Who Asks Paul Ryan the Tough Climate Question? The 7-Year-Old

Midway through the House speaker’s weekly briefing on Thursday, a young voice from the audience piped up and asked Ryan, “The earth is warming up. What should we do?”

What was she doing there? It was Take Your Child to Work Day, so journalists brought their kids, some of whom grilled Ryan on gun control and the national debt. The global warming question came from the daughter of ClimateWire reporter Scott Waldman. Kids these days, taking action on climate!

Ryan’s response: Technology will save us. He says we have “clean” energy that’s “abundant” and “local,” like natural gas, and we need more incentives and smart techies to innovate further.

Sure, natural gas is cleaner than coal, emitting half as much carbon dioxide, but relying on natural gas won’t stop the planet from the dangerous prospect of warming 2 degrees Celsius. Plus, some estimates show the United States has only enough natural gas to last us 80-some years.

The surprising thing in all this is that Ryan didn’t outright deny climate change, and his response implies that we have to act on it. That’s a step up from his darker denier past saying that it’s not an issue worth addressing.

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