Commentary, Environment, Trump Administration

Could you lead the EPA better than Scott Pruitt? Take the quiz and find out!

Scott Pruitt, President Trump's pick to lead the EPA, testifying at his nomination hearing last week (Screen shot: C-Span)

Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA, testifying at his nomination hearing last week (Screen shot: C-Span)

Last week, Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Currently the attorney general for the State of Oklahoma, Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times for what he calls “federal overreach” in the agency’s regulations over clean air and water. Pruitt has also taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and, in previous statements, questioned the human forces behind climate change.

Thursday’s hearing mixed sycophancy from fellow conservatives and fossil fuel fans, like Sen. James Inhofe, also of Oklahoma, and strident criticism from progressives, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, who stumped Pruitt on a question about the prevalence of asthma among Oklahoma children.

After more than two hours of testimony, it became clear that Pruitt didn’t have a firm scientific grasp of the environmental perils facing the country. So we ask you, dear reader, are you better qualified than Pruitt to lead the EPA? Take this test and find out.

MATH

If 400 students are enrolled at David Koch Elementary School and 10 percent of them have asthma, how many inhalers would be needed to give one to every breathless child?

a. 10
b. 40
c. 1, because kids must learn to share

If a coastal highway is at sea level and the ocean rises 3 feet by the Year 2100, when should Bro’s Oyster Bar close and move inland?

a. Yesterday
b. Only in months without an R
c.  It can’t close; it’s my favorite spot on the Outer Banks

LOGIC

An 8-ounce glass of water from a household tap contains 10 parts per million of lead. If there is no safe level for lead in drinking water, under what conditions should a person consume the water?

a. With at least three bottles of 18-year-old Macallan, you know, to kill the lead germs
b. Only when you’re finished mowing the back yard
c. When the baby’s hungry for formula

READING COMPREHENSION

Read the paragraph below and mark which of the answers you think is the most accurate.

“Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.”

Climate change and global warming are:

a. A hoax
b. There can be no global warming because the Earth is flat
c.  It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity

PROBLEM SOLVING

Fracking has been linked to earthquakes, even in areas without natural fault zones, as well as groundwater contamination and methane leaks. If you were in charge of a fracking operation, how would you mitigate the disastrous effects of this drilling practice?

a. Free pizza for a year to the third caller
b. Eminent domain
c. Drill deeper

LITERATURE

Who has seen the wind?

a. When the smog is thick, everyone
b. God, the Creator of climate change
c. Hey, is this a trick question?

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