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Trump’s Energy Sec. Perry Thinks He’s ‘Wise’ and ‘Intellectually Engaged’ for Denying Science

Rick Perry Denies Carbon Dioxide Is ‘Primary’ Driver Of Climate Change

It has been no secret that many of the folks Donald Trump has appointed to positions related to the environment aren’t exactly on board with the overwhelming evidence the world of science has given us on climate change. One of the most notable appointees on this issue was former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Energy Department. Today, Perry decided to not only deny the affect carbon dioxide has on climate change, he touted his intellect for doing so.

During an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning, Perry was asked whether CO2 was the “primary control knob” for climate change. The Energy Secretary responded:

No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in…The fact is this shouldn’t be a debate about, you know,’Is the climate changing, is man having an effect on it?’ Yeah, we are. The question should be just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to effect that?…This idea that science is just ‘absolutely settled’ and if you don’t believe it’s settled then you’re somehow or another a neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective.

Well, he does admit humans are having an effect on climate change in that comment, so that’s a begrudging step in the right direction for him. But then comes the usual skepticism questioning the science he is basically quoting in the first part of that statement. Good luck making sense of that.

Perry was echoing the claim made by Trump Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt in March of this year that CO2 is not the “primary contributor to the global warming that we see”. Politifact rated this claim false and pointed out the only question among scientists is the level of contribution CO2 has played in changing the climate. There is “no doubt” it is playing a key role in climate change.

Perry then continued by noting that bucking the vast majority of experts in the field with no expertise of his own is a really, really smart thing to do:

If you’re going to be a wise, intellectually engaged person, being a skeptic about some of these issues is quite alright.

Related: John Oliver Warns Trump: Stop Telling Dangerous Lies to Coal Miners (VIDEO)

Frankly, it’s hard to make the claim someone is truly “wise” if they are rejecting the facts that more than 97 percent of experts in a scientific field agree upon. But wise isn’t something we often associate with this administration when it comes to the environment. It’s just par for the course at this point.

Watch Rick Perry’s full comments below.

Featured image via Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

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A very happy stay-at-home dad with a Master's in Poly Sci which qualifies him for asking an endless number of questions on issues and having no answers.