On CNN’s Sunday morning program “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper asked his guest Vice President Mike Pence several times to answer a simple question: is climate change a threat to the United States?
Whether it was threatening our nation’s future in an economic sense or in a security standpoint, Pence refused to answer definitively one way or the other.
“What I will tell you is that we will always follow the science on that in this administration,” Pence responded to Tapper.
“The science says it is,” Tapper pointed out.
After a back-and-forth between Tapper continuing to ask Pence for an answer to the question, and Pence not giving a straight yes-or-no response (instead criticizing the Obama administration for their efforts to quell climate change), Tapper resigned himself to be content with Pence’s non-answers.
“I think the answer” on whether climate change is a threat “is going to be based upon the science,” Pence said again later in the interview.
“Well, the science says yes. … But you won’t for some reason,” Tapper said.
Pence, pressed by Jake Tapper, obstinately avoids the longer term climate reality; stuck in election cycle-economy thinking. Meanwhile, China will make further clean energy tech inroads and will own that industry in future. pic.twitter.com/UJQvKtVxnR
— Mark Conachan (@MarkConachan) June 23, 2019
In response to that, Pence tried to promote the Trump administration’s supposed successes, asserting that the United States “has the cleanest air and water in the world.”
That was too much for the CNN host, who tried — unsuccessfully — to hold back laughter at such a claim.
“That is not true,” Tapper told Pence while chuckling. “We don’t have the cleanest air and water in the world. We don’t.”
President Trump tried to make similar claims earlier this month, which fact-checking site Snopes rated as “false.” Similar claims made last August by the president were also rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact.
It also appears that Pence is playing loose with the facts when he said the administration “will follow the science” on climate change. According to a report from Politico this weekend, dozens of research studies have been buried that detail how climate change will adversely affect our nation’s agriculture industry.
Last November Trump himself disputed another report from his own administration, which detailed how the effects of climate change would hurt the U.S. in huge economic ways. “I don’t believe it,” Trump said of the report at the time.
Featured image via screen grab