President Donald Trump on Monday asserted that he expects the Earth to “start getting cooler” following a warning that California recently broke a world record in Death Valley this summer, reaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
At a roundtable in Sacramento to discuss wildfires, Wade Crowfoot, California’s Sec. for Natural Resources Agency, explained to the president that his state has seen a warming trend in recent decades.
“As the governor said, we’ve had temperatures explode this summer. You may have learned that we broke a world record in the Death Valley. 130 degrees,” he explained as the president looked away and appeared to laugh. “But even in greater LA, 120 plus degrees.”
“We’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer, but also our winters warmer as well,” Crowfoot explained. “We want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests and actually work together with that science. That science is going to be key.”
Crowfoot then appeared to direct his comments at the president, telling him: “Because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and say we think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed in protecting Californians.”
“Okay, It’ll start getting cooler,” Trump announced.
“I wish,” Crowfoot interjected.
“You just watch,” Trump added.
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied.
“Oh, well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump remarked with a smile.
President Trump: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch."
Wade Crowfoot, CA Sec. for Natural Resources: "I wish science agreed with you."
President Trump: "Well, I don't think science knows actually." pic.twitter.com/L98SD0l0cH
— The Hill (@thehill) September 14, 2020
When Trump touched down under smoky skies at McClellan Park for a briefing on the California wildfires, he blamed uncleared dead trees and leaves for flames that have burned more than 3 million acres and killed 24 in the state.
Trump met with California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the business park, which is also the home to hangars for CalFire aircraft.
“When trees fall down, after a short period of time. about 18 months, they become really dry. They become really like a matchstick….and they just explode,” Trump told reporters on the tarmac.
“Also leaves, if you have years of leaves, dried leaves on the ground, it just sets it up. It’s really a fuel for a fire. So they have to do something about it.”
At the round-table briefing held shortly after his remarks, Newsom told the president that forest management is unquestionably a piece of the problem, but noted that 57 percent of the forests in California are on federally controlled land.
Trump talks about how Europe has "more explosive" trees than California but doesn't have wildfire problems because they do a better job of forest management.
Then references his infamous "raking" comments, bringing up the need to clean up leaves to stop fires. pic.twitter.com/9gVBWV6kvR
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 14, 2020