Trump dismisses climate concerns as he visits fire-ravaged West

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 15, 2020

"It will start getting cooler".

President Donald Trump continued to downplay the dangers of climate change, this time while in a Monday meeting with California lawmakers and scientists after millions of acres across the state have already burned this year in deadly wildfires.

Dozens of conflagrations have raged with unprecedented scope across some 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) in Oregon, California and Washington state since August, laying waste to several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 36 people. "But then you pull up, and the devastation of just every home, you think of every family and every situation and every burnt-down auto, and there are just no words for it".

"You just watch", Trump, 74, told Wade Crowfoot, the California secretary for natural resources. "I think there's an area of at least commonality on vegetation and forest management, but please respect - and I know you do - the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue, on the issue of climate change".

"When trees fall down, after a short period of time. about 18 months, they become really dry". They become really like a match stick.

The former vice president claimed that if the president remains in the office for another four years, they will have "more of America ablaze".

All told in California, almost 17,000 firefighters were battling 29 major wildfires on Sunday, Cal Fire said.

The president's visit to California was to last only a few hours, before he returns to the campaign trail in Arizona.

Newsom announced there is stewardship between the state and the U.S. Forest Service to get to a million acres a year in active forest management, but with this year's fire season at over three million, Newsom says it's a step forward but millions of acres are the goal, not just a million.

But he said the overwhelming cause of the problem is far bigger.

"Where you have lots of people living on small acreages close together, and you've got houses and barns and sheds and corrals and fences, it's very hard to do a prescribed burn", Gersbach said. But he told Trump that it is "self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this".

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is also set to tour the damage Tuesday.

The governor also pushed back on Trump's perspective that climate change is not the primary cause of fires.

Trump has made little comment about the blazes in recent weeks, but at a Nevada campaign event on Saturday he acknowledged the scope of the disaster.

Much of the West Coast remained coated in dense smog through Sunday, with Portland the world's most air-polluted city according to IQAir.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, who has described the wildfires as "apocalyptic" and driven by climate change, said it was crucial voters elect a "climate president" come November 3. California, Oregon and Washington are struggling to contain devastating wildfires, with Oregon Governor Kate Brown warning it "could be the greatest loss of human lives and property" in the state's history.

Those incendiary conditions gave way over the weekend to cooler, moister weather and calmer winds, enabling tired firefighters to gain ground in efforts to outflank blazes that had burned largely unchecked last week.

In California, evacuations were ordered for the northern tip of the San Gabriel Valley suburb of Arcadia as the Bobcat Fire threatened communities.

Seventy-five thousand people in Linn County, Iowa were still without power; nearly every building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa was damaged in some way (with more than 1,000 homes declared uninhabitable); and with trash pickup halted, animals were scavenging through the bags of rotting garbage piling up in the streets.

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