President Trump is known for his negative and combative rhetoric, but every once in a while, his blind optimism will shine through. Last month it was: “My administration has accomplished almost more than any other administration in the history of our country.” Today, it’s that the climate will magically “change back again.” Sure.
First, the good news, and then, the bad. Trump is no longer calling climate change a “hoax,” but he questions if the problem is manmade and believes the change is only temporary. He also accuses the scientists of having “a very big political agenda.”
In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired Sunday night, Trump said he doesn’t want to use the big bucks to respond to climate change, per the AP.
“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” Trump said. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”
60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl followed up with: “What about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?” to which the president replied, “You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda.”
These comments mark one step forward, and several steps back for Trump’s (unsubstantiated) opinions on climate change.
Trump deemed climate change a scam in a November 2012 Tweet: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He’s also called it an “expensive hoax” several times on the social media platform, including both here and here.
In fact, Trump thinks climate change makes for quite the joke. So naturally, he’s made the same wisecrack several times, until even those who might’ve found it funny the first time, MUST think it’s overdone by now. To name a few:
“It’s freezing and snowing in New York—we need global warming!” (2012)
“It’s freezing outside, where the hell is ‘global warming’??” (2013)
“It’s late in July and it is really cold outside in New York. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING??? We need some fast!” (2014)
“It’s really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!” (2015)
“It could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming.” (2017)
I’ll stop there.
In terms of the chances that the climate will just “change back again,” temperature records kept by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the world has not had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985. So, it’s not likely.
Trump’s comments come under a week after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. Trump’s initial response? “I can give you reports that are fabulous.”