U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clashed over the cause and responsibility of wildfires spreading across the West Coast in the U.S. Biden called President Trump a “climate arsonist” after Trump denied the analysis that climate change is the cause of wildfires.
President Trump visited Sacramento, California on Sunday (local time) for a briefing about the wildfires in the region. Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, cited climate change as one of the major causes of wildfires, pointing out that temperatures rose to 54.4 degrees Celsius in Death Valley and 48.4 in Los Angeles this summer. He argued that science is going to be key because if we ignore science, we are not going to succeed together in protecting Californians.
Trump, however, replied, “It’ll start getting cooler,” adding “You just watch.” Crawfoot responded, “I wish science agreed with you,” to which Trump shot back, “Oh, well, I don’t think science knows actually.” Trump has said climate change cannot be explained scientifically and cannot be regarded as the culprit behind wildfires. Trump has been blaming forest management as the cause of wildfires. California, Oregon, and Washington, which have suffered the most damage from wildfires, are traditionally Democratic states.
In response, Biden blasted President Trump. During a speech in Delaware on the same day, Biden called Trump a “climate arsonist.” “If we give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” said Biden adding that Trump’s “climate denial” may not have caused these fires, record-breaking floods, and hurricanes but if Trump is reelected, these “hellish” wildfires will become more frequent and more deadly. Tackling climate change is one of Biden’s major election campaign pledges.