“I Don’t Think Science Knows”: Trump Denies Climate Crisis In Visit To Fire-Ravaged California

During a trip to California, state officials pleaded with the president that the climate crisis was responsible for the unprecedented fires after Trump blamed forest mismanagement.

President Trump in the Oval Office on September 11, 2020 | Getty Images
President Trump in the Oval Office on September 11, 2020 | Getty Images

President Trump blatantly denied the climate crisis’ role in the unprecedented wildfires ravaging the west coast during a Monday visit with top officials in California. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden eviscerated Trump the same day in an address, calling out the incumbent president’s repeated climate crisis denial. 

During a roundtable meeting that included California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), state officials pleaded with Trump that the climate crisis is responsible for the recent surge of devastating wildfires. The blazes have burned more than 4.6 million acres across 10 states—including California, Oregon, and Washington—since mid-August, according to the National Interagency Fire Center

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot rebutted Trump’s claims that forest mismanagement is responsible for the fires, telling the president that the climate crisis is making each season warmer and drier, contributing to the deadly fires. Trump responded, “It’ll start getting cooler… You just watch.” 

“I wish science agreed with you,” the official responded. 

“I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump said. 

Later, Crowfoot further debunked Trump’s claim about the climate cooling.

Earlier in the meeting, Newsom also pointed out that only 3% of the forests are owned by state agencies, while 57% is “federal forest land.” He went on to say that California officials “need that support” and are “fully committed” to working with Trump.

“Something has happened to the plumbing of the world, and we come from a perspective, humbly, that we assert that the science is in, and the observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real,” Newsom said. “Please respect the difference of opinion out here with respect to the fundamental issue of climate change.”

At that point, Trump responded, “Absolutely.

In Delaware on Monday, Biden addressed Trump’s repeated denial of the climate crisis as well as his administration’s regulations that don’t follow science.

“This is another crisis, another crisis he won’t take responsibility for,” Biden said. “The west is literally on fire and he blames the people whose homes and communities are burning. He says quote, ‘you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forest.’”

Biden continued: “Donald Trump’s climate denial may not have caused these fires and record floods, and record hurricanes, but if he gets a second term, these hellish events will continue to become more common, more devastating, and more deadly.”

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