Rex Tillerson Continues to Reject Climate Science
In written testimony, Trump’s Secretary of State candidate, former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, continued to reject the scientific consensus of manmade global warming. Responding to a question from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tillerson made the specious claim that rising industrial greenhouse gases — produced in large part by his own corporation — are not the primary driver of global warming.
CARDIN: Do you accept the consensus among scientists that the combustion of fossil fuels is the leading cause for increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which is the key factor in the rising global temperatures?In fact, the scientific consensus is that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for all of the observed global warming, and likely even more — without human activity, global temperatures may have declined slightly. As the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report stated:
TILLERSON: I agree with the consensus view that the combustion of fossil fuels is a leading cause for increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. I understand these gases to be a factor in rising temperatures, but I do not believe the scientific consensus supports their characterization as the “key” factor.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
Tillerson’s failure to understand climate science was convenient for ExxonMobil’s profits, but is catastrophically dangerous for ability of the planet to support organized society.