So, the first post, and straight in the deep end, tackling Donald Trump!
The 9th November is a day that will go down in history; as most Presidential elections do…. however, this one maybe more than others as the divisive Donald Trump won the votes (in theory) of the American people leading to his victory in the race to Presidency. Donald Trump has divided America, widening the rift that arguably already exists throughout one of the world’s most powerful nations. Trump’s views and opinions always seem to divide opinion, with them either being devotedly worshipped and condoned by his radical supporters or passionately condemned and protested against by those who want him as far from the White House as is physically possible. An area in which these views and plans are most divisive falls in the environmental sector, with Trump a self-proclaimed ‘climate change sceptic’.
Now… we’re here, the 28th January and Donald Trump has been inaugurated. He has made a number of executive decisions across a range of matters, all of which have divided opinion in one way or another. One of the most notable issues catching headlines are his environmental decisions. Donald Trump could be a tragedy for the progression of environmental sustainability and even the future of our planet. In his push to create jobs he has vowed to reinstate the American coal industry, building a number of coal plants throughout the country (or so he says he will). However, with coal’s price having dropped and much lower than competitors, I don’t see the resurgence of the coal industry in America as something he will realistically achieve; not to mention the difficulty with extracting and burning coal in comparison to that of natural gas (NY times). It was a pipe dream that did the intended job of securing a number of patriotic American voters who wanted to see a return to the great industry of ‘back in the day’
Furthermore, the President has forced the Environmental Protection Agency to delete all of its pages on climate change. An official has been quoted as saying to Reuters that, “if the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear”(The Independent). The EPA has done a huge amount of work on environmental sustainability and has helped lead the way in a number of scientific discoveries. In addition Trump’s scepticism and endeavour to completely smother any talk of climate change continues on the White House website where the ‘Global Warming’ page has been deleted and replaced by a 361-page article called ‘America’s first energy policy’ (The Independent). Sounding a bit like indoctrination? No? just me…??
Further issues have come about throughout the President’s choice of Cabinet members having filled it with a number of fossil fuel industry leaders; just the sort of people the world needs to further the cause of environmental sustainability and green technology…! In just as concerning a turn, Donald Trump appointed a ‘climate change sceptic’ to the head position of the Environmental Protection Agency (BBC World Service). Ironically, this is likely to compromise the preservation and protection of the environment, considering climate change is what needs to be held back in order to conserve the equilibrium of our world and the environment.
If all this wasn’t enough, the environment receives another kick in the teeth with the President’s decision to scrap Obama’s clean energy plans, whilst China, a country still arguably on the path of development, proceeds with a $361 billion investment in renewable energy….(BBC). Good on China; it really says something that they’ve embarked on such a program regardless of the fact that they are still very much a developing nation across a range of economic and social indicators. It makes Trumps decision-making all the more embarrassing.
However, I’d like to finish on a brighter note. Although it’s massively concerning and it does seem like he could doom us all, I truly believe it could be for the better. We have already seen the coming together of many climate activists all working towards the same cause, and although he may be trying to smother the expression (climate change), it may just be raising more awareness for the issue and may be bringing it to where it should be; at the forefront of national news. With climate change being one of the greatest dangers for our generation and for the ones unlucky enough to come after us, this could be what is required to see real action rather than just words.