After some initial pleasantries that drifted awkwardly — yet hilariously — to the realm of the erotic, Al Franken hunkered down on his questioning of Rick Perry during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Perry, who is Donald Trump‘s nominee for Energy Secretary, was slammed by Franken for his newly tweaked approach to climate rhetoric. Perry is now putting out the image of an evolved man. Yes, he’ll acknowledge that some elements of climate change are probably due to human activity, but you know, he’s “not a scientist.”
From Joe Romm of ThinkProgress:
Perry told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee that because he now actually understands what DOE does, he doesn’t want to shut it down. And he has memorized one of the soundbites Trump nominees use to dodge questions on climate change: “I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of its naturally occurring and some of it is caused by man-made activity.”
It’s also noteworthy that Perry became a punchline in the 2011 GOP Presidential Debate when he couldn’t remember the name of the department he’s now called to lead
“I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of its naturally occurring and some of it is caused by man-made activity,” Perry told Franken.
Franken pressed Perry to answer the question specifically: “How much climate change do you think the science shows is due to human activity?” to which Perry gave the old refrain, “I’m not a climate scientist.”
“I don’t think you’re ever going to be a climate scientist,” a frustrated Franken fired back.
Climate change denial is just like any other conspiracy theory; there’s an element of mainstream politician who will take the middle ground, and at least for this little moment, Franken called it out for what it is.
Watch the exchange in the video below:
Featured image via screen grab