Confusing the Public

The aim of Christine Todd Whitman's op-ed on climate change this week was ostensibly to affirm that there is a "broad consensus" on the science and a bipartisan consensus on the politics—since she is a Republican and a former head of the E.P.A. Like many critics of the Trump administration, she disparages Scott Pruitt's "red-team" proposal because—as she says twice in the piece—it will only "confuse the public." This is a breathtaking admission from a "public" figure, since it is "the public" that reads the New York Times, the reports of the IPCC, the growing docket of climate lawsuits, and the angry jeremiads of climate doomsayers demanding ever more radical transformations of our societies.