WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Donald Trump went to California on Monday to assess the wildfire damages and discussed it with state and local officials.
- Trump consistently blamed “forest management” as the primary reason for the wildfires. But for state officials and scientists, the main cause of the calamity was because of climate change.
- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during his campaign speech on Monday said that Trump’s dismissal to acknowledge climate change would lead to more environmental calamities.
On Monday, President Donald Trump suspended a Western campaign schedule and instead fled to California to assess the catastrophe caused by the wildfire. He also reiterated his stance with state and local authorities that “forest management” is the reason behind the calamity that took away 35 lives this month.
Trump remained firm in his argument despite scientists and government officials claim that climate change is the main cause of the wildfires.
In a briefing in North California on Monday, Trump said, “When trees fall down after a short period of time, they become very dry – really like a matchstick … and they can explode.”
Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom of California responded that forest management is one concern, but “climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this.”
“Please respect, and I know you do, the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue … of climate change,” Newsom said.
State secretary for natural resources Wade Crowfoot backed Newsom, pinpointing climate change as the main cause of the wildfires. But the president quickly rebutted: “It’ll start getting cooler – you just watch.”
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot told Trump.
Trump replied, “I don’t think science knows, actually.”
Pressed by a reporter why it took him long to visit, Trump said, “That’s a nasty question. I got a call from your governor immediately. On that call, I declared it a national emergency. That’s a nasty question.”
Trump has warned that he would halt federal funding to California and other states if their officials will not amend their policies on forest management. However, authorities working on the wildfires said that the crisis will escalate further if the president would repeatedly dismiss the effect of climate change.
In his campaign address on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that Trump’s defiance to acknowledge climate change would proliferate more environmental calamities.
“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” The former vice president said.
“If you give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater?”
Intense wildfires have consumed more than five million acres in the states of California, Oregon, and Washington in nearly a month, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.
Source: USA Today