July 31, 2017
The Honorable Scott Pruitt
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Dear Administrator Pruitt:
As leaders of professional scientific societies with our collective membership of hundreds of thousands of scientists, we are writing in response to reports that you are working to develop a “red team/blue team” process that challenges climate science.
We write to remind you of the ongoing research, testing, evaluations, and debates that happen on a regular basis in every scientific discipline. The peer review process itself is a constant means of scientists putting forth research results, getting challenged, and revising them based on evidence. Indeed, science is a multi-dimensional, competitive “red team/blue team” process whereby scientists and scientific teams are constantly challenging one another’s findings for robustness. The current scientific understanding of climate change is based on decades of such work, along with overarching, carefully evaluated assessments within the United States and internationally.
As a reflection of that work, 31 scientific societies last year released a letter, updated from 2009, to reflect the current scientific consensus on climate change. We urge you to give its text consideration, along with America’s Climate Choices, the work of our premier United States scientific body, the National Academy of Sciences.
Of course, climate science, like all sciences, is an ever-changing discipline: our knowledge is always advancing. Robust discussion about data interpretation, methodology, and findings are part of daily scientific discourse. That is how science progresses. However, the integrity of the scientific process cannot thrive when policymakers—regardless of party affiliation—use policy disagreements as a pretext to challenge scientific conclusions.
Given your interest in the state of climate science, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to better understand your perspective and rationale for the proposed activity; and to discuss climate science, including which areas are at the frontiers of scientific knowledge and which are well-established because of thousands of studies from multiple lines of evidence.
We look forward to hearing from you, and your office may contact Lexi Shultz (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kasey White (email@example.com), or Joanne Carney (firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate a meeting.
View the PDF of the letter here.