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Trump Again Rejects Science During California Wildfire Briefing

  • September 15, 2020

“As you suggest, the working relationship I value,” Mr. Newsom said. But he said climate change clearly was a factor. “Something’s happening to the plumbing of the world, and we come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real, and that is exacerbating this.”

He went on: “And so I think there’s an area of at least commonality on vegetation, 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.”

Mr. Trump did not argue the point. “Absolutely,” he said, and then turned the floor over to another briefer.

But Wade Crowfoot, California’s secretary for natural resources, pressed Mr. Trump more bluntly. “If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians,” he told the president.

This time, Mr. Trump rejected the premise. “It’ll start getting cooler,” he insisted. “You just watch.”

“I wish science agreed with you,” Mr. Crowfoot replied.

“Well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Mr. Trump retorted, maintaining a tense grin.

Other California officials who were not present rejected Mr. Trump’s view. Mayor Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento said it was a positive development that the president made the trip to demonstrate concern. “Showing up matters,” he said in an interview. “But more important is what you actually do. The country desperately needs national leadership around the climate emergency.”

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