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article imageOp-Ed: Trump — Austrians live in 'forest cities' with 'explosive trees'

By Karen Graham     Sep 17, 2020 in Environment
I just love it when President Donald Trump shows the world just how big an imbecile he really is, and this time, what he said is even better than what he said two years ago about Finland spending a lot of time raking their forests.
Trump visited California on Monday to get a first-hand look at the damage caused by the wildfires that have ravaged at least 11 western states this year, and they are still ongoing, reports the Independent.
In addition to denying again that climate change is responsible for the horrendous heat wave and extreme dryness being experienced on the West Coast, he called into Fox News and suggested that California could take a page out of Austria's forest management playbook; saying: “You look at countries, Austria, you look at so many countries. They live in the forest, they’re considered forest cities. So many of them. And they don’t have fires like this. And they have more explosive trees.”
Elisabeth Köstinger, the Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism sought to set the record straight, and in an article on Thursday in the UK's Independent, tried to make sense of Trump's misconceptions of how Austrians and other Europeans live, and put to rest the "explosive trees" nonsense.
“There have been both serious and humorous conversations on social media about the ‘exploding trees’ (Trump) mentioned, as well as the fact that he claimed we live within ‘forest cities’ which never catch fire,” Elisabeth Koestinger wrote. “As Austrians, fortunately blessed with a healthy sense of humour, we normally take such clichés about our country in our stride.”
More often than not, people imagine us as living inside the set of The Sound of Music. However, the gravity of current events make Trump’s words much more worrying — after all, right at this moment, thousands of people are fighting horrendous wildfires in life-or-death situations.
“In reality, Austria is a country situated in the heart of Europe, where people do not live in the forest, but rather with the forest and in a close, sustainable relationship with the natural environment,” Koestinger wrote, also explaining that forests cover nearly 50 percent of the country.
She added that good forest management is important, but not because Austria's trees are more combustible. “To clarify: No, we don’t have any exploding trees in Austria,” Koestinger said, reports Global News, though she did confirm Trump’s assertion that “we have found a way to give our trees the space they need.”
“This does not make us `forest people,’ but shows how important understanding our environment and our natural resources is,” she said, adding that “taking climate change seriously and mitigating its effects is a huge part of this.”
Trump caused mirth in Finland two years ago, when he claimed the Nordic nation spends “ a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things” to clear forest floors to prevent fires.
Everyone has joined the #RakeAmericaGreatAgain movement
Everyone has joined the #RakeAmericaGreatAgain movement
Don LaVange (CC BY-SA 2.0)
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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