Trump raises unbridled questions on climate science during California wildfire briefing

“I don’t think science really knows,” Trump said Monday with laughter with officials in McClellen Park, California.

He told Wade Crawfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, “It’s going to get cold. You just keep watching.”

Crowfoot warned the president of the danger of ignoring science and “putting our heads in the sand and thinking that it is about vegetation management.”

Trump also had a direct confrontation with the state’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsome, who has been adamant about the role of the forest in climate change, stating the president clearly: “Climate change is real.”

“We obviously feel very strongly that the Hots are warming up,” Newsom said. “Withers are drying up. When we’re doing Heat Dome, the likes of what we’ve never seen in our history.”

Trump renews climate battle to surround fire on west coast

“We come from a point of view, modestly, where science is in, and the evidence seen is self-evident that climate change is real and it is exacerbating it,” the governor said.

Newsom told Trump “Please be respectful – and I know you do – the vote here differs as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change.”

“Absolutely,” Trump replied.

Trump and California officials agreed that it was necessary to continue federal aid with forest management.

Just before his briefing, Trump had asked a reporter what the role of climate change was in the fire.

“Well, I think it’s more of a management situation. If you look at other countries, if you go to other countries in Europe, Austria, Finland … they are forest nations. They are in the wild and They don ‘t have problems like this, “the president replied.

The president also suggested that other countries need to take responsibility for their own levels of pollution higher than the US, because the US is “just a small splash.”

But when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the US does not represent a “spec”. While US emissions declined in 2019, the US is still the world’s second-largest contributor of planet-warming gases.

“When you get into climate change, well, is India changing its ways? And is China changing its ways? And Russia? Is Russia going to change its ways?” Trump asked.

As recently as Saturday, the President in his administration celebrated his decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement early.

The global agreement was meant to address climate change – precisely the issue experts say is playing a role in large-scale explosions. India, China and Russia were all signatories.

As Trump visited the West Coast on Monday, Joe Biden gave a speech warning of the devastating effects of climate change, which the president calls “climate denial” and “climate arson”. He also said that if Trump is given another term on the post, it would harm the country manifold.

Until this past weekend, the president was largely silent on the wildfire that occupies millions of acres in California, prompting Oregon officials to prepare for a possible “mass fatal event”, and apocalyptic orange skies And produced rain of clouds. The entire west coast cities have been washed away.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Nikki Robertson, Christina Walker, Sarah Mucha and Meo Reston contributed to this report.