Donald Trump, America’s current President Elect, has had a very drama filled campaign, and has caused a lot of controversy with his views on issues such as abortion, immigration (the wall, anyone?) and women, but something that no one is talking about are his views on climate change.
It’s hardly the hot topic it should be, especially in America where long term issues tend to be pushed aside in favour of punchy, more ‘interesting’ short term issues. Science on the whole pales in comparison to issues like race, possibly due to their complexity. Indeed, woefully little has been written on scientific issues on Trump’s website.
Everyone and their mother has seen Trump’s infamous tweets about global warming and how it was implemented by the Chinese as an economic weapon (see below), but what are his policies moving forward?
So far Trump has promised to “cancel” the Paris Climate Agreement, deeming it a waste of taxpayer money. The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 200 countries last year, plans to limit the increase of global temperatures and to begin programs that will, in time, decrease the damage already done to the environment by coal industries and similar.
This would shape up to be a big and dangerous setback to the environment, as rising temperatures are already wrecking havoc on the natural world. Damage is often permanent, when an animal becomes extinct it cannot come back. In nature, ecosystems are set up like dominoes, and if one species topples it has an effect on the world around it.
Trump firmly disbelieves in climate change despite overwhelming scientific evidence and therefore approves of the use of coal, fossil fuels and natural gas as energy alternatives, saying “We’re going to deal with real environmental challenges, not the phony ones we’ve been hearing about.”
Trump has also promised to rescind Obama’s Free Power Plan, and move back towards a predominantly coal based energy industry, citing America’s reliance on nonrenewable energy sources as being a mark of independence. This will cause a huge increase to America’s already vast carbon footprint and will have disastrous effects on the environment.
The Union of Concerned Scientists hopes that eventually Trump will begin to see the effects of his claims and will change his opinions.
Alden Meyer, a representative of UCS, says “It’s clear Donald Trump is about to be one of the most powerful people in the world, but even he does not have the power to amend and change the laws of physics, to stop the impacts of climate change, to stop the rising sea levels.”