At Wildfire Briefing, Trump Scoffs at Climate Crisis: “I Don’t Think Science Knows”

SAN FRANCISCO ­– A failure in forest management – not climate change – is fueling the catastrophic wildfire inferno on the West Coast, President Trump said today.

At a briefing with state officials near Sacramento, Trump repeated his claim that an accumulation of leaves and fallen trees are to blame for the out-of-control fires that have consumed more than five million acres and killed at least 26 people in California, Oregon and Washington state.

Trump has dismissed the climate crisis as “a hoax” and has said the fires are the result of states failing to clean brush from forest floors. When he met today with California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state’s natural resources secretary challenged him to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, which is causing record high temperatures and drying out the forests, triggering unprecedented firestorms.

“ . . . [S]cience is going to be key because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians,” Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot told Trump.

“It’ll start getting cooler, you just watch,” replied Trump.

“I wish science agreed with you,” responded Crowfoot.

“I don’t think science knows, actually,” said Trump. 

“President Trump is an existential threat in so many ways to this country, its people and the entire planet, it’s difficult to keep count,” said EWG President Ken Cook, a Bay Area resident. “His refusal to embrace and act on the science of climate change mean bigger fires that destroy more property and devastate the lives of countless families.”

“President Trump’s grasp of climate science is matched only by his understanding of COVID-19 science,” said Cook. “The president’s embrace of ideology in place of science will only bring death and destruction.”


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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