In his latest set of disorientating and ever-shifting claims, President Donald Trump told CBS News' 60 Minutes that climate scientists are following a "very big political agenda."
Moments before making this unqualified claim, Trump stated that he no longer believes climate change is a “hoax”, going back on his multiple tweets in 2014 that called climate change a “GLOBAL WARMING HOAX”. But then, he reiterated his doubts that climate change is caused by human activities, saying: “It'll change back again.”
Lesley Stahl of CBS News kicked off her interview with Trump by asking if he still believed climate change was a hoax, especially in the light of Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence, and Hurricane Maria over the past year or so.
He replied: “I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again. 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.” Trump added: “They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael,” to which Stahl asked him to cite who “they” were exactly.
“People say,” he replied. Stahl then asked about the scientists who claim the recent super storms are worse than ever.
“You'd have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda,” he replied.
It’s a fact that global average temperatures are already up 1°C since industrialization in the 19th century. In the words of the National Climate Assessment report on science, approved by the White House last year: "We find no convincing evidence that natural variability can account for the amount of global warming observed over the industrial era."
We also know that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which help to trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere, have increased dramatically from the pre-Industrial era (1000 CE to 1750 CE) to today's concentrations. On top of that, we also have direct evidence that humans have made a massive contribution to this increase in atmospheric CO2.
Approximately 97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. The study that produced this figure looked at multiple independent studies that quantified the level of agreement among scientists on climate change and found that 90-100 percent of the studies accept the consensus.
In sum, the science is as watertight as it gets. But hey, perhaps you could ask some of the “people” Trump seems to know. For more information about the current US President's views on science, check out this extensive (but by no means exhaustive) list of all the science Trump doesn’t believe in.