WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Going against the mainstream scientific consensus, Energy Secretary Rick Perry has claimed carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are not the main driver of climate change.
Perry acknowledged during an interview on CNBC's 'Squawk Box' on Monday that humans are affecting the climate but argued there is a debate about how much.
Asked whether carbon dioxide emissions are primarily responsible for climate change, Perry said, '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, 'Is the climate changing, is man having an effect on it?' Yeah, we are,' he added. 'The question should be just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to affect that?'
The comments from Perry are in line with the opinion of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who previously told CNBC he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor.
However, the view is contrary to conclusions by scientists at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The EPA's website previously included a page that said 'carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change,' but it was removed under President Donald Trump.
Perry suggested that it was a sign of a 'wise, intellectually engaged person' to be skeptical of the findings on climate change.
'This idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don't believe it's settled then you're somehow another Neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective,' Perry said.
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