Saturday, December 10, 2016

Trump and Climate Change


The world’s greenhouse gas emissions have been on the decline for years now. Considering the effects of these gas emissions and impacts of climate change today, this is a huge step and can mean a lot in terms of the efforts to protect our planet. However, as the recent election has changed leading ideologies and sentiments toward a number of issues facing the US government (and the world as a whole), the efforts of ameliorating climate change could possibly be taking a step back. Many scholars argue that a main aspect to improving our environment is the realization that climate change is caused by humans, but can also be improved by humans. This was even a provision in the Kyoto Protocol that was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that committed its 83 signatories to internationally reducing greenhouse gas emissions by setting emission targets. President Elect Trump does not operate under this assumption, having claimed that the idea that climate change is caused by humans is a “hoax.” Under this rhetoric, the American public, or at least those that subscribe to the ideas that President Elect Trump promotes, have an excuse to put efforts of helping the environment on the backburner as well. Another pillar of Trump’s presidential election campaign were his promises to reverse the US’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, which over 190 countries adopted and commits them to reduce their carbon dioxide pollution emissions that continue to warm the planet. Without a US initiative on improving climate change, the chances of success of such agreements are reduced significantly. Because humans are a major contributor to climate change, US public opinion is very influential over the efforts at improving it. With a Trump presidency however, the American public and its opinions on climate change have strong potential for the efforts to digress. 

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