Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke Thursday with CNN’s Jake Tapper about the U.S. leaving the Paris Climate Agreement and ended up debating the extent of the threat of climate change as well as arguing that the agreement was bad for jobs.
“The sky is falling, Mass extinction? Really?” Paul asked, characterizing the reactions he’d seen to the decision to leave the agreement. “I don’t think we should be alarmists about this I mean the planet’s 4.5 billion years old, we have gone through great extremes of climate change, natural and now we may have a man-made influence as well but these people, the question I always ask these alarmists is how much is nature and how much is man?”
“Is there climate change? Can man have an impact?" He asked, "yes, but let’s not be so alarmist as to say such outrageous things that if we don’t sign the Paris Accord there’s going to mass extinction. That is a ridiculous statement.”
“Are you really saying that man is not contributing to climate change?” Tapper asked at one point.
“How much is nature and how much is man?” Paul asked again. “I’m perfectly willing to admit that man can have an influence and we should minimize our pollution. But those who say that it is all man and don’t acknowledge that the 4.5 billion year old planet has gone through massive climate change based on natural effects.”
“Not to the degree that we’ve seen in the last century,” Tapper countered.
“Absolutely incorrect,” Paul claimed. “When you look at climate change the most dramatic ice age, the dramatic warming and cooling period all happened before man was even around for the most part.”
Senator Paul also emphasized that the deal would cause the U.S. to lose more than six million jobs.
“We would lose 6 and a half million jobs,” he said, “while countries like India and Iran -- We would have to pay them to reduce their carbon emissions.”
“I think one of the reasons President Trump was elected was that he would defend the American worker and defend American jobs,” Paul said, adding, “I can’t imagine a worse agreement for the American worker.”