Trump’s EPA Chief, Working From An Oil Industry Conference, Lies About CO2 And Climate Change
Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s appointee as leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, went on national television today to declare that he doesn’t believe that carbon dioxide is an important factor in global warming. Pruitt said, “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.”
Scott Pruitt doesn’t have any training in science. He has never worked as a scientist. That doesn’t mean that we should discount Pruitt’s statement out of hand. However, it does mean that when Pruitt declares that “there’s tremendous disagreement” about whether carbon dioxide is “a primary contributor” to global warming, we should question whether his statement is supported by the research of professional scientists.
As luck would have it, the work of professional scientists who have training in studying the relationship between human activity and global climate has been systematically scrutinized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC isn’t populated by politicians who trained as lawyers, as is the case with Scott Pruitt. It’s a scientific body. Its members are all scientists who have established expertise in research related to climatology.
The scientists of the IPCC directly contradict Scott Pruitt’s statement. They write, “Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
There isn’t “tremendous disagreement”. The climatologists of the world have concurred, for many years, that carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, are “extremely likely” to be “the dominant cause” of global warming.
There is no rival panel of climatologists with respected credentials, unfunded by the fossil fuels industry, that disagrees with the IPCC’s assessment of the role of carbon dioxide in global warming.
When Scott Pruitt stated today that there is “tremendous disagreement” about whether carbon dioxide significantly contributes to global warming, he was plainly wrong.
The work of the Environmental Protection Agency must be based on solid scientific research. Today, Scott Pruitt demonstrated that he is either profoundly ignorant of scientific research, or that he is willing to advance the economic interest of oil and gas companies without regard to scientific research.
Whichever is the case, Scott Pruitt is clearly unqualified to do anything as leader of the Environmental Protection Agency but destroy it.