“I think the president has every right to go to Copenhagen. He has made environmentalism a part of his agenda. I have no problem with that,” Barton said in an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program to be aired Sunday.
Barton said he is “appreciative” of the fact that Obama is attending and that the U.S. “needs to be engaged.” But Barton also said he hoped Obama is “open-minded” enough to see a need to take a “step back” and “check the facts” around climate science.
Barton is among the leading congressional skeptics on global warming and strongly opposes requiring emissions curbs. He argues that now-infamous e-mails among scientists hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. have highlighted faulty evidence of warming.
“What I am interested in is the truth. What I am interested in is getting the facts. What I am interested in is true, honest research, and then we will make some policy decisions, but we certainly don’t need to do that now,” he said.
White House officials and Obama himself in recent days have called the scientific case behind human-induced global warming overwhelming. "There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades,” Obama said when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize this week.
The board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this month reaffirmed its view that climate change caused by human activities is occurring.
Watch the interview here.