San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
The Donald

Trump disputes Pope Francis on climate change

Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump said Thursday he thinks Pope Francis is wrong on climate change.

The pontiff, in the midst of a historic visit to the United States, expressed solidarity Wednesday with President Barack Obama about the need to act to prevent global warming, and said climate change is “a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.”

Asked by CNN whether he agreed with Francis that the issue is a pressing one, the Republican presidential frontrunner said “no.”

“I’m not a believer in climate change,” he said.

“I think that clean air is a pressing problem. You want to have clean air, you want to have clean water. That’s very important to me, and I’ve won many environmental awards,” Trump said.

But he said climate change and what people are referring to as extreme weather — “that’s the new one because weather tends to be a little more extreme” — is a natural phenomenon.

“It’s always weather. And frankly, it’s been that way for so long, and honestly, weather changes,” Trump added.

“You have storms and you have rain and you have beautiful days,” he continued.   “But I do not believe that we should imperil the companies within our country” by imposing excessive regulations that impose a significant burden on businesses.

He said China is “doing nothing” to reduce greenhouse gases. And also warned that the big global warming disaster would “be of the nuclear form because we have incompetent politicians watching over us when it comes to nuclear weapons. That’s the big problem.”

Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced that 2015 was on track to eclipse last year and be the warmest year on record.

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Hachi Ko

Climate Change is Real… whether you choose to believe it or not. The vast majority of the scientific community agrees. Only the few that the nay-sayers can convince to speak on television will say otherwise.

At the very least… have the intelligence to use a word other than “believe” when referring to Climate Change. Your use of the word “believe” just proves that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

If I said that I don’t believe that the Sun exists, what would you think of me? It either exists, or it does not. There is no “believe.”

On the other hand, I do agree with Trump about the “Nuclear” warming disaster threat. That is something that needs to be addressed… very strongly, and very soon.

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Meme Mine

Ya! Climate change is real but not real enough for science to say; “proven”.

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Ken Morris

I really like your objection to the word “believe” in connection to climate change (or other scientific issues), since I too object to its usage.

Many important things in life are properly matters of belief. These include not only the religious biggies, but also the moral biggies. No amount of empirical evidence for example can convince skeptics that human beings are equal, since observation reveals that they plainly aren’t. To take a stand for human equality is therefore very much a matter of moral beliefs.

However, beliefs have no place in assessing factual scientific matters, like climate change. Fairminded people who assess the evidence can come away either convinced, unconvinced, or if really fairminded, inclined to lean toward one or the other poles. But they can’t come away from it as either believers or nonbelievers. To turn judgments like these into matters of belief is to apply the wrong mental faculty to them.

Of course, we know what’s really going on. Very few people (surely including Trump) have bothered to assess the evidence. Instead of answering honestly by saying “I don’t know” when asked about climate change, they therefore shift the grounds to one of belief. By doing so, however, they confuse their own ignorance of the facts with issues on which the facts really are irrelevant (like human equality).

But if I may, let me add another one of my gripes about the terms in which this discussion is waged that you may not agree with. This is the recourse to democracy among scientists.

You point out that the majority of scientists agree that climate change is real. Well, the majority of scientists can easily be wrong, and often are. In fact, I remember around 25 years ago when the majority of scientists doubted climate change. Now, maybe the facts have persuaded the majority to change their minds, although it’s also frankly possible that fashions have changed among scientists. This often happens among academics, so just because a majority of scientists say one thing or the opposite is no certain evidence that they are right.

Basically, there’s no alternative to digging into the data oneself and forming a judgment. This, not by belief or democracy, is how science proceeds.

However, the practical problem for the scientifically uninformed (a group that includes me) is that we haven’t done this. Since we haven’t, our response to the question of climate change must be, “I don’t know.” Insofar as we have to take a position, which to some extent we all do, our most sensible approach is probably to defer to the positions that the bulk of the scientists adopt. This is after all the position we take with respect to health ailments and car breakdowns–we defer to the doctors and auto mechanics, hoping that they actually know more than we do.

Anyway, the correct answer most of us should give to the question of climate change is, “I don’t know, but since I don’t I will defer to the experts’ opinions, even though I’m well aware that a consensus among the experts could be wrong. I just don’t know enough myself to challenge that consensus.”

But instead of answering honestly while taking the prudent course, too many people turn the issue of climate change into a matter of subjective beliefs. And this drives me batty too.

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Meme Mine

“Seriously? Scientists are too stupid to know when to say it’s “PROVEN” before it’s to late to say it’s a CO2 ARMAGEDDON? Who’s the fear mongering neocon?”

So now it’s Pope-Worshiping bible thumping liberals goose stepping billions of innocent children to the exaggerated greenhouse gas ovens?

Who’s the NEOCON?

Is THIS how you want your kids remembering you?

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