Trump cites controversial activist on climate change

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday applauded a controversial environmental activist dismissing the threat from climate change as a hoax.

“Wow!” Trump tweeted after quoting Patrick Moore, who earlier appeared on the president’s favorite Fox News channel, saying that “the whole climate crisis, as they call it, is not only fake news, it’s fake science.”

Trump has repeatedly resisted the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists around the world — including those advising his own government — who say that the world is warming dangerously due to greenhouse gases generated by activity.

Moore is an outspoken activist arguing that a warming world is a natural phenomenon posing no threat. He claims that overwhelming reliance on burning fossil fuels such as oil, which a majority of scientists blame for creating greenhouse gases, is healthy for the planet.

“There is no climate crisis, there’s weather,” he said on the Fox & Friends program, which counts Trump among its most avid fans.

Trump, who almost daily describes critical news reports about him as “fake news,” touted Moore in his tweet as “co-founder of Greenpeace.”

However, the international environmental activist group says that Moore was not a founder. He was a prominent early figure in the organization and headed Greenpeace in his native Canada before leaving.

“Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental ‘expert’ or even an ‘environmentalist,’ while offering anti-environmental opinions,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

“He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”

Last November, the US government produced a more than 1,000-page report known as the National Climate Assessment, warning that unchecked global warming will bring dire consequences.

Climate change “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” the government-funded report said.

Without large-scale response, the climate change will inflict “substantial damages to the US economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades,” it said.

Trump said later that he’d read “some of it” and “I don’t believe it.”