As fires raged through the US West Coast, killing at least 35 people and destroying vast tracts of land, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden labelled Donald Trump a “climate arsonist”.
Biden’s comments came amid jarring scenes as the President, face-to-face with California’s governor, dismissed a link between global warming and the worsening fires.
“Donald Trump’s climate denial may not have caused the record fires, record floods, and record hurricanes,” Biden said in a speech. “But if he gets a second term, these hellish events will become more common, more devastating, and more deadly.”
With the presidential election just 50 days away, climate change burst into prominence as an issue on Tuesday (AEST) as the President visited fire-ravaged California and Biden spoke from Delaware.
More than 3.2 million acres have burnt across California alone this year, the largest amount on record. Together have destroyed at least 4100 structures and forced more than 60,000 people from their homes.
Biden sought to turn the tables on Trump, who has claimed in recent weeks that a Democratic victory in November would lead to violent unrest and a flood of low-income housing developments into America’s suburbs.
“If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires?” Biden asked.
“How many suburbs will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in super-storms?
“If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if more of America is ablaze?”
Trump has repeatedly said that poor forest management, rather than climate change, was to blame for the fires.
“It is about forest management,” Trump told a rally in Nevada. “Please remember the words, very simple: forest management.”
Credit: Sydney Herald