As the upcoming 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump has certainly made a name for himself. Among a host of other controversial comments, the Republican has spent the past five years refusing to admit that President Obama was born in the US Discussing the inspiration behind his foreign policy, he also bragged: “I have a very good brain, and I’ve said a lot of things”. Nevertheless, jokes aside, he was elected as leader of the free world in January. Among all the negative consequences that may result from Trump’s presidency, the ones regarding climate change and environment are the most worrying. Here’s a list of all the ways our planet might be affected by the president-elect’s environmental policy.
- Trump has called climate change a “hoax” created by the Chinese, something that certainly will not help the world tackle the problem. Nor will picking a climate change sceptic, Myron Ebell, to lead his transition.
- He is poised to pull America out of the landmark Paris agreement, which will seriously hurt international momentum, especially if other countries follow.
- The Republican could scrap the Environmental Protection Agency. If he goes through with this, the US will risk ending up like China where air pollution is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths every year.
- Trump wants to back coal mining. Understandably, he wants to create jobs… but why through coal mining? Natural gas is far cheaper, and coal mining would be an enormous step backward as it is responsible for thousands of premature deaths per year.
- His pledge to make America energy independent – in other words, relying solely on domestic production to power the US – is risky. What if something happens to the refineries and there are no sources left?
- The President-elect has argued that wind farms kill more than one million birds each year – when coal mining kills close to eight million and oil and gas kill around one million.
- He also denied rising sea levels. But it takes a quick look at Florida to understand the severity of the problem.
Lauderdale, Florida, in 2015. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
A lot of things can change in four years, Trump and his administration have both the power and possibility to reverse some of the recent achievements and make things worse for the planet. Quite surprisingly, this time we found ourselves hoping that a politician will NOT follow through on his absurd promises.