Climate Science Misrepresented by Alaska Congressman

During a televised debate on October 26, 2018, Representative Don Young misrepresented scientific research on the causes and effects of climate change. After acknowledging that climate change is occurring, Rep. Young erroneously claimed that “man” is not the cause. He also suggested that scientists have overstated the risks associated with climate change, asserting that “[i]t’s being used an instrument to frighten people.”

Rep. Young’s statements echo claims made on his website. As of October 29, 2018, the website stated:

“I do not challenge that climate change is occurring, but the central question awaiting an answer is to what extent man-made emissions are responsible for this change. Contrary to popular opinion, that question remains unanswered. Those who claim otherwise perpetrate a tremendous disservice to science and society, and I am shocked by the continued marginalization of any dissenters.”

In fact, however, there is broad scientific consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the primary driver of climate change, with over 97 percent of scientists agreeing on that point.