Aug 30, 2020 - Science

FEMA chief refuses to say whether human activity is responsible for climate change

FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor repeatedly declined to answer on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday whether he believes human activity is responsible for climate change, instead saying, "I'm going to leave all that up to the scientists."

Why it matters: It is an overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are a driving factor of climate change. While President Trump has frequently denied this consensus, his own administration has published reports concluding there is no credible explanation for modern-day global warming other than the burning of fossil fuels.

The big picture: Gaynor leads the agency responsible for responding to extreme weather events, which scientists say are being exacerbated and made more frequent by climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned earlier this month of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.

What he's saying: "I'm not a scientist. My role as the nation's emergency manager is to deliver those valuable resources to those impacted by disasters no matter the cause, no matter the place. That's my mission," Gaynor said.

Go deeper: Climate change is fueling this summer's extreme weather

Go deeper