If and it’s a big IF, President-elect Trump carries out his electioneering threats concerning the US’s withdrawal from global warming initiatives, it will be one massive step backwards for Planet Earth and a huge risk for generations to come.
President-elect Trump has said that he will “cancel” the Paris Climate Agreement within 100 days of taking office and will do everything in his power to reverse climate change regulations introduced by President Obama and agreed at the recent Paris climate change conference.
He has promised a renewed push to use coal across the US – no doubt to win over some of the northern states with huge coal reserves, but in reality this is the dirtiest energy option possible and will set us back decades in terms of clean air and CO2 emissions -the number one reason why our planet is experiencing year on year global temperature records.
He has also pledged to stop all government funding of clean energy projects and climate change initiatives, which is a big poke in the eye for the world-wide scientific community and worst still for every person on Earth who wishes to breath clean air, opposed to stepping back half a century and more to when man-made respiratory diseases were rife, even in the developed world.
Mr Trump has repeatedly denied the science of human-caused climate change, describing it as “fictional’ and arguing that it is a hoax created by the Chinese to make US manufacturing less competitive. To be honest I find that utterly staggering, given the wealth of undeniable scientific data – some of it straight out of China itself, a country along with India have jumped onboard efforts and initiatives to stop our run-away climate spelling a possible death knell for Planet Earth.
Mr Trump’s statements are ignorant at best and if they were to come to pass, extremely dangerous. Even if he thinks global warming is a hoax, he cannot be so stupid as to think there isn’t at least some risk and that the US’s own climate scientists at NOAA, NASA and the National Weather Service are mad fools. Surely he cannot have missed the sight of rapidly melting ice sheets at the Poles, nor can he have missed the increasingly severe weather events that have devastated certain parts of the US over the past decade.
Pulling the US out of climate change initiatives simply risks other nations following suit; rather like lemmings leaping over a cliff with no sight of what lies below. Where the US goes the many follow, but in this case I sincerely hope not. We have to resist.
The battle for our Planet is a losing battle but it’s not yet lost. As the world appears to be tipping more and more to the political extreme right, where preservation of our Planet doesn’t even figure, then the rest of us, the vast majority, have a duty to stand tall and speak out against those that seek power and self-interest above the interests of mankind’s very survival. Maybe not for me, maybe not of you, but possibly for the children of today and almost certainly for the children yet to be born.
Putting every other issue about the man and his very loud promises aside, Trump’s election is bad for Planet Earth; that is UNLESS he can be persuaded that the Earth is not flat and that it has a living heart and an enigmatic soul that requires careful considered preservation, opposed to risking a slow burning death of our own making.
JIM N R DALE
FOUNDER & SENIOR RISK METEOROLOGIST
BRITISH WEATHER SERVICES