Speed Reads


EPA head Scott Pruitt thinks it's 'insensitive' to be talking about climate change right now

Despite the ongoing onslaught of abnormal weather events, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt does not think it's time to talk about climate change. In an interview with CNN published late Thursday, Pruitt suggested that it's unfair to hurricane victims to be discussing why these devastating storms might be happening.

"Here's the issue: To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm, versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced," Pruitt said, pushing for the focus to remain on access to clean water and fuel in the wake of these horrible storms — whose likely cause, it seems, shall not be named.

Pruitt acknowledged that "at some point" Congress should get around to addressing why the weather has been so wacky, but he argued that the "place (and time) to do that, it's not now." "All I'm saying to you is, to use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to this people in Florida," Pruitt said, just weeks after he said it was "opportunistic" and "misplaced" to connect Hurricane Harvey to climate change.

The agency that Pruitt leads, however, has specifically said that the "[r]ising global average temperature is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns." "Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change," the EPA said in a press release.

But let's not talk about that.