It would be impossible to comment on the politics of climate without mentioning Donald Trump, arguably the most powerful man in the world, and his affinity for ignorant tweets. We now live in a time where it appears to be completely acceptable and legitimate for the President of the United States of America to release a completely false statement to every corner of the world.
As of June 2017, Trump tweeted Climate Change skepticism 115 times, views which are completely polar to 97% of scientists. Another example of this behaviour would be in a recorded interview, when asked about the climate report in 2018, Trump replied simply with “I read it and its fine..I don’t believe it”
Another example of this behaviour would be in a recorded interview, when asked about the climate report in 2018, Trump replied simply with “I read it and its fine..I don’t believe it”
The Trump Administration and the Republican party as a whole have deep ties to the oil and gas industry and Trump’s closest advisors in the environment and end energy reflect this. Environmental Protection Agency former chief, Scott Pruitt was hired by Trump and is a noted climate skeptic, has a well-documented history as a mouthpiece for oil and gas companies. He was later replaced by Andrew Wheeler who is a coal lobbyist and claims that climate change is “not the greatest crisis”.
The impacts of the Trump administration on climate policy, as you can imagine, have and continue to be disastrous. They include but are certainly not limited to:
1. Pulling out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement– This agreement originally signed by 195 parties – including the US, EU and China – aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
2. Weakening US vehicle emissions standards- Trump agencies are freezing mandates that new cars use less gasoline and pollute less.
3. Giving oil and gas companies permission to use seismic airgun blasts– The Trump administration has given the green light to search for lucrative oil and gas deposits that could be buried in the sea floor from New Jersey to Florida.
So what’s next?
The 2020 election is the next major opportunity for the public to put a stop to Trump’s climate chaos, and climate change will be a key issue. As mentioned before, Trump promised to pull out of the Paris Climate change agreement, but the agreement is structured such that the earliest Trump could withdraw from the accord would be November 4th 2020, after the election. With discussions on climate change heating up and thousands more young people reaching voting age, 2020 will be a pivotal time for the climate. Bernie Sanders, a 2016 favourite and avid climate activist will be running again, among other democrats who are also challenging the President. Hopefully the outcome will be more fortunate this time!