More and more scientists, politicians and non-governmental organizations across the world continue getting worried about Donald Trump’s plans for climate change. Though he said, once he was elected as president, that he was open-minded regarding the subject. He has also stated that he is willing to denounce the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Trump decided to replace the Obama administration’s Climate and Energy web page as soon as he got to the White House. As well, he has reiterated support to the fossil fuel industry and has not hidden his intentions to stop the participation of the United States in international agreements on the subject, as he planned to do with other agreements such as NAFTA and the Transpacific Partnership Agreement.
The consequences of destroying Obama’s legacy on climate change
The latest actions made by Trump on climate change include removing all the Climate and Energy web of the former administration, as well, he chose another climate change skeptic, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is likely to become the most hostile EPA administration towards measures to protect the climate. As well, since his campaign Trump has shown support to the coal and fuel industries, believing that Americans should rely on fossil energies.
This 180-degree policy shift will certainly undermine the efforts achieved by Obama’s administration to prevent climate disasters and to advance towards a greener economy. However, what is currently worrying scientists is Trump’s reiterated intention to denounce the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate change, which was ratified by the US and China that are the countries with the greatest carbon emissions. Without one of them in the agreement, it would significantly lose meaning.
If Trump continues the plan of rescinding every effort made by the former administration, it would make it harder for business to control the disruptions to the supply chain that are caused by extreme weather. The last is also going to be faced by farmers. As well, state such as Florida will have more risk to experience calamities linked to sea level rise. Another consequence will be encountered by the population in general since water, and air pollution leads to several diseases. Storms and other climate change-related disasters with cost over $1 billion have increased in the last decades in the United States.
Trump’s position on climate change year over the years
Ever since the presidential campaign started, people has recognized that Trump is skeptical regarding climate change, he has even called it a “hoax” despite the clear scientific evidence that supports the fact that our planet is getting warmer and warmer due to the actions of men. However, there has been contradictions in Trump’s opinions on the subject over the years he has been in the public eye.
In 2009, Trump along with other business leaders, signed an open letter to the then-president Obama and the Congress asking them to strengthen and pass U.S. legislation and lead the world by example. The letter stated that climate change was, in fact, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world. As well, it said that global warming was “scientifically irrefutable.” It is almost impossible to believe it was signed by the same man that wants to tear apart the Paris Agreement.
The letter was also signed by Trump’s children, Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka. It was published in the New York Times on Dec. 6, 2009. The letter was found last June again, but apparently, nobody could recall who organized the letter or how did Trump end up signing it.
But by 2010, Trump has already changed his mind. As some climate change deniers said that researchers had manipulated climate change data, Trump decided to make a scandal about it, calling it “Climategate” and saying the whole thing was a con. It was on 2012 when he made the famous tweet where he blamed the Chinese for making up climate change, which he claimed it was, without question, a very expensive hoax.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” tweeted trump in 2012.
His position as a denier of these scientist facts continued throughout the Obama Administration. He has used the pretext of cold weather to say that climate change is not real too.
“This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice,” tweeted Trump on 1 January 2014.
However, once he was elected in November, Trump send mixed signs towards climate change because as he erased every information about it from the official pages of the White House, he was also saying to scientists he had an open mind about the matter. He said he thinks nobody is ever really going to know what it is happening when, in fact, 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. As well, it was confirmed by NASA and the World Meteorological Organization that 2016 was the hottest year on record.