Arguably the most ignored issue on Trump’s policy agenda is the environment; specifically climate change. Why? He doesn’t believe it exists.
2016 was proven to be the hottest year ever to be measured, yet Donald Trump has denied the existence of global warming and humanity’s impact on it time and time again. He’s credited with saying that global warming is a hoax, and has claimed that it is a concept created by the Chinese in competition with American business. It was also discovered that climate change pages were removed from the White House website shortly after his inauguration. His administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has also been quoted as saying that humans do not play a role in climate change and his doubt in the evidence of it.
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 20, 2017
Trump’s plan for the environment and climate change has been to reverse the Obama administration’s work, particularly the Climate Action Plan and the 2016 Paris Agreement, highlighting the need to cut carbon dioxide. We can get a glimpse of what the Trump administration will look like in regards to environmental policy based on the recent statement Pruitt made in regard to California’s waiver for the development and enforcement of stronger emissions standards for vehicles under the 1970 Clean Air Act. With this waiver, California has been able to call for more efficient cars that produce less pollution. However, Pruitt couldn’t guarantee that California would continue to receive its waiver. The EPA has only denied California its waiver once in the 50 years since the Clean Air Act was passed.
Scientists everywhere have spoken out against Trump’s claims and lack of action towards climate change. Bill Nye has called out orders for the EPA and NASA to be silent on climate change in a tweet by stating “Ordering the EPA or NASA not to talk about climate change isn’t going to cool things off. Don’t double down on denial @realDonaldTrump.” Over 700 physicists and astronomers from colleges and universities in America have also written an open letter to Trump about the importance of fighting global warming. Here, the scientists state that,
“If we do not replace fossil fuel dependence with more sustainable choices, warming will continue and we will face increased risks of severe and irreversible impacts, at home and abroad. Sea level rise is already threatening US cities and global agricultural yields are being negatively impacted. Flooding of coastal cities will lead to forced resettlement, thereby increasing the risk of violent conflict, both within the United States and around the globe. All of these effects will have enormous societal consequences, with impacts most severe on the poorest citizens,” the letter read.
It’s not up for debate whether climate change exists or the affect humanity has had on it, but for Donald Trump and his administration it seems easy to deny facts. You can see just how the Earth has changed through newly released evidence by NASA in the photo series “Images of Change” and through their global climate change evidence page. It seems that programs like NASA and the EPA could be without the sufficient funds to continue to combat climate change when the President and the administrator of the EPA both have little faith in the existence of global warming. This should be a concern to everyone, considering we all share the same planet and for the future generations of this planet. Policy action needs to happen and scientists, citizens, and government officials alike are fighting for the Trump administration to realize that.