Feb 28, 2019

Rep. Paul Gosar says climate change isn't real because of photosynthesis

At a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday opposing the Green New Deal, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) was asked by a young person what he is doing to address climate change. He responded:

"Unfortunately you haven't been taught about photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is where plants take carbon dioxide to produce oxygen. That's a problem in today's world. We haven't taught kids exactly what's going on in America and in science."

Reality check: Per Axios science editor Andrew Freedman: The issue isn't photosynthesis. We're putting more carbon dioxide into the air each year than plants, trees and oceans can suck out. That is what's causing rising global temperatures. CO2 levels are the highest they've been in at least 800,000 years, and the driving reason is human activity.

For the record: In a statement to Axios, Gosar said: “At the press conference I also stated, ‘As the son of a geologist, our climate has always changed, and if you don’t doubt me, dig up some fossils. It will tell you an awful lot about how our climate has changed.’ ”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include an additional comment from Gosar.

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