President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief is a well-known climate change skeptic who has been at war with the agency he now leads for decades — but he took that designation to new levels on Tuesday.
During an interview with KSNV News 3 Las Vegas, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wondered whether global warming could actually be a good thing for humanity.
“We know that humans have most flourished during times of, what? Warming trends,” Pruitt said. “So I think there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing.”
Pruitt is so dismissive of climate science that he appeared to refer to the warnings from scientists and experts regarding the impact of global warming as arrogance.
“Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100 in the year 2018?” Pruitt asked. “I mean, that’s somewhat fairly arrogant, for us to think that we know exactly what it should be in 2100.”
Pruitt once considered funding a debate on whether humans are the main contributors to global warming — which is the scientific consensus — but appeared on Tuesday to acknowledge that humans are at least somewhat responsible for changes in climate.
“No one disputes the climate changes, is changing, and we see that is a constant. We obviously contribute to it,” Pruitt said. “We live in the climate, right. So our activity contributes to the climate changing, to a certain degree.”
Since his appointment, Pruitt has been gradually gutting the EPA by rolling back environmental regulations on the fossil fuel industry and making budgetary and staff cuts. He personally oversaw the removal of references to climate change from the agency’s website.