When “Axios on HBO” interviewed President Trump last week, one goal was to get him to reckon with his own government’s scientific findings, which unequivocally state that global warming is nearly entirely caused by humans. We thought it might be harder to dismiss the science if we showed him his own administration’s most comprehensive report.
Why it matters: We were wrong. Trump disputed that report, said he hadn’t seen it and indicated — while doing a wave motion with his hand — that the climate goes up and down. These comments, the first on this report, are among the most extreme he’s made dismissing a scientific issue nearly all other world leaders take seriously.
The intrigue: Trump was shown a copy of the National Climate Assessment, a federally mandated report the Trump administration released without fanfare, or interference, last November. He dismissed it and said he didn’t read it.
“Is there climate change? Yeah. Will it go back like this, I mean will it change back? Probably,” Trump said, making an ocean wave motion with his hand.
Reality check: The report is the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment published by the entire federal government, from NASA to the Environmental Protection Agency. It concludes that “there is no convincing alternative explanation” for the global warming we’ve observed, other than human causes.