Before he was an adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s new White House communications director, lamented that some people did not accept the consensus among climate scientists that human activity was warming Earth.
It was “disheartening” that so many people dismissed climate change as a “hoax,” Scaramucci tweeted.
You can take steps to combat climate change without crippling the economy. The fact many people still believe CC is a hoax is disheartening
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 11, 2016
Among those “many people” of course was then-presidential candidate Trump, who famously tweeted that the concept of global warming was a hoax fabricated by China.
Two months after Scaramucci’s plea about climate change, he was hired by Trump — and the certainty with which the wealthy financier spoke about climate science changed.
Scaramucci, a spokesman for the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, was given one of the largest megaphones in the national media when the president tapped him Friday.
Scaramucci’s views on climate change — or at least, the views he once held — will be out of place in a West Wing alongside chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and other Trump advisers who dismiss the threat of climate change.
His sentiment in that 2016 tweet was not a one-off that year.
In April, he picked up on a line of argument popular in some military circles, tweeting: “Pursuing renewable energy also has positive nat’l security implications.”
And in an interview that June with a financial news website called FINalternatives, Scaramucci was even more explicit, saying that the “science of climate change is pretty much irrefutable at this point, and I find it tragic that so many people in this country believe global warming is some sort of elaborate hoax perpetuated by every credible scientist on the planet.”
But after Trump’s surprise election, Scaramucci was put on the presidential transition team, where he earned a reputation for lancing with talking heads on television. In a December interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Scaramucci suggested that he was less certain about the science.
“I know that the current president believes that human beings are affecting the climate,” he said, referring to President Barack Obama. “There are scientists that believe that that’s not happening.”
He continued: “There was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat, and there was an overwhelming science that we were the center of the world. We get a lot of things wrong in the scientific community. You and I both know that. I’m not suggesting that we’re not affecting the change. I honestly don’t know. I’m not a scientist.”
“It’s called ignorance,” Cuomo interjected at one point.
Scaramucci faced further criticism online, including accusations that he had become a climate denier, something Scaramucci furiously rejected.
He may not be a scientist, but Scaramucci said in a tweet the day the interview aired, he is also not a denier. Let’s see what happens now that he is in the White House.
I am not a climate change denier. I have said publicly that I don't know the answer. I am for clean air and clean water. https://t.co/RQHeG6hmue
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) December 14, 2016