Does Trump Truly believe Climate Change is a Chinese Hoax?

Chinese hoaxTrump did once famously tweet that Climate Change was a Chinese Hoax, but that was six years ago, so the question I’m really asking is to wonder if he has changed his mind.

We do have a bit of insight because during his recent 60 minute interview he was pressed on the topic. So what did he say, do we glean any insights?

60 Minute Interview

A full transcript can be found here via CBS News. When questioned by Lesley Stahl what does he now claim?

(You don’t need psychic powers to guess).

Stahl: Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?

Trump: I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this. I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t wanna be put at a disadvantage.

Stahl: I wish you could go to Greenland, watch these huge chunks of ice just falling into the ocean, raising the sea levels.

Trump: And you don’t know whether or not that would have happened with or without man. You don’t know.

Stahl: Well, your scientists, your scientists–

Trump: No, we have–

Stahl: At NOAA and NASA–

Trump: We have scientists that disagree with that.

Stahl: You know, I– I was thinking what if he said, “No, I’ve seen the hurricane situations, I’ve changed my mind. There really is climate change.” And I thought, “Wow, what an impact.”

Trump: Well– I’m not denying.

Stahl: What an impact that would make.

Trump: I’m not denying climate change. But it could very well go back. You know, we’re talkin’ about over a millions–

Stahl: But that’s denying it.

Trump: –of years. They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.

Stahl: Who says that? “They say”?

Trump: People say. People say that in the–

Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?

Trump: You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley.

Lesley Stahl: I can’t bring them in.

Trump: Look, scientists also have a political agenda.

If you have not already done so then about here is the right place to face-palm.

Let’s spell it out in clear simply terms to avoid all potential confusion – what he is claiming is BS, but hey, this is Trump, and so to borrow an apt golfing metaphor, that’s par for the course – anything else would be a huge shock.

  • We know that the warming we observe is being principally caused by human activities
  • If we take no action it will not reverse, but instead will get far worse – we face catastrophic change.
  • There are multiple lines of independent evidence that confirm all of this – each has been rigorously tested
  • There is nothing that conflicts with this conclusion that withstands scrutiny. There is no ongoing scientific debate about this.
  • Climate Scientists do not have a “Political Agenda”, but instead have a deep grasp of evidence and facts.

The American Meteorological Society responds

You know that efforts such as the following are utterly pointless, and I suspect they also know it – yet still they tried. Unless written in crayon, consists of only pictures, and runs to a maximum of just one page then you can be quite sure that Trump will not grasp it. That however should not stop them from trying, and so they have written a letter that is formally addressed to him, but is in reality targeting a far wider audience …

Dear President Trump:

The interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, 14 October, included several questions related to climate change, reflecting the fact that this is an issue of vital importance to the nation. You raised several points in your replies that provide an opportunity for input from the scientific and science policy communities.

There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that shows that the warming global climate we have been experiencing in recent decades is primarily caused by human activity and that current long-term warming trends cannot be expected to reverse if no action is taken. These conclusions come from multiple independent lines of evidence. As is standard for the scientific process, each of these lines of evidence has undergone rigorous testing and has overcome all credible challenges. They reinforce one another and there are no contradictory lines of evidence that withstand scientific scrutiny. As a result, the basic scientific conclusions about climate change are extremely robust.

There are highly promising risk management options — ones that can reduce the risks of climate change, strengthen the U.S. economy, and promote job creation. Nevertheless, choices about whether and how to respond are complex, as you noted in your interview. People can welcome and accept the basic scientific assessments and still reach different conclusions about what to do. Many options would be consistent with your policy priorities.

You also said that scientists are making this political, which is misleading and very damaging. The scientific community welcomes all who commit to the pursuit of understanding through science irrespective of their political views, religious beliefs, and ethical values. As an institution, the American Meteorological Society takes no political positions and we proudly count among our members both individuals who strongly support you and those who routinely disagree. We are stronger for the breadth of our membership.

The American Meteorological Society would welcome the opportunity to work with your staff to ensure that they have full access to credible and scientifically validated information as you navigate the many difficult policy areas impacted by the Earth’s changing climate. We are confident that viable solutions exist and that they can be fruitfully developed if the best available knowledge and understanding is applied to the issues at hand.


They know he will not be taking up their offer, but they also can’t simply stay silent and must step up to the tee to correct the BS he is emitting.

How do we know with a high-degree of certainty that Trump will ignore it?

Well, because this is not a first, we have been around this loop before. Back in January the AMS made a very similar offer in response to some statements that demonstrated that he was very confused on the topic.

You can actually do something

The mid-term elections are here, and so you can make a difference by voting for individuals who do not reject scientific evidence, or to be a tad more precise, vote for those who do actually think, and reject those that are incapable of doing so.

You can turn hope into reality …

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