(“Trump on Climate change”) Climate change is very much real. There is no denying the plethora of data and scientific evidence in our hands indicate climate change. And the reason for this change in climate is us, ‘The Humans’.

Unsustainable growth in industries (quite literally!) fueled by fossil fuels has resulted in increased amounts of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, etc.) in the atmosphere. This has caused global rise in temperatures. This is what we commonly know as global warming. It’s melting the ice caps, causing the rise in sea levels, threatening to flood low lying areas. This is indeed an issue of grave concern and major action. The mankind can choose to ignore it, only at its own peril.

Trump’s Take

 Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA
Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA

In the light of these facts, it’s really worrying if the president of the US, the largest economy in the world continues to deny climate change as real. Though being a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In his campaign trail, Trump had dismissed climate change, calling it a hoax. He says it’s a ‘Chinese conspiracy’ to stall US economic and industrial growth. One of his campaign promises was to shut down the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), once he comes in power. Four months into office, he seems on track to do just that.

Trump’s pick of Scott Pruitt, for the post of EPA administrator, had opposed environmental regulations imposed by Obama. He was earlier a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry. How can he be the suitable person to head an agency instituted to protect the environment? How can he work in contrast to opposition of regulations for environment protection?

Unless, of course, one wants to dismantle the EPA, which is exactly what Trump is doing!

Trump’s Executive Orders V/S Climate change

Through a series of executive orders, the administration made its intention quite clear. They support their views of economic growth over environmental protections. In February, Trump issued an executive order asking the EPA to repeal and replace the Clean Water Rule. This order gives de facto permission to industries to pollute the waters of United States. At a time when the Flint disaster (residents need to buy bottled water because of no access to clean water) is not yet over, this order couldn’t have come at a worse time.

In March, Trump signed an executive order doing away with much of the regulations on industries (especially the non-renewable energy industries). These regulations, many of them imposed during Obama’s presidency, were key to protecting the environment from reckless pollution by industries.

President Trump signing an executive order.

Trump has also been trying to change the image of the EPA from environmental friendly to industry friendly. He wants to replace scientists in the agency with Industry representatives. Earlier this month, 12 advisors, experts in the field of climate change and environmental protection, were effectively dismissed from the Board of Scientific Counsellors. Emerging reports have suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency will replace five climate scientists with representatives from industries.

Cost Of Ignoring The Environment

All these measures by Trump come with a cost. A very heavy cost! Which the whole of mankind has to bear. Climate change and environmental pollution is something which affect all of us, in all countries, with some countries (e.g. coastal nations) even more vulnerable. It is high time that people of US resist these measures, cause harm to the environment. It is also the duty of the international community at large to put pressure on the current US administration. They should roll back the orders and work to protect the environment. Otherwise the future, our common future, looks bleak.

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