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Will Trump reverse climate change gains?


EYELASHES of many climate change think tanks have tripped following the election and subsequent inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
There is general consensus, at least among them, that the Trump administration will shelve America’s support for climate change.
This is because the newly-elected President has been quoted and heard on many occasions describing climate change as a hoax generated by China to make US manufacturing less competitive.
They also argue that President Trump has encouraged use of coal and they accuse him of taking steps to withdraw the United States from a landmark agreement that seeks to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
I propose to admit before I push my arguments to the next stage that I have no direct links with President Trump to claim that my arguments are engraved in Trump’s confirmed policies.
I believe, though, that President Trump must be judged on the basis of his official and not his claims before his election. Many politicians speak to win popularity but they do the right thing when they assume power.
My position is based on the newly-created Whitehouse website which has replaced that of former President Barack Obama.
The Energy Policy dubbed “An America First Energy Plan” appears to suggest that there has never been an energy plan before, but of cardinal note is the selection of words which makes an interesting read coming from someone who is deemed to be a climate change denier.
The website says, and I quote, “Lastly, our need for energy must go hand in hand with responsible stewardship of the environment. Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”
These are strong words that can only come from a leader who believes in climate change science even though these specific words are missing in his discourse.
The website further reads: “A brighter future depends on energy policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security, and protect our health. Under the Trump Administration’s energy policies, that future can become a reality.”
It is therefore my considered opinion that we have a great colleague in our midst who is keen to fight the effects of climate change. President Trump is not a climate change denier. In the first instance, how else will his administration meet all these policies without investment in climate change?
To me, it is dangerous to stick to unofficial statements made before he became President when new and official information is saying the opposite.
President Trump has also recognised the need by the American people to invest in tapping the local resources to boost the energy situation instead of over-dependence on Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC). He has described these as a cartel, but that is a matter for another day.
There is no statement in his policy discourse to suggest that Mr Trump will withdraw financial support to the science of climate change. He simply emphasises the need on policies that will make the air, water and food clean.
What can those policies be?
It is my thinking that no government can have policies to make air and water clean without addressing issues of climate change.
My counsel to the climate change think tanks and those stooped in scepticism is that they should wait for the Trump in the Whitehouse and set aside the Trump outside.
The author is governance and media analyst.

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