NPR

Meet The White House's New Chief Climate Change Skeptic

William Happer, a Princeton scientist who is doubtful of the dangers of climate change, appears to be leading a White House challenge to the government's conclusion that global warming is a threat.

Twenty five years ago, William Happer had an encounter with the White House that ended badly.

At the time, in 1993, the Princeton professor was taking a break from academia to direct scientific research at the U.S. Department of Energy. He turned a skeptical eye toward one of then-Vice President Al Gore's favorite issues: the risks posed by chemicals eating away at ozone in the stratosphere and letting in dangerous ultraviolet radiation. As the story goes, Happer went to the White House and told Gore's staff he saw no evidence that the ozone hole actually was hurting anyone.

Gore was annoyed,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR1 min read
Sunday Puzzle: City Sounds
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Weekend Edition Puzzlemaster Will Shortz play a word game with KANW and KUNM listener Kirstie Newman of Santa Fe, N.M.
NPR2 min read
For Mongolia's Ice Shooters, Warmer Winters Mean A Shorter Sports Season
This season's final competition, originally scheduled for mid-March, had to be bumped up by two weeks. "The river was already melting," the town's mayor explained.
NPR8 min read
'Game Of Thrones' Season 8, Episode 2: 'Think Back To Where We Started'
On the eve of the biggest battle yet, the series pauses for an episode that delivers old-school Game of Thrones thrills: characters talking in rooms — including a milestone Jaime/Brienne moment.