Trumps energy secretary just denied that humans are behind climate change

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday denied that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are the primary cause of climate change.Asked in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” whether he believed that carbon dioxide was “the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate,” Perry said that “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”Perry added that “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 just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to effect that?”Read the latest news on U.S. President Donald TrumpPerry’s comments fall in line with what Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said in a March interview on the program. Pruitt said then that he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.Article Continued BelowBoth men’s views contradict the conclusions of scientists at Pruitt’s own EPA as well as NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the IPCC said in a 2013 report. Citing the IPCC report, EPA said on its website, now removed, that “recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century.” EPA added, “it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming.”It’s true that over far longer time periods, other factors have driven changes to the Earth’s climate, such as wobbles in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. But in the most immediate period and in the current climate debate, scientists have made very clear that human emissions are that cause.