Donald Trump is still a thing. If you told me back in June that “The Donald” would still be a candidate in the 2016 Presidential Election in November, I would have laughed and asked what third-party, public-access debate he’d managed to claw his way into, and who could possibly be buying his particular brand of nonsense.
Yeah, well, the joke is definitely on me.
Since July, Trump has been leading in Republican polls, and by a wide margin. The latest McClatchy/Marist poll puts Ben Carson at a one percent advantage, but Trump isn’t going anywhere. Forty-four percent of Republicans say they like Trump more the more they hear about him. Remember, this is a guy who has said that Mexico is dumping its rapists, drug dealers and criminals into the United States, as well as its infectious diseases. And when he was criticized for these remarks, Trump just doubled down.
“I don’t see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the statement I made on June 16th during my Presidential announcement speech,” he wrote in a July statement. “The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
Bear in mind, the US is almost 20 percent Latino now, with ethnic minorities projected to outnumber caucasians by 2043. So enjoy that race-baiting while you can, Mr. Trump.
Of course, on top of his blatant racism, we at Planet Experts have five other reasons to be terrified of a potential Trump presidency. You wanna know what the man wants to do to the environment? Buckle up, kids, cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
5) Trump Said the Keystone XL Would Have ‘No Impact’ on the Environment
Back in August, Donald Trump pledged to approve the tar sands pipeline. “No impact on environment & lots of jobs for U.S.,” Trump tweeted on August 18.
If I am elected President I will immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline. No impact on environment & lots of jobs for U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2015
Thankfully, this is now a moot point. President Obama rejected the KXL last week. But Trump’s statement shows a blatant disregard for the facts. The Keystone pipeline would have transported over 800,000 gallons of ultra-heavy crude across the country, endangered the Ogallala Aquifer (the source of water for eight states in America’s heartland) and created a grand total of 50 permanent jobs.
4) Trump Wants to Cut Funding to the EPA
During an October 18 appearance on Fox News Sunday, Trump told host Chris Wallace that he’d cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency. “What they do is a disgrace,” he said. “Every week they come out with new regulations. They’re making it impossible.” When Wallace said the EPA’s job is to protect the environment, Trump happily dismissed him. “We’ll be fine with the environment,” he said. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy business.”
3) Trump Thinks He’s an Environmentalist
“I have a great environmental record,” Trump said in 2011. “I have a record that, in my opinion, everybody would love.” Heather Taylor-Miesle, the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Action Fund, disagrees. “He likes to pretend he’s an environmentalist because of the landscaping on his golf courses, but at the end of the day, it seems he’s the only one that actually believes that,” she said. “His brand of environmentalism is only for the wealthy and elite.” Of course, Trump also thinks Al Gore should have his Nobel Peace Prize revoked for believing in global warming. Speaking of which…
2) Trump Doesn’t Believe in Global Warming
Last winter, Trump tweeted the following: “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.”
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 — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2014
Here, Trump confused “weather” for “climate” (a mistake he’s made before). January 2014 was indeed very chilly in Trump’s little corner of the world, but that doesn’t change the fact that 14 of the last 15 years have been the hottest in recorded history.
If Trump were to actually become President, there is every indication that he would roll back the strides the current administration has made in supporting clean energy and carbon regulation. Any international deals the administration makes at the upcoming climate conference in Paris would also be jeopardized by Trump’s refusal to participate.
We’ve already seen precedent for this. Though President Clinton and Vice-President Gore supported the Kyoto Protocol in the late ’90s, Bush II quashed any hope of passing it through Congress when he came to office. This time, the situation is even more dire, and a United States with Trump at the helm would destroy any chance of the planet heating less than two degrees Celsius by 2100.
1) Trump’s Scottish Golf Course Is an Environmental & Economic Disaster
In this case, this isn’t something Trump wants to do to the environment, this is something he’s already done. A few years ago, Donald Trump promised Scotland he’d invest $1.5 billion in their economy and create 6,000 jobs with the construction of a golf course in Aberdeenshire.
He didn’t. Instead, Trump invested about $38 million and created 200 jobs. But that’s not all. To build the course, environmentally-sensitive areas of Scotland’s coast were bulldozed; local water manes were destroyed, depriving residents of water for days; and when a coastal wind farm was to be built near the location of a proposed second golf course, Trump threw a tantrum and abandoned the project.
“I am not thrilled,” said Trump about the turbines. “I want to see the ocean, I do not want to see windmills.”
The wretched ordeal is the subject of the 2015 documentary, A Dangerous Game. This summer, filmmaker Anthony Baxter spoke to Salon about why Trump’s presidential bid is an equally dangerous game.
“The thing is, he’s such an expert at manipulating the media,” said Baxter, “and he also has access to the airwaves and the lawyers that ordinary people don’t have; he just needs to jump onto Fox and Friends for anything he wants to say, and it’ll just be believed. It’s a very, very worrying situation. Yes, it’s entertaining, but it’s concerning that a man who thinks he stands a chance of becoming the next president of the United States could be making such ludicrous claims and saying such inflammatory things on prime-time television.
“I think that people really need to wake up, in terms of what his track record shows on delivery. If he talks about being the greatest ‘jobs president’ that God ever created, which he said last week, we should remember that in Scotland that he’s created just a few dozen jobs.”