After decades of negotiations, thousands of scientific reports and billions of people supporting a transition to a cleaner and greener economy, we are finally beginning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from corporations, governments and individuals just in time to avoid the collapse of civilization as we know it. That is, unless Donald Trump becomes president.
“I’m not a believer in global warming, I’m not a believer in man made global warming,” Trump said in an interview with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt last September. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” the Donald tweeted. Really?
“I believe there’s weather, I believe there’s change and it goes up and it goes down again, and it goes up again” blabbered the Republican presidential frontrunner to Hewitt like that old drunk lady you want to stop talking to at last year’s Christmas party.
“In the 1920s people talked about global cooling, I don’t know if you know that or not, now it’s global warming,” he informed the talk show host.
In fact, the 1975 article on “global cooling” that Trump and many other climate deniers refer to has been refuted by its own author. Peter Gwynne has publicly stated that global warming is indeed real and that using his article as evidence against it is bogus.
It’s no surprise that last week Trump appointed Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican Congressman and known climate denier, to advise him on energy policy.
On the bright side, if Trump wins, the coal miners of West Virginia will keep their jobs. A vote for Trump is a vote for coal. As the state’s Congressman, Evan Jenkins, recently told reporters, “On the Republican side, he’s the only candidate, but I will tell you I’m motivated (to vote for Trump) mostly by looking at the plight of our West Virginia workers, our West Virginia families, communities and I will tell you — it is very tough.”
On Tuesday, the trust-fund-baby-turned-presidential-candidate shared his views on the Paris Climate Agreement; the first ever pact between nearly 200 countries to curb global greenhouse gas emissions and keep temperature rise below 2°C.
“I will be looking at that very, very seriously and, at a minimum, I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” Trump told Reuters.
Why does he want to renegotiate the pact that could arguably save our planet from experiencing irreversible and catastrophic climatic changes? Trump’s “not a big fan because other countries don’t adhere to it, and China doesn’t adhere to it, and China’s spewing into the atmosphere.”
As Chris Mooney of the Washington Post points out, Trump’s arguments about China and COP21 don’t make sense. That country was the largest investor in renewable energy in 2015. Last year China’s clean energy sector grew by 17 percent to $110.5 billion; nearly double the investment we saw in the U.S during that time period.
This kind of climate drama could not have been written better in a movie script. Fortunately, in the unlikely event that the Trump presidential horror show becomes a reality, the international climate agreement includes a four-year delay period for any country that decides to withdraw and, as Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, recently suggested, other countries would most likely fulfill their obligations because of the global implications and movement behind the agreement.
Let’s not let that happen. Vote for anyone but Trump.