Trump says he thinks the Earth will cool back down, denying his own administration's climate change report

Mark Lyons/Getty ImagesDonald Trump models a hard hat in support of coal miners during a 2016 campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia.
  • President Donald Trump said he hasn’t seen his own government’s National Climate Assessment, but he doubts its grim conclusions and thinks the climate can change back on its own.
  • The Trump administration’s own scientists say it’s overwhelmingly clear that humans are causing climate change and that its repercussions could ravage the US and the world.
  • But Trump said he thinks the climate, the hottest in modern human history, can change back on its own.

President Donald Trump said he hasn’t seen his own government’s National Climate Assessment, but he doubts its grim conclusions and thinks the climate can change back on its own.

Shown the National Climate Assessment, a document his administration produced, during his appearance on HBO’s “Axios,” Trump disputed its findings and said he thinks the climate changes back and forth.

The document concludes that it’s “extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

Further, it links climate change to forest fires that have ravaged the US in recent years as well as rising water levels that threaten a broad swath of coastal US cities. The report keeps in line with a United Nations report that predicts the world has 12 years to take drastic action to avert global catastrophe.

Read more: UN report concludes the climate change goals the world set are inadequate, and the track we’re on is disastrous

The US military and other sections of the government have had to grapple with the reality of rising water levels that threaten naval bases and populations around the globe.

While Trump admitted humans “certainly contribute” to the hottest climate in modern human history, he also said he could produce scientific reports that dispute human-caused climate change.

In response to the UN report, Trump said in October that the climate may actually be “fabulous,” and not in danger.

“Is there climate change? Yeah,” said Trump to Axios.

“Will it go back like this?” Trump asked, making an up and down waving motion with his hand. “I mean will it change back? Probably, that’s what I think.”

“I believe it goes this way,” he said, again waving his hand up and down.

“We do have an impact, but I don’t believe the impact is nearly what some scientists say, and other scientists dispute those findings very strongly,” Trump said.

The real science

Recent scientific journals have not disputed human-caused climate change, so it’s unclear what scientific reports Trump was referring to.

Some scientists disagree about the extent to which the climate has changed, but they are in consensus that humans are exacerbating the change.

Trump has championed policies, like the use of coal for power, that scientists blame for releasing carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. In defence of his preference for coal, Trump has said he doesn’t want to combat climate change at the expense of US jobs.

These were some of the reasons why Trump pulled the US out of the global Paris agreement to combat climate change in 2017.

While Trump correctly stated that the Earth’s climate changes regularly over time, it does so on a geologic time scale, rather than in a matter of generations. And scientists warn that our extensive burning of greenhouse gases has set off a period of warming that has thrown the Earth’s natural cycle out of whack.

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