Climate change takes centre stage amid wildfires
September 15, 2020 12:46 pm
Climate change, a topic seldom debated during the 2020 US presidential campaign, is having a moment in the spotlight due to severe wildfires raging along the US West Coast.
While touring fire-ravaged California, Donald Trump downplayed the role a warming planet could have in the devastation, suggesting temperatures will “start getting cooler” and that the recent conflagrations was a lack of proper forest management.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Joe Biden went on the attack, accusing Trump of ignoring a “central crisis” facing the nation.
Biden labeled Trump as a climate arsonist and said if the Americans give him four more years in the White House, more of America will be ablaze.
The environment has largely been a sideline issue in the race for the White House, getting scant attention even during the Democratic primary campaign, when questions on the topic during candidate debates were few and far between.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who made climate change the focus of his presidential bid, was one of the first to drop out of the race.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire who self-funded his campaign, also made the issue a priority, but his campaign also never gained significant traction.
The topic, however, is one on which Trump and Biden have sharp and substantive disagreements.