Global commentary: Trump’s path to environmental destruction


Colin Cavanaugh/Graphics Editor

Colin Cavanaugh/Graphics Editor

With industrialization and mass production of greenhouse gases escalating alongside rising water temperatures and natural disasters, many scientific researchers have identified a strong correlation between human behavior and climate change.

President Donald Trump has denied the need to make any changes to the current carbon-emission levels of the United States, the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, stating that he does not think climate change is caused by humans.

In light of Trump’s unsurprising ignorance, it is essential that he be held accountable for his part in the further destruction of the planet and his antagonization of such an existential threat.

On Oct. 1, the United Nations in a report asserted that to bring global warming back to moderate levels, the international population would need to take “unprecedented” actions to cut carbon emissions over the next decade.

Since he was elected, Trump has referred to climate change as a “hoax,” “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” as well as “very expensive…bulls—,” according to The Atlantic.

However, this past week on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” in an interview with journalist Lesley Stahl, Trump denied his original beliefs on climate change being a hoax and acknowledged the possibility of some type of climate change. Still, Trump, continued to deny that the global warming is human induced.

“Something’s changing, and it’ll change back again,” said Trump in a matter-of-fact tone during his “60 Minutes” interview.

Since he was first elected, Trump has made it clear that he believes putting any amount of money toward an attempt at reducing carbon emissions would only result in lost money for the American government and businesses, and lost jobs for the American people.

Although Trump has been commended for his progress on the U.S. economy, it is completely irresponsible ignore the fate of the planet for the excuse that it would cause a loss of jobs. Jeopardizing the future of the planet’s 7.7 billion people is a far more severe risk than a loss of jobs.

Devastation among the international community struck when Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement — a doctrine outlining the specific energy restrictions for all 175 nations that signed it — in June 2017.

The nations taking part in the agreement were collectively responsible for 55 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

While the Paris Climate Agreement has provoked controversy for its costliness and supposed limited effectiveness, the accord itself has forced many major nations to make significant alterations to their greenhouse gas emissions and energy production industries. Many smaller nations, such as Nicaragua and Cambodia, have followed these major countries and joined the accord as well.

If the accord were assertively enforced by Trump, the U.S. would at least be curtailing greenhouse gas emissions — ultimately slowing the elevation of the planet’s temperature before reaching the dangerously high global warming zone.

Just two weeks ago, The Washington Post released an article revealing that the Trump administration made a horrifying assumption that the planet will warm a catastrophic 7 degrees within the next 80 years.

In response, the administration stated the deep cuts to carbon emissions that would be required to prevent this staggering warming “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”

Ultimately, the Trump administration has adopted a path of complacency and ignorance when it comes to this urgent issue.

The planet has already endured some of the harshest extremes that can result from rising temperatures. Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico last year while Florida is still recovering from the destruction brought on by Hurricane Michael last week.

The world has lost nearly half of its coral reefs in the past 30 years and is expected to have oceans so acidic by 2050 that 90 percent of corals will be depleted, according to the Independent.

Deforestation has contributed to nearly 17 percent of greenhouse gases emitted every year, according to the World Resources Institute.

All of these valuable communities and ecosystems provide a network of support for various species that are crucial to the survival of many communities and the quality of life many Americans hope to continue to maintain.

It is time for the Trump administration to realize that the path it has chosen is a path to destruction. It’s time for the government to make the decision between the world’s greatest economy and justice for the environment.