Trump's budget director went on CNN to say climate change does not matter. Jake Tapper shot him down in one perfect line.
It is no secret that the Trump administration has no respect for climate science or the danger posed by climate change.
From withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, to appointing climate deniers to important scientific positions, to purging the words "climate change" from government websites, Trump and his allies are determined to wipe out any talk of sustainable energy or the consequences of unregulated greenhouse emissions.
This was strongly evidenced in an exchange on Wednesday between Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney, who sneered at the idea the issue deserves attention, and CNN's Jake Tapper, who forcefully called out his denialism on "The Lead":
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) September 13, 2017
TAPPER: You said that it's a waste of taxpayer money to research and to fight climate change. NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, has said that climate change is happening, that human activity's contributing to it, and that the warming of the planet and ocean temperatures creates conditions that allow for storms to get bigger and stronger and more intense. Given all that, and given the havoc that we've seen, why is fighting it or trying to learn more about it a waste of money?
MULVANEY: Jake, I'll be happy to have a longer discussion another day about climate change, man-made climate change. Keep in mind what we're focusing on right now is taking care of the folks who have survived this disaster, the folks who need our immediate help. There's plenty of time later on to have those discussions, and I know that we will because climate change clearly is a big topic for the media, but we'll continue to sort of focus our attention on folks who need us right now.
TAPPER: All right, it's a big topic for the world.
In one line, Tapped laid bare the absurdity of the Trump administration's position. Climate change affects every person on the planet. It is a "topic for the media" because it is an issue that is relevant to everyone.
Mulvaney's claim that this is somehow not the right moment to discuss the climate, a sentiment echoed by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and by Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, completely dodges the point that these freakish, anomalous storms are a direct result of warmer atmospheric temperatures. Climate change is not some vague, future threat. It is already happening.
Tapper's rebuke of Mulvaney for skirting the obvious reality of the crisis facing our nation and our world was desperately needed. If the Trump administration will not listen to science, it is all the more important that everyone else does.