Climate Change and Donald Trump — Disrupting America

What Does a Donald Trump Presidency Mean for American Energy and the Environment?

Tom Landquist Climate Change, Donald Trump 5 Comments

One of the achievements Barack Obama is (soon to be was) most pleased about from his presidency was the climate agreement reached in Paris. The fight against climate change has more closely resembled a couple of T-rex’s having a boxing match than a real attempt at solving a potentially (notice the word choice there… It’s objective) very serious and troubling problem.

Trump and Global Warming

Pulling out of that agreement is one of the main focuses on Donald Trump’s to do list, and if we take his tweet from Nov 6th 2012 stating “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” seriously, this shows a clear area of change that is about to come around.

Then there are U.S. workers dependent on the energy industry for employment.

You have coal workers who have been told they would be out of a career for the sake of something they may or may not even believe exists. We have restrictions on drilling, fracking and it’s so cumbersome cutting through red tape, that production often can be stifled.

I have friends who work the oil fields, right in the heart of America, and it’s how they take care of their bills and their families. They don’t have plentiful options to fall back on if the work dries up, or is stopped by changes in public policy. Under President Trump, that will not happen, and that effect can’t be understated.

These are needs people have. And these are needs that need to be validated whatever the science proves is happening.

How urgent of an issue is climate change? Stephen Hawking’s thoughts on the matter always come to mind. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”

This is the overwhelming opinion of scientists backed by decades of meticulously poured over data, but how soon is it going to be an issue? How seriously will that issue impact us individually, especially those of us who don’t live near the coasts? Those questions have been muddled by alarmist initial predictions that never lived up to an impossibly high standard of devastation on much too rapid of a timeline.

However, the fact remains, that it will be something we must address in the very near future if we wish to control our own destinies.

President Trump, indifferent to those issues will cause a revolt from nations who may initially have been interested in reducing carbon consumption but now must ramp up production to stay competitive with our unbridled energy industry. This may be alarming for climate scientists, but it is a godsend for the underemployed worker in the energy industry. The financial benefits to everyday Americans will likely change at least the short term outlooks many will have of his energy policies. As the 1992 campaign run of Bill Clinton summed up so perfectly “It’s the economy stupid.”

How Can We Fix This?

We want and desperately need some wins as a country, even if they are temporary and may need to be adjusted in the future. The thought of losing progress in the battle against climate change may cause anxiety, but you can’t prevent the inevitable.

With a republican majority in the house and senate, with Trump at the helm, there will be a dramatic shift in how we conduct business in the energy industry. We need to be aware this is going to happen.

Instead of banging your head against the wall and screaming, assuming you are passionate about this too, take time to consider how many families will have food on the table because of these decisions.

The fact is, Donald Trump won’t remain president forever, and it’s a given that a reelection effort will be hardfought.

There has to be a way to continue employing workers in the energy industry, we can’t leave them behind in a rush for regional progress on an issue that requires global cooperation. When the time for that transition eventually comes, there needs to be a plan in place to provide training for those workers on the next energy sources we come to depend on. The days of ignoring science for the sake of industry, and ignoring people’s livelihoods for the sake of the climate must come to an end.

It won’t happen under this administration, but the framework for it could very well be laid.

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Comments 5

  1. I believe in climate change, and with the advancement in computers for the first time history we can watch it’s progression throughout the whole globe. That being said I believe it is NOT man made. The conbustion of hydrocarbons has been around since the first forest fire the earth knows how to heal itself from it, always has. I am a republican with solar powered house and whom has permanently parked his gas cars in favor of a completely electric fleet. Unlike a celiberity who travels the world in a person jet to bring awareness to a everyone else’s canon foot print. I quietly (literally a dinky little Chevy Spark makes no noise) plan my day to work around the cars limited range of 80 miles or so. How is that for acting locally? I am not sacrificing shit and am not looking for thanks. I found a better way for me to live. It has little to do with a theory, scientific or otherwise, or politics and has everything to do with sustainable energy I don’t literally have kill for (3x times in Iraq 1 in Afghanistan). I know where most my Energy comes from, and that makes me make responsible decisions.

    1. Thank you for the input and unique perspective on this issue Gregory. The battle over the amount humans contribute to climate change and the urgency of the issue will likely be played out in great detail over the next decade in our political atmosphere. That being said, the steps you have taken display a great deal of personal awareness of your energy consumption. The level of dedication displayed by your example is exactly the type of changes we can make on personal levels to chip away at issues and make real progress. Whatever people believe, and whatever their concerns are, ultimately we are all in this together, and if we keep that in mind, we will find a way to succeed.

  2. Yep, I believe micro-solutions are more important than arguing over macro-science. Leadership by example. (I think I read that somewhere)

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