Dr. Ben Carson (shill for snake oil nutritional supplement company Mannatech) is a man of science. That doesn't necessarily mean that he believes in global warming.
"There's always going to be either cooling or warming going on," the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said in an interview this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. "As far as I'm concerned, that's irrelevant. What is relevant is that we have an obligation and a responsibility to protect our environment."
Carson, a retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, often talks about his medical background and science during his speeches. Pressed on the fact that the bulk of the scientific community believes the Earth is indeed warming, Carson pivoted. "You can ask it several different ways, but my answer is going to be the same," he said. "We may be warming. We may be cooling."
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In Carson's view, the debate over global warming is a distraction from what should matter in the policy debate.
"We need to focus on the right thing here," he said. "Our Environmental Protection Agency should be told to work in conjunction with business, industry and universities to find the most eco-friendly ways of developing our energy resources."
On a related topic, Carson said the Keystone pipeline should be allowed to be built. "It's perfectly safe, so I can't really see a good reason not to do it," he said.
In a speech he gave Saturday night in Des Moines to evangelical conservatives, Carson pointed out the value of data. "The wonderful thing about medicine, when you show data, it changes people's minds," he said. "That doesn't happen in politics."