Case in point, a Republican state senator, who is currently running for governor of Pennsylvania, offered a very bizarre perspective about the causes of climate change.
On Tuesday, Scott Wagner suggested that body heat generated from the planet’s growing population could be responsible for warming the entire planet.
Seriously, he did.
“We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies. So is heat coming off?” Wagner asked rhetorically, according to State Impact Pennsylvania, an NPR project. “Things are changing, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.”
According to The Huffington Post, Wagner was speaking to an audience comprised of rural county officials about lightening regulations on the natural gas industry.
In his defense, he did admit that he hadn’t studied science in quite a while, but that didn’t stop him from throwing more wild speculations into the mix.
“I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year, you know, the rotation of the earth,” Wagner said. “We’re moving closer to the sun.”
It seems as though Wagner suggested that — in addition to our warm bodies — the fact that the earth is, apparently, moving closer to the sun is contributing to climate change.
That theory, however, is far from plausible. As The Huffington Post notes, the earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours, not every year. Furthermore, the U.S. experiences winter during the time that the earth’s annual orbit brings it closest to the sun.
For clarification, the widely accepted cause within the scientific community for climate change is the release of greenhouse gases from human activity.
Based on a statement issued by a spokeswoman for Wagner, it seems he at least partly understands that human activity and climate change go hand in hand — although, he may not completely realize the severity of it as he downplayed the urgency around seeking a solution.
“I believe that the climate is changing every day, and some of that change is certainly manmade. I think that we have a responsibility to future generations to be good stewards, and I support efforts to do that,” Wagner said. “However, the real question isn’t is the climate changing but what role should the government play in trying to alter it. I believe we have to prioritize action in a measured way so that we do not hurt our economy.”
Well, we can give Wagner kudos for at least acknowledging that climate change exists, which is more than we can say for many of his fellow Republicans. But, he probably shouldn’t speak publicly on the subject further without doing a bit more research.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Scott Cresswell