The Slatest

Trump Says Not to Worry About Climate Change as the West Burns

There’s not a lot to say about this video that isn’t already plain from the words that come out of President Donald Trump’s mouth. It’s just something of a reminder how the current president of the United States has separated himself from any commonly agreed upon sense of reality. Four years of zero resistance from his own party, as Trump marauded through the GOP’s supposed principles and trampled its alleged values, has left Trump with the impression that reality is what he makes it. The latest example came Monday when Trump was in California for a meeting on the ongoing wildfire crisis in the American West that has burned millions of acres across a handful of states, leaving the region blanketed in smoke; forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes; and killed at least 27 so far.

When Wade Crowfoot, California’s secretary for natural resources, reiterated to Trump the importance of not just pursuing forest management but actively working to combat the impact of climate change, the president used his expertise as a failed casino owner and operator to remind Crowfoot (and Americans) who determines reality around here. “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,” Crowfoot told the president. “It’ll start getting cooler,” Trump responded not bothering to draw upon any (largely nonexistent) countervailing evidence. “You just watch.” You just watch. You can chart the path to Trump’s truth-and-consequences-be-damned you’ll see decision-making method from George W. Bush’s “gut instinct” leadership style that served him so well. “I’m a gut player,” Bush said a decade-and-a-half ago now. “I play by instincts. I don’t play by the book.” If only they had both read more of them.

“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot said to Trump. “Well, I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump replied smirking.