28 Jun NASA’s administrator says he switched his position on climate change because he ‘read a lot’
- NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine used to deny climate change and humans’ role in rising global temperatures.
- His views have evolved, however, and he now supports the mainstream scientific consensus that human activity is causing the Earth’s climate to change on an unprecedented scale.
- He told The Washington Post in a recent interview that his views changed because he “read a lot.”
Bridenstine, a former three-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma and a Navy pilot, previously denied the scientific consensus on climate change in a 2013 speech on the House floor.
In it, he said “global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago.”
But now, as the head of NASA – an agency that funds a lot of research about climate change – Bridenstine has changed his tune. He agrees with the scientific consensus that humans’ burning of fossil fuels is spewing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby causing global temperatures to rise.
“I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot,” Bridenstine told The Post on Tuesday . “I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we’ve put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we’ve seen.”
This acceptance of climate science is common among Democrats, but many Republicans still deny those facts.
A year ago, President Donald Trump announced his intention to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, a global accord created keep the Earth’s average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In Trump’s announcement in June 2017, he said, “we’re not going to put our businesses out of work,” to reduce carbon emissions.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt also said in an interview with CNBC that he doesn’t agree that humans are causing climate change. He said there’s “tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”
But a federal judge ruled earlier this week that Pruitt must provide scientific evidence for his claim that humans aren’t the primary cause of climate change .
Recent research suggests that the global average temperature will increase 3.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century. Already, we’ve seen a nearly 1-degree rise, mainly caused by human activity, according to scientists.
“I don’t deny that consensus that the climate is changing,” Bridenstine said In a May town hall for NASA employees. “That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
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