Large-scale fires have hit the western American states of California, Oregon and Washington. And while Democrat Joe Biden sees them as a consequence of climate change, United States Head Donald Trump denies the possibility. The contrast between the two main candidates for the next American president could not be more pronounced.
As part of his election campaign, the current White House tenant is touring the devastated areas of California. Trump has swept the issue of global warming in the search for the cause of the fires, saying “temperatures are starting to cool” and the culprit is poor forest management.
“I don’t think science really knows what’s really going on,” Trump said, according to The New York Times. In California alone, deadly flames have killed at least 27 people, burned vast areas of forests and populated areas to coal, and smoked the entire region with smoke. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have had to leave their homes and flee the fire, and other victims and injured are reported by Oregon and Washington.
Trump’s Democratic challenger Biden, on the other hand, said the devastation was caused by the president’s inaction and denial of the climate crisis. He pointed not only to fires on the west coast, but also to floods in the Midwest and hurricanes plaguing the Gulf of Mexico. “If you give this climate arsonist four more years in the White House, how could anyone be surprised that America is on fire?” He asked his supporters at a stop in his Delaware home.
Hoax launched by China? No longer
Although so far the issue of climate change has been one of those that resonated in some way in the campaigns of the candidates (even the apostates), it is only now receiving more attention. At a time when it is clear that the view of the Trump and Biden case is diametrically opposed.
Trump previously claimed that the man-made climate crisis was a hoax launched by China. And although he has abandoned this idea, he still does not pay enough attention to the question. In addition, his government supports the energy industry and manufacturing, for example, which is actually Trump’s political strategy, which in some important states earns him extra points.
As fires burned across the American West, Joe Biden on Monday attacked President Trump’s record on climate change, calling him a “climate arsonist.” The president was visiting California on Monday to assess the state’s raging wildfires. https://t.co/IJYO0H1hoR pic.twitter.com/rdaplG6r2p
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 14, 2020
As part of this, according to the BBC, the Trump office has repealed more than 70 measures concerning the environment – and thus, to some extent, climate change. It also relaxed regulations on methane production in oil and gas wells and repealed those introduced by its predecessor, Barack Obama, over greenhouse gases from power plants.
Political calculus for young people?
Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president, would like to renew the United States’ signing of the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump terminated the US participation in June 2017. And just as the current president canceled Obama’s measures, Biden would like to reintroduce them.
The political matador also – to the surprise of many – announced weeks ago that it was expanding its original plan to fund infrastructure and green jobs. Which is a priority for the American left.
So the question is, to what extent is this slight turn towards green thinking a political calculus. After all, this is a topic that is of great interest to younger voters in particular. According to the BBC, those in the democratic primaries voted for other candidates who paid more attention to the climate crisis in their program. And it is young people – from the experience of former Democratic candidates – who could decide the outcome of the November presidential election.