Carbon Dioxide Not Primary Cause of Global Warming
The new boss of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday he does not believe that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a primary contributor to global warming.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said measuring the effect of human activity on the climate is “very challenging” and that “there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact” of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
“So, no, I would not agree that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Mr. Pruitt said in a TV interview.
Mr. Pruitt’s view is contrary to mainstream climate science, including NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the EPA itself.
The EPA says on its website that “carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change.” The agency notes that human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, “release large amounts of CO2, causing concentrations in the atmosphere to rise.”
Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Thursday that “Scott Pruitt is just plain wrong on this.”
Prof. Emanuel, co-director of the Lorenz Center at MIT, said the most authoritative compilation of scientific research has shown that increasing carbon dioxide has been the dominant source of global warming, followed by methane and other gases.
Environmental groups and Democrats seized on Mr. Pruitt’s comments as evidence he is unfit for the office.
Sen. Brian Schatz, (D-HI) said the comments underscore that Pruitt is a “climate denier” and insisted lawmakers will stand up to him.
“Anyone who denies over a century’s worth of established science and basic facts is unqualified to be the administrator of the EPA,” Schatz said in a statement.
Scott Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma Attorney General, where he rose to prominence as a leader in coordinated efforts by Republican attorneys general to challenge former President Barack Hussein Obama’s regulatory agenda. He sued or took part in legal actions against the EPA 14 times.
Mr. Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing in January that climate change is real, breaking with President Donald Trump and his own past statements.
“I do not believe climate change is a hoax,” he said.
He has previously cast doubt on the extensive body of scientific evidence showing that the planet is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.
In a Y 2016 opinion article, Mr. Pruitt suggested that the debate over global warming “is far from settled” and he said “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”
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