Sac State president, professor dispute Trump line on climate change

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Sac State president, professor dispute Trump line on climate change

(Screenshot from a video by Fox News)

(Screenshot from a video by Fox News)

(Screenshot from a video by Fox News)

(Screenshot from a video by Fox News)

John Ferrannini

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Some administration and faculty are taking a hard line on President Donald Trump’s positions on climate change, with Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen signing an open letter to the new administration and a professor debating Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Nelsen was one of six California State University presidents to sign an open letter urging the new administration to support the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Trump said he wanted to “cancel.”

“The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities,” the letter, facilitated by the nonprofit Second Nature, states. “We stand ready to assist your incoming Administration and congressional representatives to embrace this opportunity for the nation to meet these unprecedented global challenges.”

President Nelsen said that he signed the letter to show Sacramento State’s commitment to sustainability.

“We don’t want to deviate from the pathway now. Instead, we want to lead,” Nelsen said. “With the Paris Agreement, the world took a step in the right direction. As many are, I am concerned that we will not continue moving forward. I hope that I am wrong.”

Nelsen’s move was lauded by history professor Joseph Palermo.

“It makes me proud to be a member of the Sacramento State faculty to see President Nelsen join his colleagues among educators in defending the science of climate change at a time when it’s coming under an orchestrated attack,” Palermo said.

(The story continues below the video)

Palermo was in a controversy of his own over the winter break after he wrote an op-ed in The Huffington Post on Dec. 27, in which he said that Trump shouldn’t “be allowed” to use Twitter because he tweeted that the “concept of global warming” was created to bolster Chinese national interests.

“I’ve always believed that people who dismiss science in one area shouldn’t be able to benefit from science in others,” Palermo wrote. “If Trump and his cohort believe the science of global warming is bogus then they shouldn’t be allowed to use the science of the Internet for their Twitter accounts, the science of global positioning for their drones, or the science of nuclear power for their weaponry.”

Palermo insisted that his comments were not intended as an attack on the president’s freedom of speech.

“What students should understand … about this case was that The Daily Caller, The Blaze, and other right-wing news sites ran sensational and false stories about my original Huffington Post article to attract clicks and views with a total disregard for the truth,” Palermo said.

Palermo was subsequently invited on Tucker Carlson Tonight on the Fox News Channel, where Carlson questioned Palermo’s assertion that “98 percent of the world’s scientists” believe in climate change.

“How do you know that? Are you a scientist, have you polled other scientists of what, where did you get that figure?” asked Carlson. “The essence of science and of journalism is skepticism.”

“Science is not just what I believe, Tucker,” responded Palermo.

Palermo didn’t cite a specific study to answer Carlson’s question, although “97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists” believe in man-made climate change, according to NASA.

Palermo said that he feels that he was invited on by Carlson so that he would “look bad on his show.”

“Like the fake news blogs attacking my original article, he wasn’t interested in engaging the ideas or arguments of what I had written,” Palermo said. “No, he didn’t treat me fairly or care about what I had to say. I did get the impression that he even he knows he’s misinforming his two million viewers by denying human-caused climate change.”