He's on record as saying the global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese to one-up American manufacturing, but what will his presidency really mean for our planet?
Climate scientists weren’t exactly cheering when Donald Trump upset Hillary Clinton in the presidential election back in November. Trump is no friend to climate experts who say action is needed to prevent huge problems for the Earth due to record warming leading to droughts, severe storms, flooding and a host of other problems. But what will his four years in office – and possibly eight – mean for the future of Earth and actions to combat climate change?
Trump hasn’t exactly spent a lot of time talking about climate change during the campaign, indicating that he just doesn’t think very much of the issue. He also appointed a man to head the Environmental Protection Agency who is a climate change denier. But is he really capable of dooming the planet? Probably not, but he can certainly do some damage.
The reality is that no matter what Trump does, he will be undermined by the American economy, which is finding it more and more profitable to pursue “green” initiatives. President Obama has also put in place some measures that will interfere with Trump’s ability to completely roll back the progress made ont he climate change front.
But climate scientists have good reason to be worried. Trump will be able to slash research funding for global warming initiatives, and he shouldn’t have any trouble passing them with a Republican-controlled Congress that would happily sign off on such a measure.
But there are limits to the power of the president, as well as the threat of the 2018 midterms undermining his power if Democrats were to manage to sweep into power in Congress. And no one really knows if Trump is going to be all that aggressive when it comes to climate change. He told Fox News Sunday on Dec. 11 that he wasn’t even sure he would take action against the big Paris Agreement, which he promised to back out of before. Hundreds of nations signed on to the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius over the next century, but if the U.S. were to back out, much of its heft would be gone.
Whatever the case, the next four years will have a very big impact on the future of efforts to combat global warming. And Trump may not be powerful enough to keep them from happening.