Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has suggested that global warming may be beneficial to humans, in his latest departure from mainstream climate science.
Pruitt, who has previously erred by denying that carbon dioxide is a key driver of climate change, has again caused consternation among scientists by suggesting that warming temperatures could benefit civilization.
The EPA administrator said that humans are contributing to climate “to a certain degree”, but added: “We know humans have most flourished during times of warming trends. There are assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing.
“Do we know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100 or year 2018?” he told a TV station in Nevada. “It’s fairly arrogant for us to think we know exactly what it should be in 2100.”
Pruitt said he wanted an “honest, transparent debate about what we do know and what we don’t know, so the American people can be informed and make decisions on their own”.
Under Pruitt’s leadership, the EPA is mulling whether to stage a televised “red team blue team” debate between climate scientists and those who deny the established science that human activity is warming the planet.
Donald Trump has also repeatedly questioned the science of climate change, tweeting during a cold snap in December that the US “could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against”.
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