Ag science gets climate sceptic boss
DONALD Trump has nominated one of his long-time allies and a strident climate sceptic to serve in the top scientific post at the Agriculture Department.
Sam Clovis, who has described the near-universal consensus on the threat of climate change as "junk science”, was selected for the position of the USDA's Research, Education and Economics division.
His position, if confirmed, would involve overseeing a portfolio worth about $3.8billion and dedicated to research and education.
He will also serve as the department's chief scientist.
The Washington Post says a 2008 farm bill specifies that appointees to the post should be chosen "from among distinguished scientists with specialised training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics”.
Mr Clovis has a doctorate in public administration and was a professor of economics at Morningside College in Iowa.
An unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2014, he has repeatedly questioned the consensus that humans are the primary drivers of the change to the planet's climate.
On Iowa Public Radio in 2014, he said the climate change consensus was "junk science” and "not proven.”
In October, he told E&E News a Trump administration would not prioritise climate science in agriculture policy.
"I think our position is very clearly that Mr Trump is a sceptic on climate change, and we need more science,” he said. - INM