In our current political climate, there have been several strong points of contention. From abortion to gay marriage to Obamacare, politicians have had a plethora of topics to discuss. Another topic that has seen a lot of debate lately has been the topic of climate change. However, it makes no sense for this to be a point of contention. Not only has climate change been proven, but it has been proven that humans are greatly affecting the rate of climate change. Still, many people disbelieve in climate change even though it is quite simply a fact. Nearly a fifth of American adults disbelieve in climate change according to Pew Research Center and only half say that humans have deeply affected climate change.
Over 97 percent of scientists agree that humans have had an impact on climate change. These are accredited scientists in the community whose only goal is to present data and numbers for the public. However, Pew Research reports that 57 percent of Republicans believe that scientists say humans have affected climate change only to “advance their careers.” As such, there are many political leaders in our country today who deny that humans have an impact on climate change, and have proposed legislation that would end protections to our environment.
While President Obama was in office, he fought aggressively to fight against climate change. He tried to make solar and wind energy more available, decrease oil imports, and decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. He also signed the United States into the historic Paris Agreement, an agreement between 55 nations that will fight to reduce their carbon pollution. All of this will change, however, with President Trump in office.
Trump disagrees completely with Obama (and 97 percent of scientists) on climate change. He has said that climate change is a “hoax” invented by the Chinese. Although he has since retracted this statement, it is clear that he is back and forth on the issue. In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said that he was going to be “looking at [climate change] very closely,” but he has made no promises about what his policies will be affecting climate change. Because of this, it is necessary to look at Trump’s cabinet picks to see how climate change will be affected during the election.
Most of the people that Trump has chosen for his cabinet have either shown doubt or don’t believe in human-affected climate change. Scott Pruitt, who is set to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has said that: “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” Obviously, this is not true as NASA reports that 97 percent of scientists think that humans have affected climate change. This hasn’t stopped Pruitt, as he is one of the largest fighters against the idea of human-affected climate change in recent years. Other choices in his cabinet such as Nikki Haley, Rick Perry, and Ryan Zinke have all expressed disbelief or skepticism about climate change, and will soon be holding serious and important positions in our government.
This means that at a domestic and a foreign level, the United States won’t be a leading force in fighting climate change, which is something that is necessary for the world. Trump and his cabinet have the capability to greatly affect our planet and its future. With so much consensus that shows that humans are affecting climate change, it is a shame that many of our leading politicians refuse to accept the findings of the scientific community and refuse to act to reduce the damaging effects of climate change.