In this new era of the Trump presidency climate change is a widely discussed issue not only because of the contrasting views from the two sides of the political spectrum, but also the actions taken by the new administration so far.
During his campaign it may have been a bit difficult to really determine just how Trump viewed climate change. His comments were sometimes contradictory and left the American people perplexed about his actual position on the subject. However, after his first 100 days in office and several changes to climate policy, it’s not too hard to tell how the new administration feels about climate change. Their actions say it all.
So far, the Trump administration has shown no interest in continuing Obama-era policies regarding climate change. In March, in an effort to improve business productivity, President Trump signed an executive order at the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate American attempts to decrease carbon emissions. The order did not go into effect straight away and has been projected to end up in the courts due to just how much it would be undoing, as it directly refutes and repeals several orders from Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Trump claims that these actions are necessary to restore long lost jobs in the coal industry, saying that our businesses are suffering because of excessive environmental regulations that make us “unable to compete.” During his campaign trail, Trump even promised to cancel what is known as the Paris Agreement, a coming together of more than 195 countries to reduce carbon emissions that was signed just last year.
However, the most controversial actions taken by the new administration are the proposed cuts to the EPA’s budget and the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the agency. The proposed cuts would eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15, 000 jobs and cut spending from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. Pruitt, on the other hand, has often rejected scientific consensus on climate change and has even threatened to dismantle the agency in its entirety in the past.
Trump’s actions have even led to several protests nationwide since he took office. A Quinnipiac University poll shows that actually 61% of Americans are opposed to removing the regulations in place to combat climate change, and only 29% of Americans support Trump’s rollbacks.
The new administration doesn’t seem to understand that climate change is not a ‘wait and see’ matter. The effects of climate change cannot be reversed, and action must be taken now, if we have intentions of ever reducing the harmful toll we’re taking on the environment.
By Robyn Forbes