'No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in, ' Perry answered when asked by anchor Joe Kernen if Carbon dioxide is what's primarily responsible for warming the planet.
It's true that over far longer time periods, other factors have driven changes to the Earth's climate, such as wobbles in the Earth's orbit around the sun.
Perry did not dispute that mankind's activities contributes to climate change but asserted that there was still debate over how to address the problem.
Perry, in his TV appearance Monday, said there should not be a debate about whether the climate is changing or if humans have an effect on the climate.
When speaking about climate change Monday, Perry didn't outright dismiss the notion that it was happening.
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Despite those conclusions, Perry said, "This idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don't believe it's settled then somehow you're another neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective". "I think if you're going to be a wise, intellectually engaged person, being a skeptic about some of these issues is quite alright".
The Trump administration has also moved to roll back or delay numerous rules approved by the Obama administration to cut pollution from mining operations, oil and gas wells and coal-fired power plants.
"The fact is this shouldn't be a debate about, 'Is the climate changing, is man having an effect on it?' Yeah, we are", Perry continued, more forcefully than when he reportedly had to have to the goal of the DOE explained to him.
Perry will likely get to clarify his views starting Tuesday afternoon, as he testifies before Congress at the first of multiple hearings this week on the Energy Department's proposed budget. Is man having an effect on it?' Yeah, we are. 'Absolutely, ' the energy secretary answered. You know - I don't know what the actual penalty is for not believing.
In October 2016, a Pew Research Center poll found that 48 percent of national adults believed that climate change was primarily caused by human activity; 31 percent said it was spurred by natural causes and 20 percent said there was no evidence that global warming existed.