Asked whether he thinks climate change “is a hoax” by a reporter, Trump replied, “No, no. Not at all.” But instead of talking about the risks of climate change , Trump mentioned a book he intends to read and proclaimed his support for clean air and water.
“Topping a list,” reports Michael Wilner, a McClatchy White House correspondent, “is their claim that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions decreased in Trump’s first year in office.” The campaign plans to “argue that private sector innovation — not regulations — have proven under the Trump presidency to be a more effective method of cutting emissions from major industrial sources.”.
“Nothing’s a hoax. Nothing’s a hoax about that. It’s a very serious subject. I want clean air. I want clean water. I want the cleanest air, I want the cleanest water,” Trump said. “The environment is very important to me. Someone wrote a book that I’m an environmentalist ... I’d like to get it. I have it in the other office. I’ll bring it to my next news conference perhaps.”
The sun is all we need. The best renewable energy source is the sun. If we invested exclusively in solar power and maximized its use, we could power the entire world from the sun. The best part is, you wouldn’t have to lay all those solar panels in anyone’s backyard. A large swath of desert could do it, but you could take it even farther. The moon is a perfect place to harvest solar energy from. With robots and rovers, it’s entirely possible to lay down acre after acre of solar panels.
Trump went on to say that even though he’s a self-proclaimed environmentalist, “I don’t want to close up our industry because somebody said, you know, you have to go with wind ... or something else that’s not going to have the capacity.” Watch:
Trump’s sincerity about being committed to clean air and water is questionable at best . Still, his remark about having a book in mind piqued the curiosity of New York Times climate change reporter Lisa Friedman.
Trump says he doesn't think global warming is a hoax (contradicting many of his past statements), then adds, "I want clear air, clean water" (which are not related to global warming) pic.twitter.com/ZgJyDLXOUy— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)
Friedman followed up with the White House to find out which book the president was referring to. But if you thought Trump was planning to read something that might broaden his horizons, think again. It turns out the volume in question is literally titled Donald J. Trump: An Environmental Hero, and it was written by Ed Russo, who worked as a consultant for Trump’s business.
White House confirmation - the book Trump intends to read is indeed 'Donald J. Trump: An Environmental Hero,' by Ed Russo https://t.co/BRkzI0rpC2— Lisa Friedman (@LFFriedman)According to Amazon’s summary, Russo’s book — which was released in September 2016 — “chronicles his time as an environmental advisor for Trump and his many business interests,” and “reveals a much different portrait of the Republican presidential nominee than what many see on television or the Internet. He details a man truly invested in environmental protection and ready to hire experts to carry out his vision.”
Suffice it to say that Russo isn’t exactly an unbiased source. The Amazon page notes that he “acted as an environmental consultant for Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization for fifteen years.”
In some countries, renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Renewable energy is a much cheaper alternative in some countries because of their ability to harness sources of energy that are prevalent to their location.
Trump really should do some legitimate reading about climate changeAs the purpose of Thursday’s event illustrated, the president has a lot of power to take action that can either address or exacerbate the climate crisis — a crisis on especially stark display right now due to the historic wildfires in Australia . And as my colleague Dave Roberts detailed just a few days ago, recent studies indicate time is running out to avoid worst-case climate scenarios, which in a rational world would mean elected leaders would be acting with urgency.
Trump’s virtue signaling for clean air and water won’t really address those problems, but it’s the talking point he regularly resorts to when he’s pressed about his history of denying climate change.
When Trump has tried to talk about climate in more detail, it’s typically a mess. During a speech to a conservative youth group last month, for instance, he made a series of false and bizarre claims about wind energy, including, among others, that the manufacturing of turbines creates “fumes” that “are spewing into the air,” making it sound as though wind turbines are pushing California’s bald eagle population to the brink of extinction; and, in an especially galaxy-brained moment, riffing that “you know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe.”
TRUMP: "Climate change is very important to me. I've done many environmental impact statements over my life and I believe very strongly in very, very crystal clear, clean water and clean air. That's a big part of climate change." pic.twitter.com/aUR441egxN— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)
Renewable energy sources provided nearly 10% of both domestic energy production and U.S. electrical generation in 2008 with non-hydro renewable electricity expanding by 17.6% over the previous year; renewable energy will account for about a third of new electricity capacity added to the U.S. grid over the next three years.
That speech capped off a year in which Trump pushed a dizzying amount of misinformation about wind energy — including, perhaps most memorably, his false claim about wind turbines causing cancer .Trump is 73 years old and not known to be a voracious reader. It’s unrealistic at this point to expect him to change. But if he did want to delve into some serious reading material about the climate crisis, we’d recommend he start with Vox’s “9 questions about climate change you were too embarrassed to ask ” or our interview with legendary environmentalist Paul Hawken about the top solutions to climate change .