President Trump on Monday afternoon continued to downplay the effects of climate change as he toured the damage wrought by Hurricane Michael in Macron, Ga.
The president told reporters before an American Red Cross briefing that “there is something there” in response to questions about climate change.
But he also cast doubt on the origin of extreme weather, saying the “worst hurricanes were 50 years ago.”
A reporter asked Trump if he thought dealing with weather would take up so much time during his presidency.
“Weather has been a factor and yet, they say worst hurricanes were 50 years ago,” Trump said in Macon, Ga.
“For a long period of time, we’ve had very few [storms],” Trump said. “I have a home in Palm Beach, Fla. and frankly for years, we had none and then, the last couple of years we had more.”
“Hopefully we’ll go back to many years of having none,” Trump continued. “We’ve been hit by the weather, there is no doubt about it….there is something there, man made [or] not.”
According to the National Hurricane Center’s January 2018 report “Costliest U.S. Tropical Cyclones,” Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the costliest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. with $160 billion in damages. Of the 36 most destructive hurricanes ever recorded, the majority occurred in the last 50 years.
The Trump administration in recent days has doubled down on its climate change skepticism.
Trump during an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday said it is unclear whether Hurricane Michael was linked to climate change, though scientists have concluded warming waters are connected to stronger storms.
Trump and other administration officials say it’s unclear whether humans are responsible for climate change. According to NASA, studies consistently show that around 97 percent of climate scientists agree climate-warming trends are likely linked to human activities.