Trump claims ‘no one is more into climate than me’ before dismissing crisis as ‘a thing called weather’

Former president says ‘climate has always been changing’ despite overwhelming evidence of human impact

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
,Louise Boyle
Monday 21 March 2022 16:56 GMT
Related video: Donald Trump explains why Mike Pence will likely not be his 2024 running mate

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump has said that “no one is more into the climate than I am” before he dismissed the crisis as “a thing called weather”.

The former president was speaking to Fox Business on Monday when he was asked if he thought the climate is changing because of human activity.

“In my opinion, you have a thing called weather, and you go up and you go down. If you look into the 1920s they were talking about global freezing,” Mr Trump said. “In other words, the globe was going to freeze, and then they go ‘global warming’, then they couldn’t use that because the temperatures were actually quite cool, and many different things so that now they just talk about climate change. The climate has always been changing.”

Mr Trump mockingly said at a South Carolina rally that “the world is going to be destroyed because the oceans are going to rise 1/100 of an inch within the next 300 years. It’s going to kill everybody”.

“It’s going to create more oceanfront property. That’s what it’s going to do,” he added.

Florida tops the list for sea level-rise risk in the US. Globally, the seas have risen six to eight inches (15-20 cm) over the last century, a rate that has accelerated in the past two decades.

More than 90 per cent of excess heat in the atmosphere – caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, gas and coal – is absorbed by the ocean. Heat causes water to expand and raises sea levels, with melting glaciers and ice sheets compounding the problem.

Average sea level along the US coastline is expected to rise by 10 - 12 inches (25-30cm) in the next 30 years, according to a 2022 update from the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Coastal flooding will worsen, NOAA says. Higher sea levels mean higher tides and storm surges, pushing water further inland. By 2050, “moderate” flooding – the kind which causes damage – will happen more than 10 times as often as it does today, on average.

As The Independent reported last week, Mr Trump’s private club Mar-a-Lago is unlikely to escape. Even with conservative projections of sea level rise, water could be sloshing over the club’s manicured lawns from the intracoastal waterway in the next 30 years, according to Climate Central’s coastal risk screening tool based on the latest NOAA data.

Mr Trump criticised the emissions of China, India, Russia, and “all these other countries that are very dirty”.

“Don’t forget with those dirty countries, when those fumes go up into the air, it blows right over the centre of the United States. Just like they dump their garbage in the ocean,” he added.

“The problem is, the green technology isn’t powerful enough ... so if we want to stop being a great manufacturing capital let’s go green. Let’s go to the windmills,” Mr Trump said.

“The wind is very intermittent,” he added, instead pushing for “clean” coal and natural gas.

“We have clean natural gas. We have more energy than any other country. And we have clean coal, they have ... coal technology, which is incredible .... We have so many things that we’re sitting on top of I call it liquid gold. And our liquid gold makes us more ... competitive,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump has been speaking about “clean coal” for years.

“Clean coal turns out to mean largely whatever one wants it to mean,” mechanical engineering and public policy professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Edward Rubin, told in 2018.

“These days, my own sense is that talking about clean coal without extending it to mean significant reductions in carbon emissions is basically ignoring the climate-related impacts of coal combustion,” he added.

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