President Trump on Tuesday rejected a landmark report drafted by 13 federal agencies explaining the scale of damage caused by global warming across the country, saying he was not one of the "believers" who see climate change as an urgent problem.
The comments revealed that the President had not yet endorsed his own government's analysis that climate change posed a serious threat to the health of Americans, as well as to infrastructure, the economy and resources natural resources of the country. The conclusions – unequivocal, urgent and alarming – go against the dismantling of the Trump administration's environmental regulations and the lack of any climate change policy.
"One of the problems is that a lot of people like me have very high levels of intelligence, but we are not necessarily such believers," Trump said in a 20-minute free interview with The Oval Office with The Washington Post, in which he was questioned. why he was skeptical of the terrible national climate assessment published by his administration on Friday.
"In terms of whether it's man-made or not, and if the effects you're talking about are there, I do not see them," he added.
Trump did not address the root cause of climate change. The President has made fun of the pollution in other parts of the world. He talked about waste in the oceans. He issued an opinion on forest management practices. But little has been said about what scientists say is causing global warming – carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.
"You look at our air and our water and it's now a clean record. But when we look at China and parts of Asia, South America and many other places in the world, including Russia, including many other places, there is no such thing. air is incredibly dirty, and when you're When we talk about the atmosphere, the oceans are very small, "said Trump, referring to pollution in the world. "And that blows and it sails. I mean, we are removing thousands of tons of waste from our beaches that come from Asia. It just flows in the Pacific. It flows and we say, "Where does it come from?" And it takes a lot of people to start. "
Katharine Hayhoe, a climatologist at Texas Tech University, said in an email on Tuesday that the president's comments risked leaving the nation vulnerable to the ever-increasing impacts of global warming.
"Facts are not something we must believe to make them true – we treat them as faculties at our peril," said Hayhoe. "And if we are the president of the United States, we do it at the risk, not just of ourselves, but of the hundreds of millions of people we are responsible for."
Andrew Dessler, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A & M University, struggled to find an answer to the president's remarks.
"How can we react to that?" Said Dessler, after being contacted by e-mail, calling the president's comments "stupid" and claiming that Trump's main motivation seemed to be attacking the environmental policies of the company. Obama administration and criticize political opponents.
In his comments, Trump also seemed to invoke a common theme in the world of skepticism about climate change: the idea that not long ago, scientists feared the cooling of the planet rather than the current warming.
"If you go back and look at articles, they talk about global freeze," Trump said. "They talk at one point, the planet will die of cold, then it will die of exhaustion due to heat."
This may refer to a 1975 article often quoted in Newsweek entitled "The Cooling World "or a 1974 Time magazine article titled" Another Ice Age? ". However, researchers who reviewed this period discovered that, even though such ideas were current at the time, there was "no scientific consensus in the 1970s trend or risk of cooling, as we are now talking about man-made climate change.
In other words, scientists' understanding of the direction of the planet and its consequences is much more developed than in the 1970s.
At present, the Earth has warmed by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) from the pre-industrial levels of the late 19th century. Numerous analyzes have shown that without rapid emission reductions – far beyond what the world is currently undertaking – warming will continue and exceed key thresholds that scientists believe could lead to irreversible climate-related disasters, such as more extreme weather conditions, the death of coral reefs and losses of most of the planetary ice sheets.
On Tuesday, a US report once again underlined how far the world has come from promising to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report found that as global emissions increase further in 2017, it is unlikely that they will peak in 2020. Scientists have said that carbon emissions are expected to fall in the coming years for the world to have a chance to avoid the worst consequences of climate. change.
Trump also referred to the recent devastating wildfires in California, which, according to scientists, have been made more intense and deadly by climate change. But the president is rather focused on the management of burned forests. Earlier, he congratulated Finland for spending "a lot of time raking and cleaning" its forest soils, a notion that left the Finnish president angry.
"The California fire, where I was, if you look at the ground, there are trees that have fallen," Trump said. "They have not done any forest management, no forest maintenance, and you can light – you can take a match like this and light a tree trunk when that object has been lying there for more than 14 or so 15 months. And it's a huge problem in California. "
"You go to other places where they have denser trees, it's more dense, where the trees are more flammable, they do not have forest fires like this because they are maintained", did he declare. "And it was very interesting to watch the firemen raking the brush. . . . It's on fire. They do it, work so hard. If it had been done in the beginning, there would be nothing to catch on fire.
Trump was not the only person responsible for the administration to continue Tuesday to set aside the latest climate warnings from the federal government. During a television appearance in California, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke acknowledged that the fire seasons had lengthened in the state, but added, "Climate change or not, this is not does not relieve you of the responsibility of managing the forest. "
At the same time, polled Tuesday on the findings of the climate report released by the administration on Friday, July 19, the Black Friday newspaper, the White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, has made the Echo of his boss.
"We think it's the most extreme version and that it's not based on facts," Sanders said of the National Climate Assessment. "It's not based on the data. We would like to see something that is more based on the data. It's based on modeling, which is extremely difficult to do when we talk about climate. Again, our goal is to make sure we have the safest and cleanest air and water. "