Trump Dismisses Climate Change as Wildfires Blaze Along West Coast
By Elizabeth Crisp* – Newsweek
President Donald Trump
continued to deny the impact of climate change as he traveled to California on
Monday for an update on devastating wildfires that have spread along the West
“It will start getting cooler,” Trump told California
officials, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, during a briefing in
Sacramento. “Just watch.”
As California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot
pointed out that science supports the thinking that climate change has
contributed to the record-setting wild fires, Trump shot back: “I don’t
think science knows, actually.”
At least seven people have been killed in wildfires now
raging in California, Oregon and Washington.
Trump has long denied that climate change is manmade and
dismissed concerns about global warming.
Newsom told the president he disagrees.
“Something has happened to the plumbing of the
world,” Newsom said, “and we come from a perspective, humbly, where
we submit the science that climate change is real.”
The debate over climate change is another key difference
between Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden in their battle for the White
As Trump headed to California, Biden gave a speech from
Delaware, excoriating Trump’s record on the issue.
“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the
White House, why would anyone be surprised if more of America is ablaze?”
Biden said. “If you give a climate denier four more years in the White
House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is under water?”
Trump has responded to the wildfires by blaming poor forest
management that leaves behind leaves and downed trees.
“It’s fuel for a fire,” he told reporters Monday.
Wildfires have burned more than 2.5 million acres of
California land this year, with more than a month left in the typical wildfire
season, racking up more than $50 billion in damage.
“We have to act as a nation,” Biden said. “It
shouldn’t be so bad that millions of Americans live in the shadow of an orange
sky and are left asking if doomsday is here.”
Biden also pointed to other natural disasters that
scientists have attributed to climate change, including forceful hurricanes on
the Gulf Coast and widespread flooding across the Midwest.
Hurricane Sally, which is currently a Category One storm but
continues to gain strength, is expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast
“It’s a troubling marker not just for an increased
frequency of hurricanes, but more powerful and destructive storms,” Biden
said. “They’re causing record damage after record damage to people’s homes
Biden has called for building more resilient infrastructure,
plugging abandoned oil and gas wells and getting the country to net-zero
emissions by 2050 as part of his energy agenda. He’s also said he would put a
moratorium on new fracking permits and cut subsidies to the oil and gas
Trump last week extended a moratorium on offshore oil and
gas drilling along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina—an
unexpected turn from his normally close relationship with the oil and gas
During a signing ceremony in Florida, Trump dubbed himself a
“The left’s agenda isn’t about protecting the
environment,” he said. “It is about punishing America.”
*Elizabeth Crisp is a Washington Correspondent for Newsweek,
covering the White House, Trump administration and 2020 campaign. She
previously was the Washington Correspondent for The Advocate | The
Times-Picayune, primarily covering the Louisiana delegation, and had stints
covering State Capitols in Louisiana for The Advocate; Missouri for the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch; and Mississippi for The Clarion-Ledger.
& Heat Wave: Undocumented Farmworkers Face “Triple Threat” as West Coast
California, Oregon and
Washington continue to face a climate apocalypse as devastating fires burn
across the West Coast. At least 35 people have died, but the death toll is
expected to be far higher. Oregon says it’s bracing for a, quote, “mass
fatality event.” Entire towns have been destroyed. Nearly 5 million acres have
already burned. Parts of the West Coast now have some of the worst air quality
in the world. President Trump refuses to link the fires to
the climate crisis. California Governor Gavin Newsom says there’s no
question about the climate crisis.