William Happer during the fourth meeting of the National Space Council at National Defense University at Fort McNair on October 23, 2018
Photo: Getty Images

The New York Times published a shocking article over the Memorial Day long weekend about the Trump regime’s dangerous policies on climate change. But one quote in the article really stuck out:

“The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” said the physicist, William Happer, who serves on the National Security Council as the president’s deputy assistant for emerging technologies.

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Yes, that’s a real quote. But it’s actually from 2014, during one of Happer’s appearances on CNBC long before he joined the Trump regime in September 2018. And the entire TV segment is even weirder than that one quote suggests, if you can believe it.

Happer, who has no background in climate science, shouts down one of the hosts and tells him to “shut up,” which might explain why he’s been embraced by the Trump regime. President Trump, who most recently suggested that his political opponents are guilty of treason, really enjoys a TV fight.

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You really need to watch the entire segment, which is absolutely nuts.

From William Happer’s 2014 exchange with CNBC’s Squawk Box hosts Joe Kernen and Andrew Ross Sorkin:

Joe Kernen: How much confidence at this point do you have in models that show a 2 percent increase in celsius over the next hundred years?

William Happer: I don’t anything has any confidence in them. I certainly don’t have confidence in them.

Joe Kernen: I’m immediately going to get nailed that you’re funded by Exxon or by the hydrocarbon industry. Do you have any vested interest? Any conflicts that cause you to have these views that many people would say are anti-science or at least against the scientific community?

William Happer: Well, you know, I consider myself part of the scientific community...

Joe Kernen: You must get a lot of flak, don’t you professor? Don’t you get a lot of flak?

William Happer: Of course. So what? When Galileo had his tiff with the church, he got a lot of flak too.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: Professor, I have some issues with all of this, because you don’t believe in climate change at all. You made a comment...

William Happer: Just a minute! Just a minute! Just a minute! I believe in climate change! Shut up!

Andrew Ross Sorkin: Sir, I’m open to all ideas. You made a comment back in 2009 comparing climate change to the Holocaust. And my question is, are you suggesting when you made that comment, that climatologists and climate scientists are the equivalent of Hitler and Nazis? That’s what it seems like you are trying to say.

William Happer: You know, I get called a denier and anyone who objects to all of the hype gets called a denier. That’s supposed to make me a Holocaust denier. You know, I’m getting tired of that and the comment I made was that the demonization of carbon was just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world and so were the Jews.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: How much money did you take from Exxon over the years in the aughts up to 2008?

William Happer: I haven’t taken a dime from Exxon. I have not taken one dime from Exxon.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: The foundation that you work for, they didn’t take money? You weren’t paid by them?

William Happer: I don’t work for the foundation. I’m a trustee of the Marshall Institute and I’m proud of it. The Marshall Institute, for example, stood for missile defense, which has saved a lot of lives in Israel over the last two weeks, no thanks to many of its opponents.

Joe Kernen: Alright, professor, we appreciate your time today.

That last bit about Happer taking money from the oil giant Exxon was probably in reference to his role at the conservative think tank, the George C. Marshall Institute, which received $715,000 from Exxon-Mobil between 1998 and 2008. Happer was the chairman of the Marshall Institute from 2006 until 2015. While Happer may not have “taken a dime’ directly from Exxon, his organization took plenty of dimes.

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The 2009 comments that are referenced in the segment can still be found online:

“This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

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As the New York Times notes, the 79-year-old Happer has also taken a lot of money from Robert and Rebekah Mercer, far right wing billionaires who have funded climate denial campaigns and helped President Trump win the 2016 election as his largest donors.

These idiots are going to get us all killed, aren’t they? It sure seems like it. And if they don’t get us killed through completely ignoring climate science, I’m sure they’ll find another way.

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The Trump regime has plenty of ways to inflict pain with its parade of elderly sadists. And as others have noted time and time again, the cruelty is the point.