Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump doubled down on his climate denial this week, saying on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that climate change isn’t something he thinks is happening.
“I’m not a believer in global warming,” he said after Hewitt asked about his views on climate change. “And I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling. I don’t know if you know that or not.”
As David Roberts at Vox points out, no one in the 1920s thought the Earth was cooling. The “global cooling” argument is one that’s been cited by multiple climate deniers over the years, in various fashions — some have claimed that the earth is actively cooling now, instead of warming, but most have relied on a 1970s article that claimed that the earth was cooling as evidence that scientists create new theories about the earth’s temperature all the time and, therefore, shouldn’t be trusted when they speak about the earth’s current trend.
Trump appears to have taken the latter approach in the interview, though he got his decades mixed up. And, for the record, the author of that 1975 article has acknowledged the scientific consensus that the earth is, in fact, now warming, and has expressed his dismay that the article is still being used as proof for climate deniers.
Trump goes on lament the fact that the government is spending money addressing a problem that he doesn’t think exists.
“I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems,” he said.
The earth’s climate does fluctuate naturally, but 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the planet is currently warming, and that warming is being driven by human activities.
Trump then transitions into talking about nuclear issues.
“You know, to me, the worst global warming, and I mentioned this to you once before, is nuclear warming. That’s our global warming,” he said. “That’s what I see, because we have incompetent people, and we have these rogue nations, and not even rogue nations anymore.”
Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013
Trump has also fought hard against a wind development in Scotland that he says would have impacted the views of a golf course he was building (the wind development was scrapped for another, unrelated reason). Trump, who is currently leading the Republican field in primary polls, has blamed China for the “concept of global warming,” and has said the Environmental Protection Agency is “an impediment to both growth and jobs.”