Donald Trump said he believed climate change is just “extreme weather” despite Britain’s Prince Charles spending for more than an hour trying to persuade the visiting U.S. President to see the dangers of climate change.
Prince Charles hosted the President for afternoon tea at Clarence House on Monday. The President has now joined the British Queen in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings Wednesday.
Talking about the meeting Trump also continued to insist that the U.S. was “clean” and blamed other nations for the climate crisis. This isn’t the first time Donald Trump has been been willingly ignorant of the climate crisis though. In 2018, he had accused climate experts of having a “political agenda.”
The president told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he “totally listened” to Charles when the issue came up. He said: “We had a 15-minute chat and it lasted an hour and a half. What he really wants and what he feels strongly about is the future. He wants the best climate for the future. He wants a good climate and not a disaster. I believe there is a change in the weather. I think it was called global warming, then it was called climate change, now it’s called extreme weather. I think we had a great conversation about — as you would call it — climate change. This is real, he believes that. He wants to have a world that’s good for future generations and I do, too. He’s Prince Charles, he doesn’t have to worry about future generations unless he’s a very good person who cares about people, and that’s what impressed me, maybe the most.”
Trump pushed back at the suggestion the U.S. should do more to address climate change. He told interviewer Piers Morgan that “I did say, ‘Well, the United States right now has among the cleanest climates there are based on all statistics.’ And it’s even getting better because I agree with that we want the best water, the cleanest water. It’s crystal clear, has to be crystal clean clear.”
Trump added: “China, India, Russia, many other nations, they have not very good air, not very good water, and the sense of pollution. If you go to certain cities … you can’t even breathe, and now that air is going up.”
Trump’s stance, though appalling to many, are also reflected in his administration’s actions on the ground.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to finalize the legal rollback of two of President Barack Obama’s most consequential policies soon: federal regulations to curb planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks.
“It is very unfortunate and potentially even quite damaging that the Trump administration behaves this way,” said Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany as reported by The New York Times. “There is this arrogance and disrespect for scientific advancement, this very demoralizing lack of respect for your own experts and agencies.”