By Ben Geman - 05/30/13 02:33 PM EDT
President Obama, echoing his new Energy secretary’s recent comments, said late Wednesday that he’s open to new climate policy ideas but has no interest in battling over whether climate change is real.
“If I’ve got somebody who has a different approach to dealing with climate change — I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change, but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them,” Obama said at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago.
“If you think I’m doing it the wrong way, let me know. I’m happy to work with you,” he added at one of two fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The president’s comments are similar to remarks by new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz last week.
“Let me make it very clear that there is no ambiguity in terms of the scientific basis calling for a prudent response on climate change,” Moniz said during wide-ranging remarks after his swearing-in on May 21. “I am not interested in debating what is not debatable.”
But Obama may have invited fresh debate Wednesday by noting, “We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago.”
Surface air temperatures have increased more slowly than predicted over the last 10 to 15 years, leading to ongoing analysis among scientists of reasons why, such as the role of oceans in heat uptake and other factors.