Trump Waffles and Dodges on Climate Change to Scientific American

Trump Waffles and Dodges on Climate Change to Scientific American

Scientific American sent the Presidential candidates 20 questions. This article addresses the Trump’s campaign’s answer on climate change. Here was Trump’s first comment: “There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of ‘climate change’” (The Waffle). He then followed that with a “Perhaps” list of alternate uses of our limited resources (the Dodge). Perhaps Trump’s staff should have investigated what was being done on the “Perhaps” list, since those goals are already being addressed and funded. The Catch 22 is: that by ignoring climate change, the other goals will be made more difficult.

Trump’s first comment on “climate change”, to investigate it further, sounds to a climate scientist as a promise to support a career of valuable research in the subject, but considering Trump’s climate denial, Perhaps Not. Perhaps the waffling statement really means that there is no reason to invest any money to slow further climate change. Certainly, the quotes around “climate change” make the subject sound like a joke. Why should this subject be any different from the Donald’s waffling on all subjects to try to attract more voters?

Trump’s first “Perhaps” is to bring clean water to everyone on the planet. That has been a goal of our foreign aid for decades. There are still about a billion people on earth without clean water who suffer diseases, shortened lifespans, and whose women must carry clean water long distances every day. Climate change increases droughts, and floods that pollute previously clean rivers and lakes.

Trump’s next “Perhaps” is to rid the world of diseases such as malaria. This is one of the goals of the Clinton Foundation, which Trump has demanded be shut down, and which he has accused Clinton of helping when she was Secretary of State. It is well known that global warming has spread infecting mosquitos to more Northern and Southern climates. Trump has so far said nothing to further the passage of federal aid to fight the Zika virus.

Trump’s third “Perhaps” is to increase world food production. It is well known that climate change will decrease food production through drought and floods. With sea level rise, very productive large river deltas such as in Bangladesh, Egypt’s Nile, and the Mississippi are being inundated with salt water, which wipes out farmland that feed tens of millions of people. In addition, Trump’s plan to deport all illegal immigrants in the U.S. will have serious effects on U.S. food production, since half of America’s farm workers are illegal immigrants.

Trump’s last “Perhaps” is to develop clean energy sources to lessen the need for fossil fuel. This is complete hypocrisy compared to all of the previous stances that Trump has made throughout the campaign. Why develop clean energy if “climate change” is just a Chinese plot, according to Trump? Trump has promised to restore coal plants, and coal mining jobs. Reducing coal power has been a major source of the U.S.’s reduction in greenhouse gases. Trump’s energy advisor, Oklahoma’s richest oil producer, Harold Hamm, has opposed further rebates for wind power in Oklahoma. Perhaps this “Perhaps” is a fiction of Trump’s new politically correct campaign committee, in order to gain independent votes.

This whole set of Waffles and Dodges is presented to the educated and scientifically astute audience of Scientific American. Do you think any of them are going to be fooled by Trump’s answers?

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2016 Election, Climate Change, Coal, Donald Trump, Fossil Fuel Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable Energy, Sea Level Rise, Zika Virus. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply