Trump’s Climate Denial Will Come With Costs

Trump’s Climate Denial Will Come With Costs

Trump cannot wander off into the anti-science climate denial fantasy world with suffering from clashes with reality. When Trump closes down the federal clean energy programs and connected research, he will be seen around the scientifically educated US public and all foreign countries as partly responsible for all severe weather and climate events, such as droughts and accompanying starvation, heat waves, and destructive forest fires.

Republicans have spent decades excusing inaction on a climate bill because China and India were not contributing to greenhouse gas mitigation. Now they are, under the Paris Agreement, and to try to mitigate the very harmful coal related smog in their cities. Whether or not Trump decides to formally pull out of the Paris Agreement, which he can’t do for four years anyway, the fact that he has no intention of meeting President Obama’s goals and cancels the Clean Power Plan and the auto efficiency CAFÉ standards, the world will soon know of this action and totally disrespect Trump and the United States for backing out on an agreement that unified most of the countries of the world. Will the Republicans castigate Trump for inaction like they did China and India before? LOL.

The world’s top CO2 polluters in 2015 are China (29.5%), US (14.3%), EU (9.6%), India (6.8%), Russia (4.9%), Japan (3.5%), and Germany  (2.2%).  However, countries are composed of people, and China and India have four times as many people as the US.  If we look at emissions per capita in tons:  China (7.7), US (16.1), EU (6.9), India (1.9), Russia (12.3), Japan (9.9) and Germany (9.6).  The US really stands out on this measure.

I knew before that the Heritage Foundation was backed by the richest pair of oilmen in the world, the Koch brothers. What I learned today from E&E News, which unfortunately is a subscription website, is that 30 members of the Heritage Foundation were in the Trump transition team and that many of them stayed on in the administration. Not only are they setting up the destruction of climate science in the administration, but are also setting up the rest of the budget.

Another stumbling block for Trump’s climate science denial is the economic popularity in farming states of producing corn ethanol. These Midwest states are strong Republicans, and all of congress supports the requirements of putting ethanol into our gas tanks in a 10% mixture. This is frowned upon in California, since it all has to be tanked in, and adds cost to gasoline. You know who also doesn’t like it, the Koch oil producers who would like to see that 10% of our gas tanks filled with their oil. During the primary, Senator Ted Cruz made a big deal of not supporting corn ethanol as a brave stand for a free market, but he was only dancing to his string-pulling Texas oil backers. So Trump is on the horns of dilemma on this one, using a Texas metaphor.

Another fossil fuel billionaire question is noting that the main oil companies have this week invested more in natural gas. Natural gas, in highly efficient power plants, will CO2 pollute at only 28% the rate of coal plants, and is cheaper. Natural gas also doesn’t have the smog, particulate, acid rain, mercury pollution, and ash mountains and river pollution of coal. So the oil billionaires prefer natural gas to coal, while Trump needs votes from coal producing states. Trump’s climate denial takes away the necessity of switching to natural gas. Again, on the horns of a dilemma.

Finally, when Trump or his rabid denier hired hand Scott Pruit, head of the EPA, appears in public to deny climate science, they are both attacked by the Press, and at least half of the public. Both of them now use the arguments that the extent of fossil contribution is not known, nor is the eventual warming rise known. Therefore, we must wait for further research. Which is ironic since they are about to cancel all government climate research, and perhaps government funded research as well. We should find out the extent next week. Hopefully, Congress will fight these cuts, so the subject will be in limbo for a while.

The public only gave a 2% rating to the climate among other campaign issues. We are now in the midst of Trump’s rushed and secret budget dictates on all issues, as well as a rush to judgement on the new, unreviewed by the Congressional Budget Office, healthcare plan. Then there are the unanticipated issues of Trump’s Russian connections, Obama bugging Trump, Trump’s Washington’s Tower illegal lease, Obama’s deep state and leaks, yada, yada, yada. So no wonder climate science gets ignored by the press, real or alternate.

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 Climate Change, Climate Science, Coal, Donald Trump, EPA, Fossil Fuel Energy, Natural Gas, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change. Bookmark the permalink.

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