Scott Pruitt, recently confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, declared that carbon dioxide is not a “primary contributor” to climate change, contradicting well-established science.
Pruitt disagreed when asked during an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen if he believed it's been proven that carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a "primary control knob" for the changing climate (in fact, in 2010 NASA released a report that showed this to be the case). He also indicated that the science on climate change is not yet settled, which is false: "97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists" as well as scientific organizations around the world all agree that human activities are a key contributor to climate change.
“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact," Pruitt said. "So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don't know that yet, we need to continue the debate and the analysis."
Pruitt's nomination and eventual confirmation to run the EPA was a major concern to environmentalists around the world, who labelled him a climate change denier. As Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt sent a letter to government regulators written by drilling lobbyists.
Thumbnail photo by Aaron P. Bernstein for Getty Images