But for people like North Carolina’s Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, whose state is digging out from the snowstorm, there’s little that policymakers can do to change the larger trends. McCrory came under fire in 2008 for saying that he tried to worry about cleaning up the environment and not becoming enmeshed in the global warming debate because “it’s in God’s hands.” Asked about that comment again on “Face the Nation,” he said,” I feel there has always been climate change. The debate is really how much of it is man made and how much will it cost to have any impact on climate change.”
“My main argument is, let’s clean up the environment. And as a mayor and now as a governor, I’m spending my time cleaning our air, cleaning the water and cleaning the ground. And I think that’s where the argument should be on the left and the right. And if that has an impact on climate change, good,’” he said.
Though he doesn’t make policy, Shepherd says it’s his job as a scientist to be clear about the facts and make sure he is giving them to policymakers and the public in a fashion they can use effectively. “We clearly know that the climate is changing. There are aspects of that change that are related to human activities,” he said, though he cautioned against attributing every single major weather event on climate change.