Donald Trump has again stated when it comes to climate change he is “open-minded” but he also stated that “nobody really knows” what the truth is – contradicting the fact that there is near-universal scientific agreement on the issue.
During an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” moderator Chris Wallace pointed out to Mr. Trump that in the space of one week he both met with former Vice President Al Gore and appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier. Trump has picked Pruitt who has opposed many environmental regulations, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Where, Wallace asked, does Mr. Trump actually stand on climate change?
“I’m very open-minded. I’m still open-minded,” he said. “Nobody really knows.”
There is near-universal scientific consensus that climate change is a real phenomenon — despite continued opposition to the view among primarily Republican politicians. NASA’s website on climate change, notes that almost 97 percent of publishing climate scientists all agree that activities done by human are quite likely the reason for rising temperatures.
Trump comments comes only days after the transition team creating a questionnaire with 74 questions for Energy Department officials to identify those employees who have been involved in international climate talks over the last five years, as well as employees who have helped in the development of the Obama administration’s climate policies.
This questionnaire, which has been obtained by CBS News and which was first reported on by Bloomberg News, asks, for example, Which programs within [the Department of Energy] are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan?”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Mr. Trump’s answer Sunday on the climate change issue is similar to the one he gave in a meeting with the editorial board of The New York Times last month — after a campaign in which Mr. Trump repeatedly insisted climate change was a “hoax” invented by China.”
“I have a very open mind,” he said at that time. “And I’m going to study a lot of the things that happened on it and we’re going to look at it very carefully. But I have an open mind.”
Mr. Trump said his reason for choosing Pruitt — whom many environmental groups immediately blasted — was to “speed up the process” for permit approvals and other EPA business.
“If you look at what China’s doing. If you look at what — I could name country after country,” he said. “You look at what’s happening in Mexico where our people are just — plants are being built and they don’t wait 10 years to get an approval to build a plant, okay? They build it like the following day or the following week. We can’t let all of these permits that take forever to stop our jobs.”
As for the Paris Agreement, which is the landmark international climate agreement that has already gone into effect, Trump said he is “studying” the agreement – but what worries him is that it will put the U.S. at a “competitive disadvantage.” International energy and environment experts worry that Trump, who said earlier this year that he would “tear up” the Paris deal, could throw the entire agreement into jeopardy.
“Paris, I’m studying,” he said. “I do say this: I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries. And as you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement. I don’t want to give China, or other countries signing agreements an advantage over us”.