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Yesterday the vast differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s responses to national disasters become all the more evident. As the West continues to grapple with active wildfires, President Trump flew to California to be briefed on the wildfire situation by Governor Gavin Newson and California officials while Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gave a speech from Delaware about the urgency of the climate crisis.
The result? Trump doubled down on his climate denial and responded that he doesn’t think “science knows actually” when pressed by an official that climate change is a driver of wildfires in the state.
“Hurricanes don’t swerve to avoid Red States or Blue States. Wildfires don’t skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon, it’s science and our response should be the same. “
Why This Matters: If you’re the sitting president and your opponent is calling you a “climate arsonist” and no one challenges that as hyperbole, that tells you how far you are from the mainstream. And whether it’s the coronavirus or dealing with hurricanes and wildfires, we are seeing an ongoing pattern of behavior where Donald Trump and the Republican party he represents are completely opposed to science and the wellbeing of the American public.
The Clip Seen ‘Round the World: At a televised press conference California’s Governor Gavin Newsom did his best to be welcoming of the President while also attempting to state that climate change is accepted fact in California. Though Newsom did border on insinuating that climate change is a matter of opinion in asking Trump to be respectful of the”the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue.” But the most memorable moment came when California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crawfoot, told the President that the federal response must include action on climate change, Trump responded that “it will start getting cooler” and added that “I don’t think science knows, actually” when Crawfoot explained that science didn’t agree with the President’s opinion. Watch the clip below:
"It'll start getting cooler," Pres. Trump claims as California's Sec. for National Resources Wade Crawfoot calls on him to work with the state to combat the effects of climate change.
At a time when at least 33 people have died from wildfires across the West, and thousands are displaced or have lost their homes, President Trump lacks the capacity to console and demonstrate leadership. On the other hand, Joe Biden’s speech offered that sentiment and more:
“The cost of this year’s damage will again be astronomically high, but think of it from the view on the ground. In the smoldering ashes, loved ones lost, along with the photos, the keepsakes, all the memories, spouses and kids praying each night for their firefighter husband, father, wife, and mother.”
Forest Fixation: President Trump has continued to fixate on forest management and brush clearing as the sole solution to California’s wildfire problem. He once again blamed the state’s officials for failing to manage forests, despite the fact that 57% of California’s forests are federally managed. Trump remarked to a reporter in California yesterday that, if “You go to other countries and they don’t have this problem, but they have more explosive trees, meaning they catch fire much easier. So we have to talk about that.” Say, what?
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