WATCH: Trump acknowledges climate change 'to an extent,' but blames wildfires on unkempt forests
PBS, 30 Sep 2020
Amid an unprecedented wildfire season on the West Coast, President Donald Trump in Tuesday's debate tried to pin the annual blazes on a lack of forest management. Experts emphasize that weather conditions like severe drought, exacerbated by warming global temperatures due to climate change, as well as human error are also significant factors, though poor management of dry vegetation can create conditions that exacerbate wildfires in the West.
Trump, who has rolled back a number of Obama-era environmental protections designed to protect waterways and air quality, acknowledged that human pollution contributes to global warming "to an extent" among "a lot of things."
The president also characterized the 2015 Paris Climate Accord — out of which he pulled the United States — as "a disaster from our standpoint."
Trump and former Vice President Biden faced off in their first debate on Sept. 29, in front of a crowd that was dramatically scaled back because of COVID-19. Thirty-five days before Election Day, the candidates covered a range of topics from the pandemic and the economy to protests over police violence.
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