I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Cara Augustenborg as a contributor to BoomerWarrior. Cara believes that electing Donald Trump spells the end of the planet as we know it. I like to think of him as a global climate wrecking ball. You can find out more about her in the short bio at the end of the article. (Rolly Montpellier ~ Editor for BoomerWarrior).

A Climate Wrecking Ball

Trump Will Be A Climate Wrecking Ball If Elected, boomer warrior

Photo credit: theresurgent.com

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump [recently visited] Scotland. He was scheduled to visit Ireland, but cancelled that leg of the journey after our Prime Minister called him “racist and dangerous” and rumors circulated that Trump would be confronted with a crowd of Irish protesters who did not welcome him in our “land of a thousand welcomes”.

Trump owns a golf-course on the southwest coast of Ireland. It’s at risk of falling into the sea due to erosion exacerbated by the Atlantic storms that are occurring with more intensity as a result of climate change.

Ironically, Trump’s company in Ireland has applied to the local county council to build a sea wall (yes, another wall!) to protect his golf course. They cited ”rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and wave energy associated with global warming” as the reason the wall should be built. While in America, Trump calls climate change a “hoax” and a “con job”.

For the rest of the world, electing Donald Trump quite possibly means the end of planet Earth as we know it. This sounds like hyperbole, but when it comes to climate change I’m deadly serious. We have a limited window of time to tackle climate change once and for all. To keep our Earth’s temperature within safe limits for life as we know it, we now have to make dramatic and swift changes to how we generate energy and power our homes, transport, and food production systems. To solve climate change, we have to transform to an essentially fossil-fuel free society across the globe within the next three decades.

Will Trump Renegotiate the Paris Agreement?

In December 2015, 197 countries within the United Nations agreed to attempt such change as part of the Paris Climate Agreement, but if Donald Trump is elected president he could single-handedly undo that tremendous global effort. He already said as much when his energy adviser, Congressman Kevin Cramer (a self-professed climate denier) recommended he “just pull out” of the U.N. Climate Agreement and Trump agreed that “at minimum” he would “renegotiate the deal” – a deal that has already taken over 21 years to negotiate.

Climate Alarm Bells Are Sounding!

For the climate, the alarm bells are sounding now as Arctic temperatures reach unprecedented warming and we see flooding and storms around the world the likes of which we’ve never seen before. We no longer have time for further negotiation, let alone a U.S. president who doesn’t take the biggest global challenge of our time seriously.

Watching interviews of Trump, one can see some appeal in his speaking style. It’s somewhat refreshing to see a politician that isn’t trying to please everyone for the sake of a vote and trying to please corporations for the sake of campaign funding. Naturally, when we watch someone on television week-after-week we begin to trust them as they keep us company in our living rooms. Donald Trump has garnered the public’s trust over the years more than most politicians could dream of thanks to his TV exposure.

Eggers called Trump a modern day Andrew Dice Clay, an irreverent American comedian of the 1990s who was known for misogynistic jokes. The similarities are palpable. It seems America may vote for a president on the basis of entertainment value without acknowledging the key role of the U.S. president in matters of vital global importance.

Will Trump Reverse Obama’s Climate Initiatives?

Throughout history, U.S. Presidents have played an essential role in matters of global conflict, trans-boundary environmental problems like depletion of the ozone layer, and humanitarian crises.

Climate change is undoubtedly the most difficult problem of all. If left unchecked, it will affect every person on every corner of the globe and make much of the world uninhabitable by the end of the century, and yet to solve it requires changing everything we do, everywhere.

The United States, as a global “superpower” and one of the largest emitters of the gases that contribute to climate change, must lead the way in solving this crisis. Without U.S. leadership, the climate and the world’s future is at risk of eventual chaos. America, if you’re listening, please don’t choose a president for the sake of a few laughs at the rest of the world’s expense. The climate can’t be fixed in the hands of a comic.

*

Dr. Cara Augustenborg, boomer warriorDr. Cara Augustenborg is an environmental scientist and lecturer at University College in Dublin and at Trinity’s Business School. She specializes in climate change impacts and solutions. Cara is Ireland’s first Climate Reality leader and author of a popular blog and vlog site called ‘The Verdant Yank‘. For more About Cara.

You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Trump as president is looking more of a reality as each day passes. While this appears to go against the grain of ‘sanity,’ I cannot help but notice that there are parallels world-wide.

    We are entering a brave new world of politics….one that gives lip service to the Paris Agreement (to soothe the masses), but one that really doesn’t give a fig about the environment. These new politicians are more concerned about political power and fighting foes (real or imagined). I think that there is more disunity in the world now than during the Cold War era. I think soon, we who speak out about the injustices and ecocide within our natural world, will soon be seen as the enemy. Such is the imbalance in the thinking of our elected politicians.

    Scientists, do of course, continue to warn us of the effects of not tackling CO2 emissions….indeed, it has just been announced in UK that we have seen the warmest June on record since 1880 when records began. Unfortunately, most of the population in the UK love the warmer summers so it is difficult to convince them of the dangers! Scientists also need to keep their jobs, earn a living and provide for families, so their silence will likely soon be deafening.

    At the beginning of 2016, I was hopeful that we (the world population) was really going to tackle climate change with greener energies, but if it does happen, it will be without the help of our governments. Just last week the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change), a government agency promoting green energy in the UK, was SCRAPPED. Our new minister for the environment, supports Fracking! It leaves the UK looking rather ineffectual in tackling climate change. Only private industry is still pursuing the dream of cleaner energy, but without government subsidies, it is struggling to find the research finance.

    If Trump becomes the new US president, then we can anticipate a big change in any ‘green’ policies. The government’s of the world will follow suit and the work of 21 years of negotiations will have been an entire waste of time and money!

    If Clinton becomes the new US president, her climate change policies look weak and rather low down on her priority list. Certainly, she has ruled against any carbon pricing. Why would any other country put carbon pricing in place (Canada), when they cannot control the air that flows across their border from other nations?

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hillary-clinton-s-plan-to-combat-climate-change/

    I am really disappointed, but before it has even begun, the battle to tackle climate change appears to be already lost! Plan B must put survival skills into effect…we need to learn how to provide food, security and health in a warmer world with fewer species. That is a plan that will be so much more expensive than simply reducing CO2 output, but then all governments are notorious for wasting money, and many are equally as blasé about wasting lives!

    • Colette – it does seem like the Paris Agreement momentum may be in jeopardy. I’ve used this quote in a reply to another comment.

      “As of 29 June 2016, there are 178 signatories to the Paris Agreement. Of these, 19 States have also deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 0.18 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.” http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php

      So we have a long way to go. Then the radical politics of Brexit and Donald Trump are scary. At a time when collaboration is needed we see fragmentation. And then the world is on constant alert to terrorism because of the immediacy of its effects. We may continue to put off climate change until it’s too late. But as you point out, “the battle to tackle climate change appears to be already lost”.

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