The president of the United States is a conspiracy theorist who gets his intelligence from “the shows,” frequently assures people he is “like, a smart person” because his uncle taught at MIT, and has dismissed the scientific consensus about such subjects as vaccines and anthropogenic global warming. The good news is that he will have an adviser on science issues. The bad news is that the adviser may also hold lunatic beliefs about science.
David Gelernter, who is reportedly a leading contender to be Trump’s science adviser, has an interview with the Yale Daily News, in which he expounds upon his long-standing skepticism of the scientific consensus on climate change. “For human beings to change the climate of the planet is a monstrously enormous undertaking,” Gelernter said. “I haven’t seen convincing evidence of it … We’re in Connecticut, so we know about the ice age. The Earth’s climate oscillates, there’s no way to stop it,” he said. “My first supposition is that if it’s getting warmer, then it’s a natural oscillation.”
In fact, scientists who study this issue are well aware of the ice age and other changes in atmospheric temperature over time. They have considered and rejected the possibility that the link between increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and rising temperatures is coincidental.
Gelernter writes occasional columns expressing his seething rage at liberals in general and academic liberals in particular. (Here is a recent example, in which Gelernter rambles between such observations as “Hillary the Queen”’s alleged hatred for members of the Secret Service or police officers who try to speak with her; Clinton and Barack Obama’s “profound contempt for America and Americans”; the folly of Obamacare; the Iran nuclear deal; affirmative action; women in combat. “Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL?” is Gelernter’s idea of a knock-down argument. When your world view is ordered by indiscriminate hatred of liberals, anything liberals believe will seem suspect, including science. But it kind of undermines the point of having a science adviser.