The nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency told Senators on Wednesday that he doesn’t believe that climate change is a hoax. But members of Western Michigan University’s Climate Change Action Group say that doesn’t address their fears about Scott Pruitt running the EPA.
Two Western Michigan University faculty members – Biological Sciences Professor David Karowe and Political Science Professor Paul Clements joined WMUK’s Gordon Evans to discuss President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee as Secretary of the EPA. Karowe says Pruitt’s acknowledgement that climate change is not a hoax falls short of acknowledging that humans are the main cause of climate change. But Karowe says that the overwhelming consensus among scientists is that human activity is the primary cause of climate change.
Clements says government depends on science. He says Pruitt’s record shows that he has denied the existence of man-made climate change. Clements says the debate should be about how the country should address climate change.
The confirmation hearings for Pruitt come as scientists are reporting that 2016 was the warmest year on record, topping 2015. Karowe says what’s alarming is that the record set in 2015 can be explained in part by a super El Nino in all of 2015 that causes natural warming. But Karowe says that El Nino continued into only the first part of 2016. Yet 2016 surpassed the previous year by a healthy margin to be the warmest on record.