Donald Trump, Climate Change, And You [Opinion]

President-elect Donald Trump this week told Fox News that “Nobody really knows if climate change is real.”

I’m going to let that sink in for just a moment. The President-elect of the United States, a country which is the second-largest climate polluter in the world, is going against what 97 percent of scientists are in agreement on. People, including Trump, think that the science behind climate change is so difficult to explain, so nobody can know for sure.

Just look at what Anthony Scaramucci, a lead member of Trump’s transition team executive committee, said on CNN on December 14, 2016. Scaramucci told New Day co-host Chris Cuomo the following.

Donald Trump continues to question validity of climate change
Anthony Scaramucci at Trump Tower. [Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]

“I know that the current president [Barack Obama] believes that human beings are affecting the climate. There are scientists that believe that that’s not happening. There was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat, and there was an overwhelming science that we were the center of the world. We get a lot of things wrong in the scientific community.”

Yes, a primary advisor to Trump likened climate change to the flat-earth theory. However, Scaramucci is wrong in his analogy because he’s confusing science with belief. When it comes to the Earth being flat and the Earth being the center of the universe, those were widely held beliefs of the time. As science advanced, it was able to prove that these beliefs are wrong.

He is right that the scientific community does make mistakes. For example, Einstein believed that the size of the universe was a constant. But that is why there are checks and balances in science. Findings are able to be disputed, results are tested independently over and over again; in fact, there’s an entire process that most children learn about in school called the scientific method. As new information came in, we were able to show that the universe is expanding. Einstein acknowledged this and called this belief, the biggest blunder of his scientific career.

Of course, Trump’s beliefs about climate change aren’t anything new. When he was campaigning, he said that climate change was a hoax that was pushed by China. There was hope, however, that this was just another Trump-ism, much like “draining the swamp.” However, his recent choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency seems to be the final nail in how the Trump administration views climate change

Pruitt is a voracious climate change doubter who is currently suing the very agency he’s going to take over the reins for. He is suing because he considers the Obama Clean Power Act to be unlawful. Pruitt sees the plan as a way for the federal government to expand their authority over coal-fired power plants and other fossil-fuel generated electricity sources. He even wrote an op-ed piece for the Tulsa World that global warming’s connection to mankind’s actions is still under debate.

Donald Trump continues to deny climate change even in the face of proof
Data from 4 different centers tracks global temperatures. [Image by NASA]

It’s not. Let’s be clear about that. Over 97 percent of publishing scientists involved in climate change science agree that mankind has affected the world’s climate to a near catastrophic degree. A report by NASA shows the warming trends and includes statements from multiple scientific societies across the world.

The primary trouble with Trump leading the charge in climate change deniers is that other people begin to feel that their sentiment on the scientific reality is normal and they begin to push their beliefs as well. Just look at what Lorrie Goldstein, a writer for the TorontoSun, posted on Twitter on December 8, 2016.

That statement taps into what many climate change deniers believe. That the science behind climate change is so complicated that almost no one could rationally explain it. Thankfully, Karen Geier stepped up to the plate to show how easy it is to explain.

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So the next time someone tries to tell you to explain the science behind climate change, if you aren’t sure how to explain it, here it is in black and white. Whether you call them a colossal donut is completely up to you.

[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]