Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has reportedly been touting his credentials as a “geologist” to lend his decisions and opinions a professional foundation — despite the fact that his only experience in the field is an undergraduate degree obtained 34 years ago.
According to CNN, Zinke has referred to himself as a current or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including under oath before Congress. He uses the title to preface his opinions on everything from climate change to offshore drilling, quipping “as a geologist,” before launching into his opinions on the most pressing environmental issues of the day.
Several career geologists told CNN that Zinke’s claim is baseless and dangerous, and that he attaches the moniker to opinions that do not match current geological knowledge. One pointed out that, in particular, modern geologists acknowledge that climate change is caused by humans’ actions, a stance that Zinke has routinely wavered on.