IMPENDING TRAGEDY IN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE

by Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd and I have navigated into the ice into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1979, 1981, 1982,1983, 1994,1995,1998, 2005 and 2008. That was nine times between 1979 and 2008. Never did I see the area so free of ice as it is now.

Two decades ago the idea of clear ice free sailing trough the Gulf was simply not possible. It took us days to break through the ice pack.

All over the world I have seen the evidence of rapid climate change and you really have to be in willful denial to believe this is not happening or have a vested financial interest in denial.

What is alarming for me is that this is one of the primary areas where harp and hood seals give birth to their pups on the ice. Without ice, thousands of pups will drown at sea and if they are forced to give birth on shore fast ice, the sealers will have easier access to kill them.

These two sat images, one from February 2015 and one for this same day in February 2017 illustrates the concern.

 Image may contain: outdoor

Guy McPherson: ‘My Work, and Why I Do It’

https://guymcpherson.com/2017/02/my-work-and-why-i-do-it/#more-13668

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits~ Albert Einstein 

People often ask why I speak and write about abrupt climate change leading to near-term human extinction. If we can’t fix it, why bother knowing? It’s unclear who we are or what it means to fix this particular predicament.

Actually, people more frequently send me hate mail accusing me of profiting by lying about our demise than asking questions with civility. It’s analogous to claiming a fire lookout gets paid by the number of fires she spots.

I wish. I wish I were lying. I wish I were profiting. I’m not.

I have no idea why I am compelled to defend my conclusions, all of which are supported by abundant evidence. I suppose my inner teacher believes I can overcome profound, willful ignorance with evidence. This thought alone indicates my unrepentant optimism regarding the human condition.

Few people accuse their oncologist of profiting after she issues a fatal diagnosis. Once the patient recovers from the shock, he sometimes thanks the honest doctor. And if said medical doctor misunderstands the evidence and offers an incorrect, hopeful diagnosis, then filing a legal claim of malpractice is warranted. Indeed, it’s expected in the United States, the most litigious society in the history of the planet.

I pursue and promote the truth, based on evidence. The evidence comes primarily, and almost exclusively, from the very conservative refereed journal literature. I’m not referring to my truth, a notion rooted in the naively postmodern palaver that we each have our own truth, and that each version of the truth is equally valid. Nor am I referring to the evidence-free religious concept of Truth rooted in patriarchy.

My detractors include unscientific people afraid to face evidence, lovers of the omnicidal heat engine known as civilization, and others who lack the credentials necessary to collate and organize relevant evidence. Few people turn to their plumber for advice about cancer. Yet many people seek and believe diagnoses about climate change from wholly unqualified sources.

I’m routinely accused of horrible intentions and terrible acts. There is no supporting evidence. None is needed when the hate is spewed online from a culture dominated by willfully ignorant, small-minded people with questionable intelligence writing for an audience with similar talents. I won’t even venture into the topic of trolls paid to promote disaster capitalism at every cost.

Were I better-known, I suspect I’d make the list of finalists among the most-hated people in the world. It’s a goal, in any event.

That’s a joke, fools and trolls. If I don’t point it out, every time, it’ll be turned against me.

As I’ve been saying for years, people are stupid. Most of ’em, most of the time.

Among the offenders are offensively ignorant and ill-informed, office-bound modelers who inexplicably believe field observations ought to fit models, rather than the reverse. Among the worst offenders are armchair prognosticators with video cameras and the ability to post online their ever-changing opinions unattached to evidence. Field observations and refereed journal literature are anathema to those who promote the dominant narrative. The latter notably include the folks who benefit from the omnicidal heat engine affectionately known as civilization.

The best critique of my work is a three-year-old series of ad hominem attacks disguised as a blog post. It was written by a self-proclaimed science educator without a Ph.D. degree. No thought is given to his lack of credentials, his motives, the unprofessional quality of his analysis, or the dated nature of his work. Other critics post on blogs or selfie videos, presumably to counter the hundreds of journal articles on which I rely.

My work relies upon evidence. It is rooted in reason. I am a rationalist. Contrary to the cries from my critics, ever eager to attack the messenger rather than evaluate the message, I am not mentally ill. The entire culture is insane. The inmates, who are operating the asylum, believe they are the sane ones.

I’ve been deemed insane since voluntarily leaving my high-pay, low-work position at a major research university. Taking action based on principle, rather than money, seems crazy to people afflicted with a bad case of the dominant paradigm.

In contrast to my critics, I do not benefit from my work in any way. It has cost me thousands of dollars for every dollar I’ve received in return. It has cost me the ability to do what I love. It has cost me everybody I loved from my former life.

I am motivated by evidence, as I wrote two years ago. In presenting the results, in simple language, I make the evidence accessible to the public. For this, I am insulted. My work is disparaged. I am attacked incessantly.

My attempts to respond kindly sometimes fail, although I can and do distinguish between being nice and being kind. In contrast to the mass of humans I encounter, I recognize niceness and kindness are sometimes mutually exclusive.

The essay linked above from two years ago is sufficient. It lacks discussion of my inner teacher, constantly struggling to get out. I’ve written and spoken extensively about that topic. No further elucidation is warranted.

Indeed, no further elucidation is warranted regarding my extensive body of work. None will suffice for those who deny evidence. I will continue my attempts to disengage from discussions operating strictly within an evidence-free zone, recognizing that such a step will nullify nearly every prospective conversation.

Hatred will continue to flow my way not because of evidence, but rather due to the opposite: It is more comfortable to deny evidence than to ponder one’s own death. The processes of cultural “dumbing down” and acceptance appreciation of ignorance and stupidity have led to our demise. How could it have been otherwise?

 

I’m tentatively scheduled to tour Ontario, Canada, in November 2017 with possible support from Sudbury, Hamilton, Montreal, and Ottawa. If you’d like to throw your hat into the ring, please send a message to booking@crawfordsattractions.com. To keep costs down, as part of this tour I am seeking hosts and venues in and near Burlington, Vermont.

I’ve received recent requests for a workshop focused on emotions rather than evidence. Such a workshop is described here. It is available in your hometown and also in Belize.

I’m booking guests at the mud hut. For details, click here.

The next episode of NBL radio will air at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 at PRN.fm. Thanks for your patience.

Thanks to Crawford’s Attractions for initiating a fund-raising campaign in support of speaking tours. It’s here. We’re also seeking volunteers to support my speaking tours this year. Details are provided beneath the “Coming Events” tab atop the page. If you are able to help, please send a message to booking@crawfordsattractions.com

______

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-ponds-climate.html

February 20, 2017
Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
Ponds used in the experiment. Credit: University of Exeter

Rising temperatures could accelerate climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide stored in ponds and increasing the methane they release, new research shows.

The scientists experimentally warmed an array of over seven years by 4-5ºC and studied the impacts on and rates of metabolism.

Changes observed after the first year became “amplified” over a longer period, according to the study by the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London

After seven years, a pond’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) was reduced by almost half, while release almost doubled.

Lakes and ponds cover about 4% of Earth’s surface (excluding areas covered by glaciers and ice sheets) but they are disproportionately large sources of methane and CO2 to the atmosphere.

Ponds of less than one square metre are responsible for releasing about 40% of all methane emissions from inland waters.

“This is the first experiment to investigate the long-term effects of warming in aquatic ecosystems,” said lead author Professor Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“Given the substantial contribution small ponds make to the emission of greenhouse gases, it is vital to understand how they might respond to .

“Our findings show that warming can fundamentally alter the carbon balance of small ponds over a number of years, reducing their capacity to absorb and increasing emissions of methane.

“This could ultimately accelerate climate change.”

Such effects are known as “positive feedbacks” – where the effects of global warming on components of the biosphere lead to changes that further climate change.

“The amplified effects of experimental warming we have observed in ponds are different to those we typically see on land, where large initial effects of warming appear to diminish over the long term,” Professor Yvon-Durocher said.

“This accelerating effect in ponds, which could have serious impacts on , is not currently accounted for in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models.”

The paper, entitled “Long-term warming amplifies shifts in the carbon cycle of experimental ponds”, is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Explore further: Global warming may increase methane emissions from freshwater ecosystems

More information: Long-term warming amplifies shifts in the carbon cycle of experimental ponds, Nature Climate Change, nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nclimate3229

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-ponds-climate.html#jCp

Beef production to drop [but only 16%] under climate change targets – EU Commission

http://www.farmersjournal.ie/beef-production-to-drop-under-climate-change-targets-eu-commission-255277

By Thomas Hubert on 13 February 2017
2

  • Beef production drop expected under 2030 climate targets according to the European Commission.
    Beef production drop expected under 2030 climate targets according to the European Commission.

The European beef herd could shrink by up to 16% under the cost 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets, but subsidies could help alleviate the burden, according to the European Commission.

Dan Burgar Kuzelicki, policy officer at the Environment, climate change, forestry and bio-economy department of the European Commission, presented the figures at the Agricultural Science Association’s climate change conference in Portlaoise last week.

According to him, the EU’s beef herd size is expected to fall by between 6.6% and 16% across the EU by the time 2030 climate targets are implemented. This is the result of a European Commission model illustrated by the map above.

In Ireland, the cost of implementing greenhouse gas emission cuts on beef farms would result in a drop in cattle numbers by up to 5% in the southern half of the country and up to 8% in the northern half.

However, targeting CAP subsidies to cover 80% of the costs associated with better climate efficiency in beef farming would mitigate the impact, with herd size expected to drop by up to 2% in the south and up to 5% in the north under this scenario.

In all cases, beef production is expected to drop.

Additives and grass quality to cut emissions from livestock

Tommy Boland, associate professor of ruminant nutrition at UCD, presented some of the latest research into techniques exploerd to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle and sheep.

A number of inhibitors are being tested as additives to feed to reduce methane production. While some have shown detrimental side effects, a chemical called 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) is showing promising results. Feeding 2G/day of 3NOP to beef cattle has shown to reduce methane emissions from over 20g/kg to under 10g/kg of weight gain. Meanwhile, methane emissions from dairy cattle receiving 3-NOP have dropped from 18g/kg to 12g/kg of milk solids.

Feeding soya oil and, to a greater extent, linseed oil was also found to reduce the rate of methane emissions from dairy cows, Boland said.

However, he questioned the sustainability of those oil sources and pointed out that grass was an alternative source of fatty acids, with further research required in this area. Boland’s own research shows that improving grass quality has a direct impact on the methane emissions of dairy cow.

Read more

Full coverage: agriculture and climate change

Climate change impacts on endangered wildlife massively under reported

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY Public Release: 13-Feb-2017

A team of scientists reporting in the journal Nature Climate Change say that negative impacts of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife have been massively underreported.

Said co-author Dr James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Queensland: “Our results clearly show that the impact of climate change on mammals and birds to date is currently greatly under-estimated and reported upon. We need to greatly improve assessments of the impacts of climate change on species right now, we need to communicate this to wider public and we need to ensure key decisions makers know that something significant needs to happen now to stop species going extinct. Climate change is not a future threat anymore.”

JOURNAL
Nature Climate Change
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3223.html

c1986-1485390555143

Trump transition team limits EPA at environmental forum

AA

The Environmental Protection Agency halved the number of staffers attending an annual Anchorage forum on issues like climate change in response to a request from President Donald Trump’s transition team.

Trump transition official Doug Ericksen told Alaska’s Energy Desk in an email that the EPA was directed to limit staff at the conference to save money on travel. “This is one small example of how EPA will be working cooperatively with our staff and our outside partners to be better stewards of the American people’s money,” Ericksen wrote.

Alaska Forum on the Environment Director Kurt Eilo says even some Anchorage-based EPA employees were pulled, as were some who would have traveled from Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Climate change is a major issue in Alaska. One town has had to move further back from its shoreline position because of rising seas caused by climate change.

“We got a phone call from the local office of EPA, and we were informed that EPA was directed by the White House transition team to minimize their participation in the Alaska Forum on the Environment to the extent possible,” Eilo said.

Eilo said he was given three days’ notice that 17 instead of 34 staffers would attend.

One session had to be canceled as a result.

From @NPR – EPA Halves Staff Attending Environmental Conference In Alaska http://n.pr/2lz1oJQ 

Photo published for EPA Halves Staff Attending Environmental Conference In Alaska

EPA Halves Staff Attending Environmental Conference In Alaska

The Trump administration’s transition officials ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to cut its presence at the event. The team cited travel costs in explaining the abrupt move.

npr.org

He said there is concern about what the halved EPA delegation foreshadows.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty among folks here at the forum,” Eilo said. “There’s concern about the tribal programs, there’s concern about how we’re going to address things like climate change in the next upcoming administration.”

STEPHEN HAWKING: GREED AND STUPIDITY ARE WHAT WILL END THE HUMAN RACE

https://theintellectualist.co/stephen-hawking-greed-and-stupidity-are-what-will-end-the-human-race/

, USA TODA

Physicist Stephen Hawking says pollution coupled with human greed and stupidity are still the biggest threats to humankind.

During an interview on Larry King Now, the science superstar told King that in the six years since he’s spoken with the talk show host people haven’t cleaned up their act.

“We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid,” Hawking said. “The population has grown by half a billion since our last meeting, with no end in sight. At this rate, it will be eleven billion by 2100.”

Physicist Stephen Hawking says pollution coupled with human greed and stupidity are still the biggest threats to humankind.

He noted that the massive problem of pollution has only grown in the last five years.

“Air pollution has increased over the past five years,” he said. “More than 80% of inhabitants of urban areas are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.”

When asked what the biggest problem facing the world is, Hawking said climate change.

Hawking told King he wonders if we are past the point of no return.  “Will we be too late to avoid dangerous levels of global warming?”

see rest of story here

Science doesn’t care if you believe in it or not

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/01/science-climate-change-170127115338110.html

Whether you believe in climate change or not, the laws of physics will continue to work and ice will continue to melt.

A photo made available by NASA shows a view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf [EPA]
A photo made available by NASA shows a view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf [EPA]

by

an

Prof Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Advisor for Science and Exploration at the European Space Agency.

On October 31 last year, a large crack opened in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica and a huge iceberg, 5,000 square kilometres in size, will likely soon calve into the Southern Ocean.

Although visible at ground-level and from the air, the full extent of the crack can be properly appreciated only from space, and monitoring with satellites, including Europe’s Sentinel-1, shows that it has grown rapidly in the past few months.

Although it is impossible to be sure, many scientists are concerned that the imminent collapse of the Larsen C shelf (and that of Larsen B in 2002) is linked to climate change. Regardless of this specific question, however, the temperature of Earth’s air and the quantity of heat trapped in its oceans continue to grow relentlessly, with 2016 just recently declared the hottest year on record. The likely consequences for our civilisation owing to unchecked climate change are truly alarming.

But the Larsen C episode serves as a wider metaphor for climate change and a whole host of other pressing issues around the world. It is taking place in a remote location and, by the standards of attention spans these days, happening rather slowly. Thus, as it flickers by on the news, most people consider it to be a curiosity that doesn’t concern them much, if at all.

As a result, it seems to many as if this modern-day “canary in the coalmine” can be safely ignored or, if it suits a particular short-term and/or self-serving agenda, perhaps denied altogether.

There are many forms such denial can take. For example: who knows whether those satellite radar images are real or fake? We’re all familiar with the wonders of Photoshop: perhaps they’ve been adjusted?

Or even if the crack in the Larsen C shelf is real, what about the underlying causes? Is it just “noise” due to weather. Even if it’s getting warmer in Antarctica, it’s cold today in Western Europe, so perhaps it’s all just swings and roundabouts.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Braving 15-metre high waves on board Antarctica research vessel

Or even if the world is getting warmer, it’s happening slowly enough that it’s hard for humans to really feel the difference year on year, so it can’t be important. Perhaps it’s due to the Sun or other causes we have no control over, and nothing to do with the massive amounts of greenhouse gases that humans are pouring into the air. If so, then it seems reasonable just to shrug your shoulders and mumble “What can you do?”

Or maybe, just maybe, it is our fault and we are marching the world over a precipice to a place where it will be very hard for human civilisation to survive. But the response then seems to be that it’s far too complicated and scary a problem to deal with, and what can I do about it as one person anyway? Let’s watch the football.

Climate change is happening

Welcome to the world in 2017: for many, scientific facts and measurements and their consequences seem remote. Some consider them complicated and boring, best left to others to worry about. Or so large-scale and terrifying that we’re paralysed, seeking solace in distraction. Perhaps progress has rendered scientific processes and complexity invisible, hidden behind a shiny user interface and working like magic.

For others, science and its predictions may be viewed as inconvenient with respect to a specific belief or agenda. In such cases, science must be doubted, repudiated, and undermined by any means possible.

But do you know what? Science doesn’t care. It really doesn’t.

The laws of physics are going to continue heating up the planet in response to increased levels of CO2 whether we’d like them to or not. Whether we deny them or not.

Left to their own devices in a world of growing fossil fuel consumption, ice shelves will melt and glaciers will run into the oceans at increasing rates. Sea levels will rise, cities will flood, weather will become increasingly unstable, and crops will fail. Millions will struggle for resources, leading to mass migration and war.

None of that will be nice, but science doesn’t care much about “nice” either.

Whether we like them or not, whether they fit our agendas or not, science, facts, measurements, and rational thinking lie at the very core of the modern world. They keep our energy, fresh water and sewage systems running; they keep our aircraft flying; and they help us to keep mutating bacteria and disease at bay. With a sense of cruel irony, they even provide us with the tools of mass distraction, including our 4K TVs, smartphones, and Clash of Clans.

To some extent, ignoring these realities is manageable, as long as some benign Wizard of Oz keeps things running behind the curtain for us. But clearly there’s a limit to this and we’re edging ever closer to it. In today’s complex world, people need to be more aware of how all of this works, not less – to have some understanding of the possible consequences of inaction.

Inconvenient facts are still facts

Humans are smart, with demonstrated ability to take on big challenges. Thanks in part to science and technology, the world’s population continues to rise, along with living standards, leading to increased pressures on essential resources such as food, water, housing, and energy. There are ways of addressing such concerns.

But many of the key issues facing us today, not least climate change, are no respecters of lines drawn on maps or other artefacts of human history. To solve them, we need more international cooperation and integration, for the good of humankind and our communal natural environment as a whole. We need to build a more educated, rational society where evidence-based policy is developed, understood, and embraced by citizens and their governments, even when complex.

It would be naive to suggest that this is simple, but it seems immoral to suggest that we shouldn’t even try. As our world grows evermore complex, it asks a lot of our governments, institutions, and the public as well, and inevitably things will creak and groan as the pressures continue to increase. But again, we must try: the alternatives are unacceptable.

In particular, we cannot allow facts, evidence, and the laws of physics to become contingent, negotiable, or discarded as inconvenient.

Denying the facts won’t change the facts. Doing so can, however, make it much more difficult for society to deal with the consequences of those facts, and in areas such as climate change, we only have a narrow window in which to make critical decisions and act on them before it’s too late.

We need to embrace science and the information and insight it offers us. There are many examples of where science is critical to the wellbeing of humankind. Returning to the example of space, satellites provide a short-term view of the weather, but also long-term monitoring of climate and the Earth’s environment, and how they are changing in response to human activity. They can also provide vital, near-instant information and communications in times of disaster and crisis, whether natural or man-made.

OPINION: A heatwave in the Arctic, a Trump in the White House

Beyond Earth itself, space exploration provides a clear demonstration of the power of international collaboration in coming together to meet extraordinary challenges, whether it’s astronauts working together on the International Space Station or robotic missions such as Rosetta’s landing on a comet.

These great adventures can also inspire children and bring them into STEM subjects. There they learn the tools needed to make sense of our complex world and to help provide solutions to its many problems. It will also, we hope, ensure that they will bring a rational, deliberative approach to their role as citizens.

It’s the job of those citizens to weigh up the evidence and act responsibly. They need to build and support governments and institutions they believe will take the best approach to looking after their interests, but also those of the wider world we all live in together. They also need to hold them to account if they fail to do so.

Again, science doesn’t care whether or not we do this.

But our children and grandchildren will. If we hope to survive as a species, we humans should be open, honest, and completely pragmatic about the clear advice science is offering us about the problems we are facing and cooperate internationally to find solutions. To do otherwise is a gamble we cannot afford.

Professor Mark McCaughrean is the Senior Adviser for Science and Exploration at the European Space Agency. The opinions expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION IS HAPPENING. Oppose Pruitt Today

It may sound complicated, but really, it’s simple—if you add carbon emissions to seawater, the ocean turns more acidic. Ocean acidification is happening. We can’t sit back and watch politics harm our coastal communities.

Recently, Scott Pruitt—the nominee for the head of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was asked directly by Senators about ocean acidification, he wasn’t even willing to admit that ocean acidification is happening.

shark

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION IS HAPPENING.

We gave Scott Pruitt a chance, we listened to what he had to say at his confirmation hearings and his answers on ocean acidification are a total deal-breaker. Ocean acidification is happening. Shellfish growers in the Pacific Northwest nearly went bankrupt as a result. Lobstermen in Maine are concerned enough about acidification that they have traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to support important research that will tell them how lobster might be impacted.

hello-crab-coral

AMERICA’S CLEAN WATER AND AIR THAT SUSTAIN US CREATE A SHINING EXAMPLE FOR MUCH OF THE WORLD, AND THE EPA IS THEIR DEFENDER.

Pruitt demonstrates no understanding of the present reality of ocean acidification and the urgent risk it poses to American marine life, fishermen and the communities that depend on them. Americans must protect our water and air from further pollution while we work collaboratively towards win-win solutions to challenges like ocean acidification. Because Pruitt ignores the established science about our ocean, he is the wrong choice to lead the EPA.

 

For the ocean,

Sarah Cooley, PhD
Director, Ocean Acidification
Ocean Conservancy

Green movement ‘greatest threat to freedom’, says Trump adviser

Climate-change denier Myron Ebell says he expects Trump to withdraw the US from the global climate change agreement

Myron Ebell.
Myron Ebell said he rejects the ‘expertariat’ who ‘have been wrong about one thing after another, including climate policy’. Photograph: AP

The environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”, according to an adviser to the US president Donald Trump’s administration.

Myron Ebell, who has denied the dangers of climate change for many years and led Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until the president’s recent inauguration, also said he fully expected Trump to keep his promise to withdraw the US from the global agreement to fight global warming.

Ebell said US voters had rejected what he dubbed the “expertariat” and said there was no doubt that Trump thinks that climate change is not a crisis and does not require urgent action.

Trump has already replaced the climate change page on the White House websitewith a fossil-fuel-based energy policy, resurrected two controversial oil pipelinesand attempted to gag the EPA, the Agriculture Department and the National Parks Service.

Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” and “bullshit”, has packed his administration with climate-change deniers but appeared to soften his stance after his election win, saying there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. However, he also claimed action to cut carbon emissions was making US companies uncompetitive.

Ebell, who has returned to his role at the anti-regulation thinktank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said on Monday: “The environmental movement is, in my view, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.”

The CEI does not disclose its funders but has in the past received money from the oil giant ExxonMobil. “Our special interest is, I would say, freedom,” Ebell said.

During the US presidential campaign, Trump pledged to withdraw from the climate change deal agreed by 196 nations in Paris in 2015, making the US the only country considering doing so. “I expect President Trump to be very assiduous in keeping his promises,” Ebell said.

Trump’s pick for secretary of state, the former ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson, appeared to contradict the president about leaving the climate agreement at his confirmation hearing, saying the US should keep “its seat at the table”.

“Who is going to win that debate? I don’t know but the president was elected and Tillerson was appointed by the president, so would guess the president will be the odds-on favourite,” said Ebell. “The people who elected him don’t want a seat at the table.”

“The people of America have rejected the expertariat, and I think with good reason because I think the expertariat have been wrong about one thing after another, including climate policy,” he said. “The expert class, it seems to me, is full of arrogance or hubris.”

“I don’t think there is any doubt that [Trump] thinks that global warming is not a crisis and does not require drastic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. The deal agreed by the world’s nations in Paris aims to hold the global temperature rise to well below 2C, a target that requires dramatic cuts in carbon emissions. Without this, the world’s climate experts concluded there will be “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world.

Ebell, speaking in London, claimed that the motivation for climate action was protecting a special interest: “The climate-industrial complex is a gigantic special interest that involves everyone from the producers of higher priced energy to the academics that benefit from advancement in their careers and larger government grants.” The IMF has calculated that fossil fuels receive $10m every minute in subsidies, while the fossil fuel industry spends at least $100m a year on lobbying.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, recently reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to tackling climate change and said the nation’s green investments were already “paying off”. China pledged earlier in January to invest $360bn in renewable energy by 2020.

In an echo of Trump’s claim that climate change was a hoax invented by China, Ebell said: “China is making big investments in producing more solar panels and windmills, which they sell to gullible consumers in the western world, so that power and electricity prices will become higher and the Chinese economy will become more competitive.”

Many experts say that the best way to “make America great again” would be to invest in the fast expanding, trillion-dollar market for clean technologies and that failing to tackle climate change will destroy economic growth.

Sam Hall of Bright Blue, a liberal conservative thinktank in the UK, said: “Despite the attempt by fringe elements to import ‘alternative facts’ from the US, mainstream conservatives in the UK support tackling climate change cost-effectively. Only last week, Theresa May’s Conservative government set out how she wants Britain to take advantage of the economic opportunities of new low carbon industries, such as battery storage and electric vehicles.”

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the US EPA, is a climate change sceptic and has sued the agency he is now set to lead 14 times over the EPA’s smog, mercury and other pollution regulations. His confirmation vote in the Senate is expected on Wednesday.