Trump, Climate Change, and the Next Generation

November 30, 2016
Elliot Kim F airfax High  9th Grade

Elliot Kim F
airfax High
9th Grade

Us History was made on November 9, 2016 when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the tightly contested race for the American presidency. Much had been said by the candidates in the lead-up to Election Day, but one thing that particularly alarmed the science world was the president elect’s claims against climate change. Trump wrote on Twitter:Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump): The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

His stance is a worrying one, especially as that of the POTUS at a crucial stage of global climate change reduction work. Trump has already vowed to “cancel” the Paris Agreement, a historic agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) dealing with gases emissions to reach climate neutrality by the end of the century. He is also an outspoken opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP is Barack Obama’s program to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, but it may not last much longer once our president-elect is installed into the Oval Office.

This turn of events has started delegates at the UN climate talks into action. Many nations are now looking to China for leadership because of their investment and outlook on renewable energy, says Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, but he hopes Trump will realize that tough climate-change policies can ensure the United States’ competitiveness in energy technology. Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund in the US, expressed concern at the prospect of the US pulling out of the global effort when it has such a large role to play as leader and influencer.

The experts and adults aren’t the only ones taking action ? a federal lawsuit was opened over the government’s insufficient efforts on climate change by a group of youth ranging from ages nine to twenty. Some of the youth opened up about what they saw or experienced with climate change: one from Florida talked about the disappearing reefs, another from Louisiana about the disastrous rains and flooding (interestingly two states where Trump still won majority). Though they don’t get to vote, these young people are finding ways to be involved in the governance of the climate change that will affect us, the next generation, most.


One Comment

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