Carbon dioxide didn't create climate crisis, says leading skeptic

The executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Caleb Rossiter, downplayed the role of carbon dioxide in global warming on Wednesday, telling Hill.TV's "Rising" that the gas did not create the climate crisis. 

Rossiter said models predicting climate change said the planet would warm much more than what has been seen.

"The models started in about 1988 to make predictions 30 years hence. Guess what? The models predicted about three times the amount of warming in the world we’ve seen since then. So the models are running very hot," Rossiter told hosts Buck Sexton and Juanita Tolliver. 

"The data are telling us the carbon dioxide sensitivity, how much temperature it boosts. The [United Nations] UN gives a range of 1 1/2 degrees to 4 1/2 degrees if you doubled carbon dioxide. We’re clearly on the low end. So we’re not creating the climate crisis," he continued. 

The CO2 Coalition, which was created by William Happer, senior director with the White House National Security Council office for emerging technologies, defends carbon dioxide, arguing that it is beneficial to society. 

The group also frequently rejects claims made by scientists, who report that human activity — especially the use of fossil fuels — is warming the earth. 

Rossiter's comments come as climate change continues to take center stage on Capitol Hill and in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Overnight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Engel primary challenger hits million in donations MORE (D-N.Y.) has spearheaded the "Green New Deal," which aims to work toward using nothing but renewable energy for electricity generation.

The deal has been supported by a number of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is running in the primary focusing mostly on the issue of combatting climate change. 

— Julia Manchester