Princeton University physicist William Happer, the most likely candidate to be Donald Trump’s Science Advisor, said many climate scientists are like a “glassy-eyed cult.” In a new interview with the Guardian, Happer said these scientists are suffering from a form of “collective madness.” Happer, who met with Trump last month to discuss the science advisor position, is the leading candidate for the job. He’s also certain mankind is “causing climate change” and that’s just fine by him.

Happer isn’t some crackpot scientist espousing nutty ideas. He’s actually a distinguished physicist and well-regarded in the academic world.

But his views on climate science are causing consternation by activist climate scientists who rely on the government for research grants and lavish funding. Happer pointed to the recent NOAA paper currently under fire after a whistleblower named Dr. John Bates came forward.

Bates showed how the authors fiddled with the temperatures to erase the well-established global warming pause. The paper, Happer said, was rushed to publication ahead of an important U.N. conference to influence a sweeping climate accord. He said the paper was more “political fanfare” than science and government agencies shouldn’t be engaged in conduct to suit political agendas.

Glassy-eyed cult

Happer said there is an entire area of climate science that "is really more like a cult." He held it was akin to the Hare Krishna where members were all glassy-eyed and chanting the same refrain.

He said it was these scientists who will potentially “harm the image of all science.” Happer believes government scientists should not publically discuss their findings until the results were fully vetted. He said agency science needed to be “especially clean” and “without fault.”

That’s because people have become fed up with the government lying to them and when something very important comes along, they don’t listen.

He used the confusion swirling around childhood vaccines and the move by some parents not to inoculate their children. “The government,” he added, “should be completely reliable about facts, real facts.”

Overblown claims damage science

He also said Trump was not “anti-science”, scientifically literate, and very attentive when they met.

Trump also asked good questions. While they only touched upon climate change, Happer said Trump thought solar panels made sense in states that get a lot of sunshine, like Arizona. He said the president also wasn’t for or against renewables.

As for temperature, climate, and CO2 monitoring, Happer said those were all important. But, he added, overblown claims by climate scientists about the threat of global warming have been “overplayed.” He noted that enormous sums of money have been spent to “save the planet” that could be used elsewhere. He said bureaucracies sustain themselves by creating a threat that only they can fix.

Questioning climate consensus

Happer’s also not a climate skeptic and has previously said global warming was good for humanity.

While working as the director of research in the George W. Bush’s Department of Energy, he started questioning the still-developing climate consensus. When he questioned climate scientists about their results, he only got evasive and non-responsive answers. That, he said, was when he began to get genuinely concerned about climate science.

As for the “march for science” scheduled in various cities in April, Happer said the public may view the participants as the “privileged elite” and not seen as being noble. The downside, he worries, would be for the scientists to be regarded as a “greedy bunch of spoiled people.” Of course, Happer doesn’t view them this way, but it would be easy for that narrative to develop.