Trump: Nuclear war a bigger threat than climate change

Favourite to win Republican nomination for presidential race has not changed his mind on global warming, despite increased evidence of carbon emission impacts

By Ed King

Donald Trump is not a man easily swayed.

Record average global temperatures, melting Arctic sea ice and soaring levels of carbon dioxide have led some scientists to warn of a “climate emergency”.

The man who would be the Republican candidate to run for the White House is still not convinced, perhaps not a surprise given he said climate change was a Chinese conspiracy.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Washington Post’s editorial board, Trump was quizzed about his foreign policy, plans to create jobs and race relations.

Finally the subject moved to climate change – below is what he had to say to a question posed by the Post’s editorial page director Fred Hiatt. Read the full interview here.

Hiatt: Last one: You think climate change is a real thing? Is there human-caused climate change?

Trump: I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes – if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming.

They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not – I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room – but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.

Steve Stromberg (editorial writer): Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?

Trump: Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me – I know President Obama thought it was climate change – to me the biggest risk is nuclear weapons.

That’s – that is climate change. That is a disaster, and we don’t even know where the nuclear weapons are right now. We don’t know who has them. We don’t know who’s trying to get them. The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.

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