The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Trump administration cannot ignore climate change

Chris Lowe
Sarah Dutton
Chris Lowe

January 2017 is already almost behind us, signaling the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. Since Trump has made his executive priorities known already, I have noticed a very distinct omission—climate change prevention. 

Considering that global warming and climate change as a whole are generally accepted as facts, it would only make sense to put forth a reasonable amount of effort to curbing their effects for future generations. 

However, not only is this idea not being discussed as a priority, it is even being attacked by the Trump administration on the White House website. 

According to Trump’s “America First Energy Plan,”  “For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”  

These policies establish regulations on carbon pollution output and give the Environmental Protection Agency jurisdiction over more bodies of water, thereby eliminating harmful waste in said areas. These are not radical ideas at all. They are the bedrock for a more energy-efficient America.

I am not proposing that Donald Trump make tackling climate change the centerpiece of his presidency; I am simply asking that it be taken seriously, and certainly not be further exacerbated through policies that only take this country backwards. 

From more intense natural disasters to elevated sea levels, the complications associated with continued denial of climate change’s relevancy are not worth it for the sake of budgeting or leverage. 

This issue transcends political ideologies, as it simply speaks to the future outlook for America and the world at large. It is unacceptable to me to treat it as a joke, but Donald Trump does not seem to mind, as he has alleged that scientists manipulated temperature data despite showing almost no knowledge of the subject matter himself. 

In an interview with The New York Times on Nov. 22, 2016 Trump stated, “…the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98” to counter decades of peer-reviewed scientific research. 

To put it plainly, climate change is slowly killing our planet and creating a harsh environment that will only stand in the way of humanity’s future success. 

While Trump’s administration is still in its infancy, and things certainly have a while to change, everything our president has said and done to this point has suggested he will treat climate change as nothing more than a glorified conspiracy theory.

If there is no other way to appeal to Trump about climate change, you would think he would at least take the issue seriously as a businessman.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states, “Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.” 

This seems to directly contradict the reasoning behind the Trump administration’s desire to overturn the aforementioned environmental policies, as outlined in his America First Energy Plan to appropriate more funds for workers’ wages. 

Ignoring the threat might yield more money in the short term, but will almost certainly cost more in the long haul. Funnily enough, seriously implementing alternative energy will have to happen eventually anyway. Doing it now would just save time and money. 

Donald Trump has shown no interest in continuing the environmental policies of his predecessor, and in fact seems to want to undo those policies. 

Trump’s administration is not the first one to inherit this issue, but it is unique in the fact that it holds the power to set our country’s industry back several decades within a four year span, using the right-wing’s control over a majority of our government. 

Trump’s current game plan coupled with a dominant Republican ideology in other branches of government sets the scene for many new policies to be enacted and for many old ones to be abolished. 

Our president does not need to abandon his political viewpoints, but it is imperative for him to take climate change seriously, one way or another. 

I do not identify as a diehard environmental activist, but it does not take one to recognize the danger of climate change.

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Trump administration cannot ignore climate change