Speed Reads

Climate change

EPA chief claims climate change might not necessarily be 'a bad thing'

President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency has come down hard on rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change, even silencing a report by the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program last fall that detailed how climate change is affecting everything from precipitation to air and water temperatures. Now the EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, has gone as far as to suggest that climate change might not "necessarily" be "a bad thing."

Pruitt appeared on Nevada's KSNV on Tuesday, where he rhetorically wondered, "Is [climate change] an existential threat?" He added: "We know that humans have flourished during times of … warming trends," and said it was merely "assumptions" that "because the climate is warming that that necessarily is a bad thing."

While it is true mankind has flourished when there is not a literal ice age, researchers predict that 150,000 people could die a year in Europe from climate change-related extreme weather events by the end of the century.

Pruitt has a long history of frustrating the scientific community with his comments about climate change, such as expressing doubt over whether carbon dioxide from human activity is a driving factor behind the environmental changes being recorded. Last fall, The Lancet reported that there were more than 9 million premature deaths from pollution in 2015, and that if not addressed, pollution "threatens the continuing survival of human societies." Jeva Lange