The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checker PolitiFact on Sunday classified former GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty’s statement that climate change evidence is still in dispute as false. Despite being a strong advocate for climate action in the past, since running for the GOP nomination, the former Minnesota Governor has said that his previous support for a proposed cap and trade policy was a mistake.
In an interview with the Miami Herald on August 11, Pawlenty downplayed scientific evidence supporting that human behavior contributes to climate change. "The weight of the evidence (on global warming) is that most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes ...,” Pawlenty said. “It’s fair to say the science is in dispute."
PolitiFact concluded the statement was false, and cited recent reports by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program which confirm that the global climate is warming. Additionally, PolitiFact found that surveys of the world’s scientists consistently demonstrated that 97 – 98 % of the world’s climate researchers agree that human activity has contributed significantly to the warming of the climate.
Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race on August 14.