Trying to predict the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on anything is rather like trying to herd cats. As we come closer to the anniversary of Trump’s election, the only thing that is certain about this administration is that… nothing is certain. Staff members come and go; the debate changes; arguments and distractions fly around with wild abandon.
Nevertheless, the issue of climate change is such an important one that it has to be considered. What impact will 45 have on the climate? Sadly, it has to be acknowledged that the signs aren’t good.
The Administration vs. The Environment
Climate scientists have long been suggesting that there is a point of no return when it comes to the world coping with environmental issues. Some suggest we have already breached that point; that the environment is irreparably damaged. Others say that moment is still to come. However, they’re all united on the basic fact: there will be a point at which the environment cannot recover due to the damage humanity has inflicted upon it.
In this climate — if you’ll excuse the pun — it’s rather extraordinary that Trump would choose to pack his administration with climate change sceptics. This suggests that not only is Trump not going to do anything to tackle climate change, but that he’s actively going to destabilize the existing efforts to do so. This could mean that not only will there not be examination of new methods to find solutions for air pollution and lower the country’s carbon footprint, but even the meager plans already in place will be revoked.
It’s become clear that one of Trump’s favorite hobbies is to overrule any legislation put into place by his predecessor, a penchant which could have grave consequences when coupled with the climate change denying voices in his cabinet.
Damage Has Already Been Done
Of course, when Trump withdrew from the Paris accord, it was a terrible sign for the environment. His reasons for withdrawal from the foremost international climate agreement were… well, less than factual. Trump seemed to overlook the fact that the Paris accord was entirely voluntary, and there were no penalties for breaching it. The withdrawal can only be viewed as more of a statement to the world; a statement that says the US doesn’t care to be involved in climate discussion.
As one of the largest countries in the world, this is deeply troubling. That “point of no return” should be a screaming warning siren in the heads of every government in the world, but one of the most influential countries is holding their hands over their ears. Given that Trump’s administration is also dotted with those who have ties to oil and fossil fuel companies, it would seem that the future is bleak when it comes to environmental concerns.
So while Trump spends his time arguing with NFL players, talking about voter fraud, and making plans to curb illegal immigration, there’s a very reason chance that the planet around him is going to burn as he does. Most worryingly of all, there’s very little sign from the administration that they particularly care.