Larry Kudlow, director of the Trump White House’s National Economic Council, is insufferable to listen to on most topics. But he’s particularly loathsome when speaking about the urgent issue of climate change.
Kudlow, who appeared Sunday on ABC News’ This Week, pretends to know more about the imminent threat of climate change than the 91 authors and review editors from 40 countries who prepared a special report on the impact of global warming for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Never mind that those dozens of authors cited more than 6,000 scientific references and “thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide” in preparing their report, which warns about the massive global effort required in the next decade to save our planet by limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Larry thinks the experts are wrong.
After saying he respects the fact that Yale economist William Nordhaus won a Nobel Prize for incorporating climate change into economic modeling, Kudlow criticized the IPCC report for overestimating predictions of climate change’s consequences.
“The issue here, though, is magnitudes and timing,” Kudlow told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Personally, I think the U.N. study is over, way, way, uh, too difficult. Um, I won’t say it’s a scare tactic, but I think they overestimate. These models have not been very successful, uh, in the last 20 years, and we have to be cognizant of the work that needs to be done.”
Kudlow claimed he wasn’t “denying any climate change issues,” but he did just that in the same breath (emphasis mine):
“I’m just saying do we know precisely, and I mean worth modeling, things like how much of it is man-made, how much of it is solar, how much of it is oceanic, how much of it is rainforest, and other issues,” he said. “I think we’re still exploring all of that. I don’t think we should panic. I don’t think there’s some imminent catastrophe coming. But I think we should look at this in a level-headed and analytic way.”
Watch (Kudlow’s comments on climate change start at 6:10):
In a separate interview on the same program, Sen. Bernie Sanders called Kudlow’s remarks “irresponsible” and “dangerous.”
“The comments a moment ago that Larry Kudlow made are so irresponsible, so dangerous, that it is just hard to believe that a leading government official could make them,” Sanders said. “What the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said is that we have 12 years—12 years—to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, or this planet, our country, the rest of the world is going to suffer irreversible damage.”
He added: “We are in crisis mode, and you have an administration that virtually does not even recognize the reality of climate change. And their policies working with the fossil fuel industry are making a bad situation worse.”
Stephanopoulos also asked Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to weigh in on the issue, but no one cares what Flake has to say anymore.