According to Glenn Reynolds, one of the advisors actually believed at one time that economics should play no role in climate change policy. John Holden, tapped to be Obama's science advisor, is also a disciple of discredited population alarmist Paul Ehrlich:
“In his salad days, Holdren was a paid-up member of The Limits to Growth club. . . . Near the beginning of his career, Holdren introduced with his colleague, perennial population alarmist Paul Ehriich, the concept of the I=PAT equation. Human Impact on the environment is equal to Population x Affluence/consumption x Technology. All of which are supposed to intensify and worsen humanity’s impact on the natural world. In the past Holdren has adhered to the common ecologist’s disdain for insights from economics in helping solve environmental problems.” There’s some hope that he’s wised up since: “Holdren now apparently sees technology as a solution to environmental problems and human poverty.” Say a little prayer that that’s right.
And Obama has chosen Jane Lubchenco to head up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - another advocate for global warming:
Lubchenco did not draw the same level of criticism from conservative groups as Holdren yesterday, but she represents just as radical a departure for NOAA, which oversees marine issues as well as much of the government's climate work. While NOAA has traditionally favored commercial fishing interests in policy disputes, Lubchenco has consistently called for conservation measures to safeguard ocean ecosystems in the face of industry opposition.
Joshua S. Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment group, said NOAA officials have too often set aside scientific considerations when deciding how much fish to extract from the sea. "For too many years, politics has played a greater role in fisheries management than science," he said. "This appointment carries with it the hope that this may soon change."
Holdren and Lubchenco have pushed other scientists to play a more active policy role. Holdren has attended international climate talks and helped coordinate a statement on the subject from scientific academies around the world. Lubchenco founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program to teach mid-career scientists how to participate in public policy debates.
Both believe in catastrophic climate change scenarios - despite growing evidence to the contrary. Will they act like scientists and keep an open mind on climate change data? The appointment of Holder is not encouraging in that regard. Lubchenco, on the other hand, may surprise us.
But clearly, the Obama Administration will want to implement some kind of green house gas reduction scheme - even in the middle of a deep recession - in the first half of their term in office.