Trump denied climate change’s effects on wild fires out west

Image+courtesy+of+Bureau+of+Land+Management+Oregon+and+Washington

Image courtesy of Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

As wildfires ravaged the west coast, President Donald Trump denied that fires in the region are becoming worse as a result of climate change.

“We have to do a lot about forest management. Obviously forest management in California is very important, and now it extends to Washington and extends also to Oregon,” Trump said during a roundtable discussion on Sept. 14.

During the roundtable discussion, California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed gratitude for federal funding the state received to respond to the fires, but pointed out that a large portion of California forests are on federal land that cannot be regulated by the very state officials who Trump blames for poor maintenance.

“We are in the midst of a climate emergency,” Newsom said. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis. We are experiencing weather conditions the likes of which we’ve never experienced in our lifetime. This is a climate damn emergency. This is real. And it’s happening — this is the perfect storm. It is happening in unprecedented ways year in, year out.”

During the meeting, California’s Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said vegetation management was not the only reason for the fires. According to an article from NASA, wildfires are exacerbated by climate change because the world is becoming increasingly warmer. Crowfoot also critiqued the President’s reasoning, vegetation mismanagement, for the fires in front of other reporters and cameras.

“If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management,” said Crowfoot. “We’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians.” 

“It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch,” Trump said in response.. 

While Trump was on the West coast, former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden was in Delaware. There, he briefed supporters on the devastating events happening on the other side of the country and offered his own critique of Trump.

“We need a president who respects science,” Biden said, “Who understands that the damage from climate change is already here. Unless we take urgent action, it’ll soon be more catastrophic.” 

During an interview in October of 2018 with journalist Lesley Stahl, Trump accused scientists of having a “very big political agenda.”

Other figures known for conservative views, including radio personality Rush Limbaugh, have also denied climate change’s effects on the planet. 

“Man-made global warming is not a scientific certainty; it cannot be proven, nor has it ever been” Limbaugh, told his listeners last Friday, during what some might consider the height of the natural disaster. 

During the 2016 election, Trump made it clear that he thought climate change was a hoax. But his comments on the issue haven’t been as consistent as others. 

“I think something’s happening,” Trump said in the same interview with Stahl, “something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade.”