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Head of Energy Dept. Denies CO2 Is Main Cause of Climate Change

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Head of Energy Dept. Denies CO2 Is Main Cause of Climate Change
CNBC

Energy Sec. Rick Perry said in an interview with CNBC Monday that he doesn't believe carbon dioxide is the "primary control knob" driving climate change.

"Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in," Perry explained to host Joe Kernen, elaborating that the "debate" over man-made climate change should be about "just how much" humans are influencing the climate "and what are the policy changes that we need to make to effect that."


Perry's comments come just over three months after EPA chief Scott Pruitt told Kernen that he doesn't believe carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to climate change. Pruitt and Perry's comments go against established science as well as scientific findings from multiple government agencies, and elicited widespread criticism and outrage from the scientific community. Since Pruitt's comments, the EPA webpage directly rebutting his stance on carbon dioxide has been removed.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle:

Perry's comments drew attacks from environmental groups, which called the former Texas governor a "climate denier."

"Rick Perry's outrageous comments are the latest indication that this administration will do everything in its power to put polluter profits ahead of science and public health," Sierra Club Climate Policy Director Liz Perera said.

For a deeper dive:

Washington Post, AP, CNBC, InsideClimate News, Market Watch, Gizmodo, Mashable, Houston Chronicle. Commentary: ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)

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The Forest Vixen's CC Photo Stream. Flickr / CC BY 2.0


Spring is coming. And soon, tree swallows will start building nests. But as the climate changes, the birds are nesting earlier in the spring.


"It's getting warmer overall. They're thinking, OK, it's a good time to breed, to lay my eggs," says Lily Twining of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany.

She says that despite recent warming, late-season cold snaps remain common. Those cold snaps can harm newborn chicks.

Hatchlings cannot regulate their body temperature, so they are vulnerable to hypothermia. And the insects they eat stop flying in cold weather, potentially leaving the chicks to starve.

"These chicks are growing very, very fast," Twining says. "They have very high energy demands, so… if they don't get a lot of that good high-quality food during this pretty specific time… that's when these cold weather events seem to be most devastating."

For example, data from Ithaca, New York, shows that a single cold snap in 2016 killed more than 70% of baby tree swallows.

"And there have been more and more of these severe cold weather die-off events for these tree swallows as they've been breeding earlier and earlier over the past 40 or so years," Twining says.

So for these songbirds, earlier springs can come with devastating consequences.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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