White House won’t say if climate change is responsible for natural disasters
Twice in the last week, the White House has deflected questions on whether climate change is to blame for natural disasters like the Colorado Springs wildfires and the Midwest drought.
“I haven’t had that discussion with him [President Obama],” White House press secretary Jay Carney said to reporters Sunday aboard Air Force One en route to Aurora, Colo.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack similarly demurred when asked last week whether climate change had anything to do with the crop-threatening drought sweeping the Midwest.
“I’m not a scientist so I’m not going to opine as to the cause of this,” Vilsack said at the Wednesday press briefing alongside Carney. “All we know is that right now there are a lot of farmers and ranchers who are struggling. And it’s important and necessary for them to know, rather than trying to focus on what’s causing this, what can we do to help them.”
“Long term, we will continue to look at weather patterns, and we’ll continue to do research and to make sure that we work with our seed companies to create the kinds of seeds that will be more effective in dealing with adverse weather conditions,” he concluded.
The stance is not entirely in line with environmental activists who point to the recent East Coast heat wave, wildfires and tornadoes as proof that they are right about humans adversely affecting the climate.
But, “we don’t want to do it in an I-told-you-so kind of way,” Climate Institute President John Topping told the Washington Post, which asserts in its news reports that climate change has been scientifically proven.
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