Sanders Blasts Trump On Weird Climate Change Claim

CREDIT: AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign stop, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.

Bernie Sanders is apparently fed up with Donald Trump’s offhand and often outlandish claims. On Monday night, the Democratic candidate blasted Trump’s claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

“What an insight,” the independent senator from Vermont told the audience at a New Hampshire rally. “How brilliant can you be? The entire scientific community has concluded that climate change is real and causing major problems, and Trump believes that it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. Surprised it wasn’t the Mexicans.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly said that he does not believe in climate change — much less man-made climate change. He blamed the Chinese for the “concept of global warming” in a 2012 tweet, saying it was killing American manufacturing.

In fact, China has invested heavily in renewable energy sources, both to combat climate change and to help curb devastating pollution that comes largely from coal plants.

Trump, meanwhile, unsuccessfully fought the development of a wind farm near a Scotland golf course he is invested in. He also supports fracking.

Trump’s official campaign site doesn’t offer an energy (or climate) plan. He does outline that, if he becomes president, he would immediately brand China as a currency manipulator, which would set off diplomatic and trade conflict between the world’s superpowers. Moveover, the International Monetary Fund says that the yuan is no longer undervalued. Trade agreements aside, it’s unclear how climate change benefits Chinese manufacturers to the detriment of the United States.

Trump, who is no longer leading in Iowa, is not the only presidential candidate who does not agree with the scientific and global consensus about climate change. In fact, as ThinkProgress reported last month, none of the major Republican candidates accepts climate science.

On the other side, energy and climate plans are closely linked. Sanders, who has tied climate change to social justice, has offered one of the strongest climate platforms of the race.