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‘Both Sides of the Science’: U.S. Ambassador to Canada Mocked for Climate Change Stance—Again

The U.S. ambassador to Canada has faced a second wave of ridicule over a 2017 interview in which she said “both sides of science” formed her beliefs about climate change. 

In an interview with Canadian broadcaster CBC, Kelly Craft said: “I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.”

Read more: Donald trump’s climate change tweet lambasted by scientists: “He’s a dangerous clown”

Referring to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement last year while every other country committed to it, CBC’s Rosemary Barton asked: “How do you navigate that when there’s such a different approach to fighting climate change?”

“I think that the approach may seem different, but we all have the same goal. And that is to better our environment and maintain the environment,” she said. 

Without providing details, she continued: “Therefore, I feel like our administration has been on top of this regardless of whether or not they would be pulling out.” 

When asked if she believed in climate change, Craft said, “I believe there are scientists on both sides that are accurate.” 

Craft’s comments appear to have encountered fresh scrutiny after CNBC reporter John Harwood shared a video of the 2017 interview on Thursday. His post was retweeted more than 33,000 times, and “liked” by more than 109,000 users. Harwood did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Craft was subsequently mocked online for her suggestion that climate change deniers have some credence despite the overwhelming scientific evidence indicating the opposite.

Nominated for the post by Trump, Craft was sworn in as the 31st U.S. ambassador to Canada in July 2017. She became the first woman to hold the position.

A wealthy Republican donor, Craft and her husband, the billionaire coal executive Joseph W. Craft III, gave more than $2 million to Trump’s campaign and inauguration, The New York Times reported.

In 2017, she gave the Republican National Committee almost $17,000, and made dozens of donations to Republican candidates and funds, not one of which “was less than four figures,” according to Global News.

Craft’s comments came as Trump has continued to stoke climate change skepticism and distanced the U.S. from policies to tackle the threat of global warming. Trump also surrounded himself with like-minded appointees, such as climate change skeptic and physics professor William Happer at the National Security Council, and Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Pruitt resigned last summer in the wake of ethics inquiries, and Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has been serving as acting EPA administrator).

In November, scientists criticized Trump for once again suggesting that cold weather disproves the theory of global warming.

Trump tweeted on November 22: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

At the time, Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, told Newsweek: “It is disturbing to see the titular head of our nation misinforming the public about the greatest threat we face—the threat of catastrophic climate change impacts.

“Not only has Trump sought to dismantle the environmental protections put in place by previous administrations, he has also sought to lower the level of discourse by making nonsensical public comments that are untruthful factually, and deliberately conflate normal day-to-day weather fluctuations with climate change.”

This story has been corrected to state that Kelly Craft has been the US ambassador to Canada since 2017 and that Scott Pruitt is no longer the EPA administrator.

kelly craft Kelly Craft at her confirmation hearing as nominee for U.S. Ambassador tTo Canada, on Capitol Hill on July 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. She has come under fire again over a 2017 interview in which she said “both sides of science” formed her beliefs about climate change.  Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Kelly Craft

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