Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor refused to say whether climate change was a threat to the United States, repeatedly saying that he’s “not a scientist” when asked whether he believes human activity is responsible for the climate crisis.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura, Gaynor was asked by host Dana Bash about his recent Congressional testimony that hurricanes are becoming more frequent and damaging and whether human activity is contributing to it.
“I’m going to leave that up to the scientists. My job, my role, is to make sure those disaster survivors have everything they need to get their lives back to normal. That’s our focus,” he replied.
The CNN host attempted to ask the question several different ways, noting that the consensus among scientists is that humans have caused rapid climate change. “You believe that’s accurate?” Bash wondered aloud, prompting Gaynor to fall back on his rote answer: “I’ll leave that to the scientists. I’m not a scientist.”
Pressed directly whether he thought the climate crisis was a threat to the country, Gaynor acknowledged that “the climate has changed” and hurricanes have become “more deadly,” adding that his role is the “mitigate those risks.”
Bash, for her part, let her viewers know that “the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity is responsible for the climate crisis,” telling Gaynor that she realized “you don’t want to go there.”