Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said he didn’t think carbon dioxide was a major contributor to global warming and that we need to do more review and analysis of the subject. That view, to put it charitably, is ridiculous.
Scientists for more than 100 years have conducted thousands of experiments showing the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate change.
Four years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 2,000 international scientists that assess and summarize climate change data, concurred that more than half the global warming that occurred from 1951 to 2010 was a result of human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
More recently, in January, a report from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that the approximately two-degree rise in surface temperature on Earth dating from the 19th century has been largely due to increased carbon dioxide and other man-made emissions into the atmosphere.
When asked by reporters to explain his remarks about carbon dioxide not being a major factor in global warming, Pruitt sidestepped the subject and said, “The future ain’t what it used to be at the EPA.”
If that future is about denying an overwhelming body of evidence that shows humans are causing the climate to warm by releasing carbon dioxide into the air, we’re better off going back to the past.
Martin H. Levinson