Where Does the GOP Stand on Climate Change?
Although climate change is something that stirs up controversy in the political world, you experience it every day. Climate change is notable when Christmas day weather in Maryland is seventy degrees, or when temperatures in Antarctica are rising.
Donald Trump’s past tweets reveal a telling story: he doesn’t believe in climate change, making his decision to remove the US from the Paris Agreement not so startling.
Climate change to Trump is nothing but a hoax. However, science says otherwise. NASA describes the planet’s current warming trend “to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.” USA Today has recently reported, “Massive crack in Antarctica ice shelf grows 11 miles in only 6 days” – the crack is only 8 miles away from breaking completely and forming an iceberg, which will “fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula.”
Still, Trump’s administration and the GOP constantly go out of their way to suggest that global warming isn’t as serious as people make it seem. Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, insists that there are “climate exaggerators”. The EPA’s current website contains very little information about climate change – the climate change portion of the website has been removed. On the page titled "Environmental Topics", climate change is not even listed. The EPA’s press release regarding the website’s changes stated the website has been updated to “reflect the approach of new leadership”.
Trump’s administration and the GOP make it clear that climate change isn’t a top priority on their agenda. One of the very first executive orders Trump signed was to undo the Obama Administration’s climate change agenda – this included a series of ways in which the White House would meet President Obama’s pledge to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2020.
After Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, an international agreement composed of 195 countries vowing to reduce greenhouse gases to decrease the effect of global warming, Trump’s team has been hard pressed to diminish the direct relation between human activity and global warming. In fact, Trump’s entire administration seems to be in the dark about climate change. His Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, stated, “Certainly, the climate changes…(but) I don’t have an answer (on how to fix it).” GOP Congressman Tim Walberg seems to share this sentiment. When speaking about climate change, he faithfully proclaimed that if climate change exists, “He (God) can take care of it.”
With the unemployment rate dropping to its lowest in sixteen years, Trump seems to be abandoning his own voters with his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Today’s renewable energy sector creates more jobs than fossil fuels. A clean energy revolution would create opportunity for unemployed individuals by investing in creating solar energy. CNN’s commentator Van Jones describes, “the clean energy industry is one of the fastest growing parts of the American economy.” He goes on to say it is “bizarre for someone who says they want to make America great again by leaving the rust belt idle.”
The issue of climate change will always persist and most likely lead to more issues with time. Though Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement may be concerning, the process takes four years. This raises the stakes for 2020’s election, leading us to wonder: what politician is next?