BY TIMOTHY CAMA – 02/10/18 06:37 PM EST
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt is getting bolder in questioning climate change.
In several recent public comments, Pruitt has sowed doubt about whether global warming is harmful to humans, and whether anyone could truly know what the Earth’s “ideal” temperature would be in 2100. “Is it an existential threat? Is it something that is unsustainable? Or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have,” Pruitt said in an interview with Las Vegas television station KSNV. “We know that humans have most flourished during times of, what? Warming trends. So I think there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing.” Pruitt in recent months has frequently questioned if scientists know the ideal surface temperature of the earth. In making the case that governments should reduce the greenhouse gases believed to lead to global warming, scientists have discussed what the average global temperature at ground level could be in 2100. “There are things we know and things we don’t know. I think it’s pretty arrogant for people in 2018 to say ‘you know, we know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100,’ ” he said on the New York Times podcast “The Daily” earlier in February…“No one disputes the climate changes, is changing, and we see that is a constant. We obviously contribute to it,” he told the Nevada TV station. “But I think the bigger question is … is it an existential threat? Is it something that is unsustainable? Or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have.”
Pruitt’s statements have alarmed many in the scientific community, who see a thinly-disguised denial of the science behind climate change. “This is a standard trope of climate change denialism and it is ill-premised,” said Michael Mann, a Penn State University atmospheric science professor. “The ideal temperature for us is of course the temperature that our entire civilization and infrastructure was built around and tailored to — i.e. the temperature range that prevailed since the dawn of civilization until we began burning fossil fuels and warming the planet at an unprecedented rate,” added Mann who is known for taking on climate skeptics.
Pruitt’s statements align closely with some of what outspoken climate skeptics have been arguing for years: the harm to humans from global warming is overstated. “I think Administrator Pruitt’s comments show that he is getting up to speed on climate science,” said Myron Ebell, director of the energy and environment center at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The evidence so far is that humankind is on the whole better off with the slightly warmer temperatures compared to the widespread crop failures and big storms that were prevalent during the Little Ice Age from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries,” he said. “Thus I think Administrator Pruitt is right to say that some more warming may be good.”
Marc Morano, head of the climate skeptic blog Climate Depot, was similarly pleased to hear Pruitt’s new lines of talking and is hopeful that the EPA head can go farther. “It is refreshing to have an EPA chief who embraces science and does not parrot the United Nations’s climate claims uncritically,” he said. “Pruitt was quite measured in his remarks on climate change and he actually could have gone much further in promoting his points.”
Morano’s full unedited comments to The Hill:
Morano full unedited comment to The Hill: It is refreshing to have an EPA chief who embraces science and does not parrot the UN’s climate claims uncritically. Pruitt was quite measured in his remarks on climate change and he actually could have gone much further in promoting his points. Leaving aside the question of who or what is driving current global temperatures, EPA chief Pruitt was on solid scientific footing when he pointed out that no one knows what the Earth’s ideal temperature will be in 2100. Not only is it ‘arrogant’ to assume to know what the ideal temperature should be, but it is even more arrogant to assume humans can control the earth’s thermostat through UN treaties or EPA regulations. Even the climate activists claiming they know what temperature the Earth should be in 2100 admit it is a “political” goal, not scientific. (See: Warmist father Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of 2C temperature limit admits it’s ‘a political goal’) Pruitt’s statements are backed by other scientists as well: (See: Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. on origins of 2 degree temp target: ‘Has little scientific basis’ & Flashback Climategate emails: Phil Jones says critical 2-degree C limit was ‘plucked out of thin air’)
Morano: Pruitt was also echoing recent scientific studies on how ‘global warming’ can benefit humans. A UN scientist, Dr. Richard Tol’s January 2018 study projected: “Current estimates indicate that climate change will likely have a limited impact on the economy and human welfare in the twenty-first century. In fact, the initial impacts of climate change may well be positive.” (See: Review of Environmental Economics and Policy in Oxford Academic)
Morano: Furthermore, several prominent scientists and scientific studies have shown that rising CO2 has beneficial impacts on the Earth. (See: Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry: ‘I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming’ &