EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Just Said Something So Dumb, We're Not Even Sure How To Respond

Pruitt, seen here at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. Gage Skidmore/Flickr; CC BY-SA 2.0

“These latest comments are part and parcel of a package of misinformation that the current administration is peddling, while millions of American lives, and billions of American dollars, sit in the cross-hairs of climate change,” Prof. Kim Cobb, a climatologist and the Director of Global Change Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told IFLScience.

“I’d be happy to sit down with the Secretary and clear up the facts around past versus present climate change.”

The dangers of a rapidly warming world are clear. Hurricanes exacerbated by warmer waters and wetter skies have led to record-breaking damages. Warmer and more polluted environments are making people sicker.

Climate change is causing sea levels to rise upon the shores of isolated islands and wealthy coastal metropolises, and it’s even widening the inequality gap as the poor bear the brunt of the detrimental effects. Two billion people may be climate refugees by 2100.

A rapidly warming planet is triggering ecological collapses, with oceanic ecosystems struggling to keep up. Food chains that we rely on are being disrupted, and agriculture is unable to keep up with the rising mercury. Parts of the world will potentially be uninhabitably hot by the middle of this century.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared that “climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.” Flourish, we will not.

There are reasons that international agreements like the Paris accords exist. Science knows that, because of us, the world is warming at an unprecedented pace. We’re scrambling to better understand the damaging effects it will have, but the scientific consensus points toward a worrying future.

Prof. Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at The Pennsylvania State University, suggested to IFLScience that Pruitt's latest notion is just another stage of climate denial.

“As the evidence becomes ever more compelling that climate change is real and human caused, the forces of denial turn to other specious argument, like ‘it will be good for us’,” he said.

“There is no consistency at all to their various arguments other than that we should continue to burn fossil fuels.”

The EPA hasn't responded to a request for comment.

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