Donald Trump suggests he does not know if climate change is manmade, saying: 'It'll change back again'

President says he does not want to 'give trillions and trillions of dollars' to tackle problem that threatens billions of lives across world

Monday 15 October 2018 10:23
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Donald Trump says he thinks climate change will 'change back'

Donald Trump has suggested he does not know if climate change is “manmade”, before saying "it'll change back again".

In an interview with CBS60 Minutes the president backed off his previous remarks that global warming was a hoax but said he was unsure about its causes.

He added that he was reluctant to do anything about the issue as he did not want to put the US at a disadvantage.

"I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again," Mr Trump said.

"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."

Mr Trump had previously claimed that climate change was a hoax that had been “created for and by the Chinese”.

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive,” he said in a tweet in 2012, frequently repeating his claim it was a hoax and casting doubt over scientific findings.

"I'm not denying climate change," he said in the interview. "But it could very well go back. You know, we're talking about over a ... millions of years."

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The president's suggestion global warming will "change back" is not supported by experts.

Temperature records kept by Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the world has not had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985.

Mr Trump, who is scheduled to visit areas of Georgia and Florida damaged by Hurricane Michael on 15 October, also expressed doubt over scientists' findings linking the changing climate to more powerful hurricanes.

"They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael," said Trump, who identified "they" as "people" after being pressed by "60 Minutes" correspondent Leslie Stahl.

She asked: "What about the scientists who say it's worse than ever?" the president replied, "You'd have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda."

Mr Trump's comments came just days after a Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.

The report detailed how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming.

Agencies contributed to this report

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