During his sit down with the New York Times, Donald Trump was asked about his stance on global warming by columnist Tom Friedman. The answer he gave should terrify anyone with the vaguest understanding of the science surrounding climate change and anyone who believes the President of the United States should be able to think clearly about the most pressing issue facing mankind.
Here was his response;
You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.
My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.
And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind.
There is so much nonsense in this answer that it is almost impossible to know where to begin. Firstly, the hottest day on record wasn’t in “1890-something, 98” — it was most likely in Kuwait in July of 2016 (the earlier record from 1913 in Death Valley, California is almost certainly wrong). Secondly, even if the hottest day on record was in “1890-something, 98”, what exactly does that prove? NASA has shown the 2016 is well on its way to being the hottest year on record, and the overwhelming scientific consensus based on hard evidence shows that the planet has been warming up at an incredibly rapid rate for the past 100 years.
Thirdly, Trump brings up something about his uncle, MIT and some emails in Geneva that apparently discount the global scientific consensus on climate change. What exactly is he talking about? Presumably he means the Climatic Research Unit email controversy that while serious, did absolutely nothing to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.
Fourth, it’s fantastic Trump believes in having “crystal clean water”, but without stringent environmental regulation from the government agency he wants to dismantle (the EPA), it’s hard to see how he is going to guarantee it.
Fifth, Trumps “many environmental awards” don’t actually exist. He won one that we know of back in 2007, and his track record of environmental protection at his other golf courses is very far from exemplary.
This shocking display of ignorance and brazen lying should frighten the life out of you. The planet is at breaking point, and America has just elected a president who thinks that because his uncle had mixed feelings on global warming, it doesn’t exist. God help us all.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.