In what The Guardian describes as “his latest departure from mainstream climate science”, the climate-denying administrator of Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency claims global warming might not be such a bad thing for humanity.
While acknowledging to a Nevada television station that human activity contributes to climate change “to a certain degree”, Scott Pruitt questioned the “assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing”, suggesting that “humans have most flourished during times of warming trends.”
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Pruitt’s own agency “is unequivocal that warming temperatures, and resulting environmental changes, are a danger to human health via heat waves, smoke from increased wildfires, worsening smog, extreme weather events, spread of diseases, water-borne illnesses, and food insecurity,” The Guardian notes. “This array of health-related challenges has prompted the medical journal the Lancet to state that tackling climate change will be ‘the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.’”
That didn’t stop Pruitt from asking whether “we know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100 or year 2018,” adding that it’s “fairly arrogant for us to think we know exactly what it should be in 2100.”
Veteran Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann responded that, “as the evidence becomes ever more compelling that climate change is real and human-caused, the forces of denial turn to other specious arguments, like ‘it will be good for us.’” But “there is no consistency at all to their various arguments, other than that we should continue to burn fossil fuels.”
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