On Monday, Donald Trump dismissed the devastating report on climate change released by his own government last week, saying that he didn’t “believe it.” CNN writes that while speaking with reporters, the president said that he didn’t agree with the report’s findings on the human and financial costs of climate change, and claimed that the country is currently the “cleanest” it has ever been.
“I don’t believe it,” Trump said when asked about the findings of the report. “No, no, I don’t believe it.”
When asked if had read the report, which was released on Friday, he said that he had read “some of it.”
“I’ve seen it. I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” he said.
The National Climate Assessment report, which is mandated by Congress to be released annually, says that the U.S. will face financial losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year if emissions continue to grow at historic rates. That’s more than the entire annual GDP of many states. It also said that many communities are already feeling the impact of climate change, and that the impacts will only worsen, with significant loss of infrastructure, and property.
The report also details that these impacts can be mitigated if the country and the rest of the world take more steps to address carbon emissions. That seems unlikely, however, given that president Trump is well-known for his anti-scientific stance on climate change.
Recently, Trump accused climate scientists of having a political agenda and said that he didn’t believe humans were causing the planet’s rising temperatures. He also famously announced that he would pull the country out of the historic Paris climate accord, which brought together 188 countries to fight global warming.
Eight years ago he claimed, without evidence, that climate change was invented “by and for the Chinese” to harm U.S. manufacturing.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
On Monday, Trump denied that the U.S. needed to work on its carbon emissions, saying that the country was as clean as it has ever been.
“Right now we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been and that’s very important to me,” he said.
“If we’re clean, but every other place on earth is dirty, that’s not so good. So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important.”
Richard L. Revesz, an expert in environmental law at New York University, says that Trump’s denials could spell trouble for the administration.
“This report will be used in court in significant ways,” he said.
“I can imagine a lawyer for the Trump administration being asked by a federal judge, ‘How can the federal government acknowledge the seriousness of the problem, and then set aside the rules that protect the American people from the problem?’ And they might squirm around coming up with an answer.”