER coming back. Even the miners of West Virginia know that. There are NO LONG TERM MARKETS for the coal. We, as a public, never made a cent off coal. In fact, coal was and has been totally subsidized for decades. Our leaders, including Ray Scott, do not understand global economics in relation to coal or natural gas. Jordan Cove is another American taxpayer boondoggle. “IF” and I repeat…”IF” Jordan Cove were to be built, by the time the terminal was completed, with alternatives moving as rapidly as they have to take over energy needs (investments 2:1; Tesla the most valuable car company; battery development); Jordan Cove would never be used. Japan has already invested heavily in solar, wind and tide power to take the place of Nuclear after the Fukushima debacle, which is still poisoning our west coast.

    The economics, in a true “capitalistic” system, will not support long term fossil fuel use. Those that hang on like a tenacious bugger, are milking the last drops from the teats of a past and are just waiting for the final dry hole. Buy NEW technology.

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