Kathleen Hartnett White stammered, sighed and sat silent for seconds on end on Wednesday throughout her Senate hearing to be confirmed as the new head of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality.  

It was an unusually tongue-tied performance for someone who has been a bombastic critic of climate and environmental science.

The former Texas environmental state regulator turned climate pundit has argued that “carbon dioxide has none of the attributes of a pollutant,” dismissed it as a “harmless trace gas” and “plant food,” and compared Pope Francis’ public advocacy for action to curb global warming to the Catholic Church’s arrest of Galileo for heresy in 1633. She equated the belief in the overwhelming evidence that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet

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