President Donald Trump has long been a denier of climate change, suggesting that the concept was "created by and for the Chinese to make American manufacturing uncompetitive." But, in an interview with CBS & # 39; 60 Minutes last night, he walked away a bit from these claims and said he no longer believes that global warming is a hoax.
"I'm not denying climate change," Trump told interviewer Lesley Stahl.
However, at the same time, Trump suggested that climate change might not be caused by humans; that he did not want to take any action that would harm the American economy; and that the warming of the planet by industrial emissions would be reversed on its own.
"I think something is happening, something is changing and will change again," Trump said. "I do not think it's a hoax, I think there's probably a difference, but I do not know what it's made by man, I'll say this: I do not want to give billions and billions of dollars, I do not want to lose millions and millions of jobs."
A recent report on climate change from the United Nations explained the serious consequences of global warming. If emissions continue to increase at their current rate, the planet will heat up to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) by 2040, which will cause extreme heat waves, less rain and frequent coastal flooding. This in turn could lead to waves of climate refugees that could destabilize governments.
The authors of the UN report said that it was necessary to take immediate measures to prevent the current increase, including taxes on carbon emissions and to get rid of coal energy. Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly said he wants to burn more coal and promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the largest international treaty to reduce emissions.
One expected result of climate change is an increase in the intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes. When asked about the recent damage in Georgia and Florida caused by Hurricane Michael, Trump suggested that there was "much worse than what we just had."
When Stahl cited scientists who report that extreme weather is getting worse, Trump replied: "You" would have to show me to scientists because they have a very large political agenda. "