Weather Scientists Called Out Rick Perry For Denying Climate Change Facts

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The American Meteorological Society had some strong words for Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Wednesday. In a letter, the group of accredited scientists called Perry out for denying the science behind climate change during a CNBC interview.

On Monday's segment of Squawk Box on CNBC, Perry was asked whether carbon dioxide emissions play a substantial role in climate change. Despite contradicting facts about greenhouse gases without blinking an eye, Perry did concede that humans influence global warming. So, it could have been worse. Nonetheless, his answer had both scientists and environmental activists seething.

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. The question should be just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to affect that?

In response, the Meteorological Society pointed out that humans are the reason behind steep increases in greenhouse gases over the years. Moreover, it noted that carbon dioxide happens to be the biggest contributor to the high concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. But it's next statement, which put Perry in his place without hesitation, might be the most memorable:

Without this fundamental understanding of the science, it is impossible to discuss potential policy changes in meaningful ways. DOE programs have a major role to play in developing and informing the solutions for our nation’s future energy needs, so it is especially important that the best possible science and understanding is applied to policy issues with respect to DOE programs.

And if you want to see Perry in action during his CNBC interview, here's a video:

Just to build upon the Meteorological Society's presentation of facts, the Environmental Protection Agency wrote that in 2015, "CO2 accounted for about 82.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities." As Perry himself suggested during his interview, yes, the United States needs to consider policies to address that.

Perry's statement on carbon dioxide isn't excusable — especially considering he's head of the Energy Department. However, there is hope that he'd promote clean energy practice if it were good for business. As governor of Texas, for instance, the Republican invested hugely in renewable energy because it was profitable. In other words, here's to hoping Perry can find some sort of overlap between economic science and, well, science science.