Sun 30 Dec 2018
- Billionaire and retiring California governor demand action
- America’s year of extreme weather – in pictures
Michael Bloomberg slammed Donald Trump’s inaction on climate change on Sunday and said any candidate for president in 2020 – he himself might be one – must have a plan to deal with the problem.
At the same time, retiring California governor Jerry Brown likened the fight against climate change to the fight against Nazism during the second world war, saying: “We have an enemy … perhaps very much devastating in a similar way.”
Both men appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press. The billionaire former New York mayor said: “It would be a lot more helpful if we had a climate champion rather than a climate denier in the White House.
“You know, I’ve always thought Trump has a right to his opinions. But he doesn’t have a right to his own facts.”
A vocal critic of the coal industry, Bloomberg, whose fortune is estimated at $40bn and who spent $100m on his last mayoral race, has said he plans to make climate change a leading issue in the 2020 race, whether or not he runs.
“Any candidate for federal office better darn well have a plan to deal with the problem that the Trump science advisers say could, basically, end this world,” he said. “I can tell you one thing, I don’t know whether I’m going to run or not, but I will be out there demanding that anybody that’s running has a plan.”
Bloomberg paid his latest visit to Iowa, site of the first voting in the presidential election cycle, earlier this month. Joining him in a call on Sunday to make climate change a national priority was Brown, a presidential hopeful in the past now standing down after 16 years at the head of the Golden state. He said wildfires in California should serve as a wake-up call.