Scott Pruitt Is Using the Bible as His Guide for Reorganizing EPA’s Science Boards

Nov 2, 2017

By Rebecca Leber

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday used the Bible to explain his major changes to the composition of the agency’s independent science advisory committees, which play an important role in guiding and advising the EPA’s regulatory work.

“In the book of Joshua there is a story about Joshua leading the people of Israel into the promised land after Moses passed away,” Pruitt said. “And Joshua says to the people of Israel choose this day whom you’re going to serve. And I would say to you this is sort of like the ‘Joshua Principle’ that as it relates to grants to this agency, you are going to have to choose either service on the committee to provide counsel to us in an independent fashion or you can choose grants, but you cannot do both.”

What the “Joshua Principle” means for the EPA is that scientists who receive agency grants for their research are now barred from serving on any of its independent advisory boards. This opens the door to more industry and political representation on the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), and the Science Advisory Board (SAB). The EPA’s most ardent critics in past administrations cheered the directive, which was announced at a “Live Press Event”—though it was unclear that many reporters were invited to attend. 

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13 comments on “Scott Pruitt Is Using the Bible as His Guide for Reorganizing EPA’s Science Boards

  • @OP – you are going to have to choose either service on the committee to provide counsel to us in an independent fashion or you can choose grants, but you cannot do both.”

    So advisory committee DOES NOT WANT INDEPENDENT ADVISORS who are actual independent objective working scientists, but wants corrupted advice from biased muppets! How very Trumpian!

    The EPA’s most ardent critics in past administrations cheered the directive, which was announced at a “Live Press Event”—though it was unclear that many reporters were invited to attend.

    Well in Trumpian “science”, you can’t have REAL scientists asking searching questions on advisory committees, – just as you can’t have critical press science correspondents, asking searching questions at Trumpian “Live Press Events”! 🙂

    “In the book of Joshua there is a story . . . . . . . . . .

    Biblical gapology – the badge of the ignorant story-teller with biblical filling to pad out speeches!



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  • rogeroney #2
    Nov 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    It doesn’t help his ‘argument’ that the story of the Joshua and the Jews’ wanderings is pure fiction ……

    But that would require the study of REAL history!
    Fundies don’t do HISTORY! – Just STORIES! 🙂



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  • rogeroney #2

    the story of the Joshua and the Jews’ wanderings is pure fiction

    Not entirely correct rogeroney. Bible stories, like all folk stories, started through oral transmission, and over centuries, or perhaps millennia, they became transformed, modified and conflated with other stories, until finally they were written down, and became fixed. Smart literary types can tell the difference between “composed” literature and that which has been generated orally.

    For instance; Homer’s Odyssey is an example of written down folk narrative, while Virgil’s Aeneid is literary composition, which draws heavily on the themes and structures of earlier heroic poetry, but does not recreate it. A bit like the difference between genuine antiques and high quality repro, or perhaps tribute creations.

    Typical of the phenomenon is that events which were perhaps natural or unremarkable, become endowed with occult or divine significance. Odysseus sails through the clashing stones, which mariners say is not a bad description of entering the black sea from the Bosporus, manna from heaven was probably due to a waterspout which took fish from the sea and dropped them on the Israelites….etc

    A good account of the process is contained in Derrida’s essay The Fight with the Angelwhich is an early example of deconstructionism. Other analyses have been made of bible stories, including some which have appeared on TV. A particularly good one linked Moses’ flight from Egypt and the plagues of Egypt , with the aftermath of the explosion of Thera in the Minoan period. The facts fit together neatly, the parting of the seas followed by the tsunami which wiped out Pharaoh’s forces and the ecological results of the huge deposits of dust and mud which followed. Doubtful that Moses was there, but easy to see how a story about the escape of a band of slaves with a canny and committed leader, would sooner or later get merged, in the oral tradition, with folk memories of an unimaginable catastrophe, caused by god to defend his chosen people. Then it got written down as the word of god.



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  • Meanwhile ;- it seems that scrutiny and reality have intruded on another Trump potential “science” appointment!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41848155

    Trump aide Sam Clovis pulls out of consideration for job

    Sam Clovis was a candidate to become chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture, but critics said he was devoid of experience for the job.

    Mr Clovis has been linked to another former Trump adviser who lied to the FBI about his Russian interactions.

    US justice officials are probing claims Trump aides colluded with Moscow.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday: “We respect Mr Clovis’ decision to withdraw his nomination.”

    In a letter sent to the president, Mr Clovis – an early and vocal Trump supporter – wrote: “The political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position.

    “The relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day.”

    A Democrat said Mr Clovis’ nomination was only withdrawn because he would have faced questions under oath about the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia.

    Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, a member of the chamber’s agriculture committee, also said Mr Clovis was “a comically bad nominee, even for this administration”.

    Some 3,100 scientists signed a letter last month to the panel arguing that Mr Clovis was “completely devoid of relevant scientific experience”.

    The nominee conceded last month in a questionnaire from the committee that he had no background in hard sciences.

    He is a former Trump campaign co-chairman and Iowa radio host with a background in political science.

    Mr Clovis has previously been criticised for rejecting the scientific consensus that human-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change as “not proven”, and for arguing that gay marriage could lead to the legalisation of paedophilia.

    This week he cropped up in a criminal indictment against a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

    Mr Clovis’ lawyer says his client is the “campaign supervisor” in the charge-sheet who encouraged Papadopoulos, a junior aide, to pursue back channel contacts with Kremlin-connected officials.



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  • eejit

    The word “fiction” can be used this way: invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.

    I wonder who is behind these nominations. I’d like that to be investigated. Whoever it is, it is someone most decidedly sinister. It is hard to imagine how low we have fallen in such a relatively short time. So many lies, so much damage, and division; so much harm has been done already – by these reactionary forces. It is not so easy to climb out of a pit.



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  • invention or fabrication

    Just my point, Dan. Invention and fabrication are conscious, planned activity, by people with a purpose; the creation of narrative or drama. Folk tales evolve and it is usually impossible to identify the author, although similar or related narratives are commonly found across many cultures. Anonymity along with oral transmission are generally accepted as the defining characteristics of folk song and music. Thus fiction does not seem an appropriate term to apply to Homer or to the Bible, they are collections of stories and myths, which, like Topsy, “just growed.” The use of the word pure serves to intensify rogeroney’s contention.



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  • I see that the carbonaceous stooge Rick Perry is spouting nonsense about electric lighting in Africa, and totally ignoring the advantages of solar-power with battery storage for most of the remote areas of sunny Africa for lighting, and where solar cookers can replace demand for firewood, reduce smoke pollution, and reduce deforestation !

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41854358

    US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said an increase in the use of fossil fuels in Africa may prevent sexual assault.

    Mr Perry also said electricity would stop people from reading by the light of fires, which have toxic fumes.

    His comments have been criticised, with one environmental group describing them as “blatantly untrue”.

    Mr Perry, a known climate change sceptic, said on Thursday: “From the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts”.

    “So from the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels is [sic] going to play a role in that”, he added.

    Desperately wishing to side-track the issues, he mentions “sexual assault”, which has NOTHING to do with which form of electrical generation is used for lighting!



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  • US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said an increase in the use of fossil fuels in Africa may prevent sexual assault.

    Mr Perry also said electricity would stop people from reading by the light of fires, which have toxic fumes.

    His comments have been criticised, with one environmental group describing them as “blatantly untrue”.

    Avoiding Trumonomics, let’s evaluate this!

    Some African villages without mains electricity or mains water, want electric light!

    They can: – develop a coal mine, build roads or railways to carry coal to a coal fired power-station, build a power-station with a water supply for its turbines, construct pylons to take high-voltage power-lines to the villages, install transformer stations to drop the voltage to that of consumer level devices, and put up lampposts in the villages.

    OR

    Stick a few $2 garden solar lights along the paths around the huts and install solar panels linked to batteries, on the roofs of huts for internal lighting, running radios and TVs, charging mobile phones, and connecting to the internet!

    Comparative estimates of costs and the time estimates for completion of the builds, can be posted on this discussion by anyone interested!

    Solar cookers can be used for cooking and pasteurising water in place of firewood.

    http://www.solarcookers.org/index.php



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  • 11
    HarrieM says:

    It is a pity these old men won’t see what they do to their country, while trying to bring it back to the Middle Ages.
    They don’t want to see what they are doing to the world.

    Knowing they can’t be hold responsible and only risk to be removed from history books, because they only ruined their country and the world is a shame.
    It could take over 20 years before human induced climate change will hit the lower cities from the USA bad enough, they won’t be around anymore.
    These men, using faith to save money, not for the country, but them selves never think they can be punished. This time they could be right, because there is not even a god to make them responsible for their deeds.



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  • HarrieM #11
    Nov 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

    This time they could be right, because there is not even a god to make them responsible for their deeds.

    That’s what the similar charlatans in the tobacco industry thought, until the law caught up worth them and extracted SOME compensation!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement

    The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was entered in November 1998, originally between the four largest United States tobacco companies (Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard – the “original participating manufacturers”, referred to as the “Majors”) and the attorneys general of 46 states. The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related health-care costs, and also exempted the companies from private tort liability regarding harm caused by tobacco use.[1]:25 In exchange, the companies agreed to curtail or cease certain tobacco marketing practices, as well as to pay, in perpetuity, various annual payments to the states to compensate them for some of the medical costs of caring for persons with smoking-related illnesses.

    States were to receive over $206 billion over 25 years:

    Up-front payments – $12.742 billion.
    Annual Payments, beginning April 15, 2000 – $183.177 billion
    through 2025.
    Strategic Contribution Fund, 2008–2017 – $8.61 billion.
    National Foundation ($250 million over 10 years).
    Public Education Fund (at least $1.45 billion 2000–2003).
    State Enforcement Fund ($50 million, one-time payment).
    National Association of Attorneys General
    ($1.5 billion over next 10 years)

    Hopefully, the sponsored Merchants of Doubt on climate science, will follow suit in the near future.



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  • This is refreshing and an absolutely brilliant way to decide policy. I mean right there in Paul’s 2nd letter to the Landscapers, it is clearly stated “he who shall mow the lawn shall mow the lawn”. And who could even posit to argue against Leviticus 6: 12-19?
    ” When choosing a MAN to represent the people, make absolutely certain said MAN will cowtow and kiss your ass at all costs. No one wants to have differing opinions regarding policy”.

    The list goes on:
    Proverbs 18:24
    “there are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother”

    John 7:24
    “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.”

    Wow, that last one from John really brings it home, doesn’t it? I mean you gotta judge with right judgement, don’t you???

    BTW, the fun has begun. These fuck sticks are going to be ousted and the GOP will be forever harmed. Here’s to Donald Trump, the greatest friend the Democratic Party has ever had.



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