Even the Prince of Wales could not convince President Trump that climate change is real, though apparently, the Prince did give it a go during a 15-minute meeting on Monday between the two leaders that stretched to 90 minutes, according to The Washington Post.
- The President later told British talk show host Piers Morgan, “I believe that there’s a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways,” and then he went on to say, “Don’t forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn’t working. Then it was called climate change. Now it’s actually called extreme weather, because, with extreme weather, you can’t miss.”
Why This Matters: The President’s statements are so ill-informed that it is embarrassing. Of course the weather changes — but weather and climate are two different things. Juxtapose these nonsensical statements by the President with the lucid but alarming testimony by national security experts before the House Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday. Military Times reported that Rod Schoonover, a senior State Department official testified that “Climate change effects could undermine important international systems on which the U.S. is critically dependent such as trade routes, food, and energy supplies, the global economy, and domestic stability abroad.” That is what the President should be discussing with the leaders of our closest allies when he meets them this week.
More of the President’s ruminations on “extreme weather” as reported by The Post include:
- “Forty years ago, we had the worst tornado binge we’ve ever had,” Trump said. “In the 1890s, we had our worst hurricanes.”
- He said he was impressed by the passion displayed by the Prince of Wales, who has been an outspoken advocate on climate issues.
- He said he shared the prince’s desire for a “good climate as opposed to a disaster.”
- The president blamed China, India, and Russia for polluting the environment and said the United States was responsible for “among the cleanest climates.”
Here are the simple facts about the climate crisis:
- “The Earth’s average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth-highest since 1880 when record-keeping began.”
- “That means that the past five years have been the warmest in recorded history.”
- “Carbon dioxide emissions by the United States, the world’s second-largest emitter, rose an estimated 3.4 percent in 2018.”
- “I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,” the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol.
- “I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but … it’s just the fact of the scenario.”