A prominent but controversial physicist who recently met with President Donald Trump says global warming is a "non-problem" not worth investing in, that CO2 is actually good for the atmosphere and the planet, and that the debate over climate change is driven by alarmists and is distracting the public from other more pressing problems.
Some have speculated that Will Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University is on a shortlist of potential science advisors to the Trump Administration, after Happer met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York City in mid-January. Whether he will play any official role in the administration remains to be seen, but he has been a witness at hearings convened by Republican lawmakers on climate change.
Happer also was director of the Office of Science in the Department of Energy from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush.
In a lengthy interview with ProPublica, Happer said science education in the United States is substandard, that he resents being called a "climate denier," and explained his conviction that carbon dioxide is actually good for the planet, as it fosters plant growth and pushes up agricultural yields.
He points out that he is not proposing the "irresponsible burning of fossil fuels," citing air pollution in cities like Beijing and New Delhi as examples of what happens when emissions are not controlled.
But he said he thinks the issue of climate change is fueled by alarmists, and that the science is "very, very shaky on their side."