Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt told CNBC's "Squawkbox" that he doesn't believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.
The statement contradicts the EPA's stance on global warming and years of scientific evidence. Pruitt elaborated further saying:
I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.
But we don't know that yet. ... We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
Forbes offered a crash course explanation about why Pruitt is wrong. One of the reasons is because the molecular structure of carbon dioxide is perfect for trapping heat.
The earth's atmosphere is comprised of 90% nitrogen and oxygen, neither of which are capable of absorbing or transmitting infrared photons because of molecular vibrations.
Carbon dioxide has three molecules, allowing for more complex vibrations as opposed to nitrogen and oxygen which are comprised of only two molecules. The interaction of carbon dioxide with infrared radiation allows for absorbing and re-emitting heat in ways other gases in the atmosphere don't.
The global temperature has increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution due to the presence of high levels of increasing carbon dioxide as a result of burning of coal and other fossil fuels. More than ever, the last 20 years exhibits some of the warmest weather we've experienced.
The graph below shows the fluctuation of heat since 1880.
Years of scientific research show that carbon dioxide traps heat at an alarming frequency when combined with nitrogen and oxygen, and that leads to higher global temperatures. And humans are releasing more CO2 every year.
This is also mentioned on the EPA's website, which says, "Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change." Yet Pruitt goes against scientific consensus.
And the reactions to the EPA chief's statement is getting heated. Environmentalist groups and Democrats have fired off in reaction to Pruitt's extreme proclamation, saying that the "fossil fuel industry puppet" and "an enthusiastic shill for the fracking industry" is unfit to be in his position.
Continue on to read more.