This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Last year, the New York Times called climate change “the most important story in the world.” So the Trump administration raised some eyebrows at a recent White House briefing when it turned to the newspaper of record for support in its effort to defend the president’s deeply unpopular decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
At the briefing, EPA chief Scott Pruitt was asked whether Trump thinks humans are warming the planet. After refusing to comment on the president’s views, Pruitt said that the “degree of human contribution” to global warming remains uncertain. That uncertainty, Pruitt suggested, makes it difficult to decide how policymakers should respond.
And then he read aloud from the now-infamous Times column written in April by conservative never-Trumper Bret Stephens. The piece, which sparked a weeks-long media firestorm, made a convoluted case for more skepticism of climate change models — which Stephens equated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign polling. “Much … that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilit... Read more