Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., believes that linking climate change to the actions of human beings is “arrogant,” he stated in an interview with Purdue University newspaper, The Exponent, on Friday.
“I think it’s arrogant that we think as people that we can somehow change the climate of the whole Earth when science is telling us that there’s a cycle to all this … and that cycle was occurring before the industrial revolution and I suspect will occur way into the future,” Rokita said.
This interview came just after a town hall meeting in Lebanon, Ind., during which a constituent asked the politician for his views on government subsidies for alternative energy sources such as solar energy and wind power.
In response to the question, Rokita admitted that he needed to consider “God’s green Earth,” but that the private market should ultimately decide what type of energy the government should focus on funding.
Despite Rokita’s denial of responsibility for climate change, scientists are more convinced now than ever before that humans are to blame for changes in the Earth’s temperature.
According to a draft of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment, or AR5, 95 percent of scientists believe that people have caused climate change. That number has risen from 90 percent in the last report issued six years ago — still an overwhelming majority.
The final draft of this report is scheduled for release in September in Stockholm, but the current version states, “There is high confidence that [human activity] has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes.”
Rokita was previously identified as a climate-change denier by Organizing for Action, a nonprofit striving to expedite policy shifts in the United States. He has been quoted as saying that climate change “is a topic currently under debate.”