Op-Ed: Trump’s Dangerous Climate Change View


Photo illustration purchased from BigStock.com

Photo purchased from Bigstock.com.

President Donald Trump’s stance on climate change is terrifying, and future generations will pay for his rejection of scientific fact.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the existence of manmade climate change. In addition to this denial, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is secretary of state, creating ties to fossil fuels that engulf the White House.

Making matters worse was Trump’s appointment of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, another denyer of the scientific consensus around climate change.

It came as no surprise that shortly after assuming the position, Pruitt withdrew the Clean Power Plan, a comprehensive Obama-era rule which sought to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. That’s wrong,” Tillerson said at an event in October.

Of course, the real losers are the next generation of Americans, who will breathe even more unclean air while suffering from worsening environmental decay. Tillerson, like those around him, are either unwilling or unable to care about the future, or anything beyond the foreseeable bottom line.

However unfortunate, it’s not surprising then that Trump’s 2018 fiscal budget calls for cutting the EPA’s budget by as much as 40 percent.

“The proposed cuts to the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health appear explicitly aimed at slowing or stopping some of its ability to regulate several forms of pollution, including the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming,”The New York Times reported in May.

Trump also recently announced plans to roll back more environmental regulations, while opening almost all of the nation’s coast for oil drilling— which, like the horrific 2010 BP spill demonstrated, can have lasting environmental consequences.

Of course, far right news outlets like Fox News back Trump’s beliefs, continually downplaying climate change as “junk science.”

But even if the science is accurate, according to another Fox article, Climate change brings needed rain to Africa, “this and other positive effects of CO2 emissions are too often ignored.”

This is mind-numbingly deceitful spin, which asks readers to ignore the numerous negative consequences of climate change—and the Trump White House has bought into it hook, line and sinker.

Just consider Trump’s plan to back out of the Paris Climate Accord, saying that it would “undermine” the American economy and put the nation “at a permanent disadvantage.”

This boneheaded decision has received harsh condemnation from world leaders, and rightfully so. Our president is ignoring scientific fact in favor of deregulation and profit, benefiting himself and his cronies.

We must not leave it to other nations alone to speak truth to power. With the upcoming midterm elections, as well as tonight’s State of the Union, we have a chance to send a message to Trump.

Remember and believe in climate science when you decide which candidates to support, and encourage friends and family in other states to do the same. Otherwise, as a nation, we will be complicit in accelerating irreversible environmental damage, at which point we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.