In case you hadn’t noticed, Donald Trump is not a smart man. And to cement that observation, he has said he doesn’t believe his own administration’s dire warning about the effects of climate change on the planet.
The Trump administration was already in hot water for releasing this report the day after Thanksgiving on Friday last week. Called the National Climate Assessment, the 1,600-page report includes 13 federal agencies and 300 scientists giving evidence on the effects of climate change.
“Exhausted fisheries, declining crop yields, deteriorating infrastructure, lost tourism, and extreme weather damages all stemming from climate change will slice hundreds of billions of dollars out of the US economy,” noted Vox. “By the end of the century, climate change could cost the United States $500 billion per year.”
Among the agencies who contributed to the report are the Defense Department and NASA. Yes, the same NASA that Trump said had “reawakened” following yesterday’s landing on Mars (which was developed under Obama, don’t you know).
The National Climate Assessment has been a legal requirement for any administration in government since 1990. But after doing their best to hide it failed, Trump decided to go with the classic post-2016 tactic of just, you know, disagreeing with the facts.
“I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” he said yesterday outside the White House.
A reporter then said: “They say the economic impact [of climate change] could be devastating.”
“Yeah, I don’t believe it,” Trump replied. “No, no, I don’t believe it. And here’s the other thing. You’re going to have to have China and Japan and all of Asia and all of these other countries, you know, [it] addresses our country.”
And then, unbelievably: “Right now we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been. And that’s very important to me. But if we’re clean, but every other place on Earth is dirty, that’s not so good.”
Just to clarify, the US is the world’s second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, after China. And since 1965, no country has pumped more CO2 into the atmosphere than the US.
The National Climate Assessment notes that if growth in emissions continues, the economic impacts of climate change could exceed the GDP of some US states, not to mention the loss of life caused by the extreme heat, cold, and weather events expected from climate change.
The report did say, however, that some catastrophes could be avoided if emissions are reduced and humans learn to adapt to some of the changes. And despite Trump, there might be some hope for the former.