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Stephen Hawking Calls for EPA Chief Ouster

  • VOA News

FILE - Stephen Hawking, almost totally paralyzed since 1970 by ALS, enjoys a few moments of weightlessness during a flight aboard Zero Gravity Corp.’s modified Boeing 727. (Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network)

Celebrity physicist Stephen Hawking, a vocal critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, said Trump’s environmental policies are particularly concerning, going so far as to call for Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief, to be replaced.

"He should replace Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency," Hawking said in an interview on the Good Morning Britain television show, adding that climate change is a danger. "It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term. God forbid."

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), speaks to employees of the agency in Washington, Feb. 21, 2017.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), speaks to employees of the agency in Washington, Feb. 21, 2017.

In the wide ranging interview, Hawking said he would like to visit the U.S. but fears he “may not be welcome” though there don’t appear to be any calls to bar the 75-year-old Cambridge scientist from coming to the U.S.

He also touched on space exploration and British politics.

Pruitt has been skeptical of the manmade impact on the climate.

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he told CNBC.

Hawking’s views about climate change are echoed by some in the Trump administration, including defense secretary James Mattis, who called it a threat to national security in recent senate testimony.

"Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today," Mattis’ prepared statement said.

In 2009, then-president Barack Obama awarded Hawking the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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