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Scott Pruitt testifying on Capitol Hill. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt indicated in an interview this week that some global warming could be good for humans. He's technically not wrong, but he's overstating and muddling a scientific consensus that's unequivocally saying the opposite.

The bottom line: There will be some benefits to a warmer planet, notably in colder regions like Canada and Russia. But, overall the negative effects far outweigh the benefits in colder regions.

Quoted: "Global warming is plausibly beneficial in some places, like where it is presently cold. So Administer Pruitt isn’t way off here," said Joseph Makjut, director of climate policy at the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank. "The rub is that global warming is really bad in places where it is already hot. More people live in hot places, so we can expect net losses."

One level deeper: The United Nations’ summary of the world’s foremost scientific literature has answered this question: "Are the future impacts of climate change only negative? Might there be positive impacts as well?" Here it is:

“Overall, the report identifies many more negative impacts than positive impacts projected for the future, especially for high magnitudes and rates of climate change. Climate change will, however, have different impacts on people around the world and those effects will vary not only by region but over time, depending on the rate and magnitude of climate change.”

Between the lines: It's hard to know for sure whether Pruitt is being disingenuous or is ill-informed on the science. It's a common position taken by people who question the mainstream scientific consensus that human activity is driving Earth’s temperature up over the past century.

For the record: A request for additional comment to EPA regarding the UN's address of the issue was not immediately returned.

Go deeper: Climate scientists roundly refuted with very detailed responses an article in May 2016 that said in "many ways global warming will be a good thing."

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
26 mins ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

55 mins ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hovering the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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