Saturday 17 November 2018

Trump concedes climate change is 'real' - but it will 'change back'

Destroyers: Actor Alec Baldwin has urged voters to overthrow Donald Trump at the polls. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Destroyers: Actor Alec Baldwin has urged voters to overthrow Donald Trump at the polls. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Rachael Alexander

US President Donald Trump is backing off his claim that climate change is a hoax, but says he doesn't know if it's man made and suggests that the climate will "change back again".

In an interview with CBS's '60 Minutes' he said he did not want to put America at a disadvantage in responding to climate change.

"I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again," he said. "I don't think it's a hoax. I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's man made. 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 called climate change a hoax in November 2012 when he sent a tweet stating: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." He later said he was joking about the Chinese connection, but in years since has continued to call global warming a hoax.

"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."

As far as the climate "changing back", temperature records kept by Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the world hasn't had a cooler-than-average year since 1976 or a cooler-than-normal month since the end of 1985.

Mr Trump, who was scheduled to visit areas of Georgia and Florida damaged by Hurricane Michael yesterday, 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 Mr 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?" to which 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 issued a warning that global warming would increase climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.

Citing concerns about the pact's economic impact, Mr Trump said in 2017 that the US will leave the Paris climate accord. The agreement set voluntary greenhouse gas emission targets in an effort to lessen the impact of fossil fuels.

On a different topic, Mr Trump said that he's been surprised by Washington being a tough, deceptive and divisive place, though some accuse the former property tycoon of those same tactics.

"So I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah," he said. "Now I say they're babies."

He said the political people in Washington have changed his thinking.

"This is the most deceptive, vicious world. It is vicious, it's full of lies, deceit and deception," he said.

Last night, actor Alec Baldwin urged voters to "overthrow" the US government led by Mr Trump at the ballot box.

He was speaking at a fundraising dinner for the New Hampshire Democratic Party ahead of the November 6 midterm elections.

"The way we implement change in America is through elections. We change governments here at home in an orderly and formal way," he said. "In that orderly and formal way and lawful way, we need to overthrow the government of the US under Trump."

Baldwin said on issue after issue that Republicans are destroyers, not builders.

He said: "There is a small cadre of people currently in power who are hell-bent on continuing a malicious immigration policy that has set this country up for human rights violations charges... This cadre has looted money from the federal treasury and deposited it directly into the bank accounts of their most ardent political supporters."

Irish Independent

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