WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday dismissed near-universally accepted science, denying that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are driving global climate change.
Asked by CNBC “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen whether he believes carbon dioxide “is the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate,” Perry said, “No.”
“Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in,” Perry said. “I mean, the fact is, this shouldn’t be a debate about, ‘Is the climate changing, is man having an effect on it?’ Yeah, we are. The question should be, you know, just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to affect that?”
His comments echo those made by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, who in March told CNBC, “No, I would not agree that [carbon dioxide is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
Perry went on to defend his and others’ climate change denial, suggesting that those who question the scientific community’s findings are more intelligent.
“This science — this idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don’t believe it’s settled then you’re somehow another neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective,” he said. “I think if you’re going to be a wise, intellectually engaged person, being a skeptic about some of these issues is quite all right.”
Ninety-seven percent of climate research supports the finding that climate change is real and that humans are the primary cause.
President Donald Trump, who has called climate change “bullshit” and falsely claimed it’s a Chinese hoax, announced earlier this month he will withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Agreement, an international accord aimed at cutting carbon emissions in an effort to ward off the worst effects of global climate change.