WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump continued to stir controversy about climate change during an interview on “Good Morning Britain” on Wednesday morning, saying the climate “changes both ways.”
Earlier during his state visit, Trump met with Charles, Prince of Wales, and talked with him about climate change. It was originally planned to be a 15-minute conversation but turned into an hour-and-a-half-long conversation between the two.
Prince Charles has been particularly outspoken about climate issues, whereas Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about mankind’s impact on climate change. In 2015, Prince Charles said that climate change was to blame for the Syrian civil war, and called for global action on the issue.
When asked by host Piers Morgan what Trump discussed with Prince Charles, Trump replied that Charles wanted future generations to have “good climate as opposed to a disaster,” to which Trump agreed. Trump blamed Russia, China, and India for their emissions, though, and said, “the United States has among the cleanest climates there are based on all statistics.”
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Trump said that he was moved by Charles’ “passion for future generations” but did not say whether Charles convinced him to change his position on climate change.
When pressed on whether he believed in climate change and climate science, Trump replied, “I believe that there’s a change in weather, and I think it changes both ways. Don’t forget it used to be called global warming. That wasn’t working. Then it was called climate change. Now it’s actually called extreme weather, because, with extreme weather, you can’t miss.”
Citing fluctuations in weather, Trump said that “forty years ago, we had the worst tornado binge we’ve ever had. In the 1890s, we had our worst hurricanes.”
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Trump has been a longtime climate skeptic. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he pledged to help bring back the oil and gas industries, pushing back against a shift towards renewable energy under the Obama administration. He has since signed an executive order in an attempt to speed up the construction of oil and gas pipelines.
In November 2018, Trump questioned a U.S. government report’s assessment of the dangers of climate change, saying he did not believe it because of his “high levels of intelligence”
And in March, he retweeted a figure who he claimed to be a Greenpeace co-founder, who said that “There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.” Greenpeace has disavowed the figure.
Additionally, Trump has said that the noise from wind turbines causes cancer, something that health experts say is false.
In 2017, Trump said the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Trump’s comments on the U.K. television show were broadcast on World Environment Day.
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