‘It’ll change back?’ Trump mocked for his ‘natural instinct for science’ on climate change
Referencing an uncle who was a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (whom he never spoke to about climate change) as apparent proof of his scientific bona fides, Trump told the Associated Press that he has “a natural instinct for science” and that the climate goes “back and forth, back and forth.”
The US president remains unconvinced that human activity is the cause of climate change. While he has backed away from a 2012 claim that the concept was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing noncompetitive,” he is now convinced that “something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” according to an interview he gave with 60 Minutes on Sunday.
Q: Climate scientists say we are reaching the point of no returnTRUMP: I had an uncle who was a scientist and I never talked to him about climate change but I think everything is fine.Next question? pic.twitter.com/FJU4onzIGH— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 17, 2018
Trump’s appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, notoriously attempted to roll back several key environmental regulations passed under Barack Obama, including the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water Rule, and a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Pruitt also oversaw a 23 percent budget cut to the agency and filled science advisory panels with industry representatives instead of unaffiliated scientists.
Trump may believe in climate change now, but he remains convinced that scientists who see a human role in the process have “a very big political agenda.” Meanwhile, he doesn’t want to “sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows.”
While some Democrats favor bold moves to address climate change, others – perhaps still shell-shocked by the failure of their 2009 cap-and-trade bill under Obama – shy away from anything more than incremental measures, citing the “hostile” political environment in Congress. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said Democrats should “focus on the practical and the opportunistic” in the short term while working toward big-picture “aspirational goals” in the long term.
Some might argue the concept of a “long term,” when it comes to the environment, was rendered irrelevant by the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. It projected that humans have until 2030 to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change in the form of massive sea level rise, increased drought, permafrost melt, and coral reef die-offs.
Trump thinks because his uncle was an MIT engineering prof 45 yrs ago he has a “natural instinct for science.” That’s like saying my uncle flew planes so I can land this 747 jumbo jet. @POTUS needs to heed MIT’s real climate experts before it’s too late. https://t.co/iWEKjfhe6Q— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) October 17, 2018
Donald Trump: I have a natural instinct for scienceAlso Donald Trump: pic.twitter.com/ym4Rdy3KHR— Boris Roosevelt (@BorisRoosevelt) October 17, 2018
"I just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate" ...... from Trump, a man who blindly trusts the words of #MbS, #Kavanaugh, etc, but calls 'liars' the US leaders in climate science. Sigh. pic.twitter.com/SKdXqSODr0— Frederic Briand (@fred_ericB) October 17, 2018
Trump claimed that he has a 'natural instinct for science', when talking about climate change.That's like a worm saying "I have a natural instinct for birds" as he is getting eaten by a bird.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) October 17, 2018
One of the main tenets of science is that natural instinct can be very wrong. We were not evolved to instinctively understand current research, which is why we learn to do it.Trump's hubristic tosh is never ending.— Dr Benjamin Janaway (@drjanaway) October 17, 2018
TRUMP: Climate change is a hoaxAP: How do you know?T: I have a natural instinct for scienceAP: Please explainT: We can stop hurricanes by building a wall at the Mexican borderAP: I seeT: Sharia Law is melting the ice capsAP: FascinatingT: Hillary Clinton invented smog— Dreamweasel (@Dreamweasel) October 17, 2018
Trump says "I have a natural instinct for science."Scientists would say science isn't instinct-based, but Trump's instinct probably disagrees with that too, so what are you gonna do https://t.co/J2GXsCtrcCpic.twitter.com/oiScuvt7sE— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 17, 2018
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