Trump Blows it Out West, Biden Delivers Knockout Climate Speech

Image: ABC News screen capture

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.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden delivered one of the most succinct speeches on climate change on record. He stated that,

“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:

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?

Up Next

One Cool Thing: Climate Week NYC

One Cool Thing: Climate Week NYC

This week is Climate Week NYC, an annual event hosted by The Climate Group and the United Nations, in partnership with the COP26 and the City of New York. For one week, from September 20-26, experts will be hosting panels and conversations about all things climate, and you can follow along at home via Facebook […]

Continue Reading 126 words
Carbon-Intensive Companies Refuse to Disclose Climate Impacts

Carbon-Intensive Companies Refuse to Disclose Climate Impacts

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new study titled, Flying blind: The glaring absence of climate risks in financial reporting, from Carbon Tracker and the Climate Accounting Project (CAP) showed that 107 global businesses that work in high-emissions fields like oil and gas firms, construction, car manufacturers, and aviation businesses, have not been transparent […]

Continue Reading 408 words
Without Carbon Sinks, Earth Would Have Already Warmed Over 1.5 Degrees

Without Carbon Sinks, Earth Would Have Already Warmed Over 1.5 Degrees

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that without the world’s complex ecosystems and wildlife, human activity would have already pushed the global average temperature past 1.5 degrees Celsius. Findings from scientists working with Conservation International (CI) spotlight the role forests, oceans, and more […]

Continue Reading 431 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.