BY SONALEI AMADOR
President-elect Donald Trump has caused controversy regarding global warming, as he has held a position opposing the authenticity of global warming even before he took the role of a presidential candidate.
Trump refers to global warming as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. In a 2012 Twitter post he stated, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
A significant reason Trump doesn’t believe in global warming is because cold weather continues to exist, and in his words, “the planet is freezing.” In 2014, Trump went on Fox News to discuss a severe cold snap that set records across the country. “This winter is brutal,” said Trump, adding that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by, “scientists [who] are having a lot of fun.”
In a major speech on energy policy, Trump said that during his first 100 days in office, he would, “rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including,” his landmark climate regulations, “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement,” and “stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”
According to NASA, 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change. NASA says, “Most of the leading science organizations around the world have issued public statements expressing this, including international and U.S. science academies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a whole host of reputable scientific bodies around the world.”
NASA illustrates the different pieces of evidence for climate change, including sea level rise, global climate change, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, declining Arctic sea ice, glacial retreat, extreme events, ocean acidification, and decreased snow cover.
NASA explains that humans are responsible for climate change because we carry out a “greenhouse effect,” a warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.” A layer of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, “acts as a thermal blanket for the earth, absorbing heat and warming the surface.”
According to the Pew Research Center, “A global median of 51 percent say climate change is already harming people around the world, while another 28 percent believe it will do so in the next few years. However, only 41 percent of Americans believe people are being harmed by climate change today.”
According to recent news reports, Scott Pruit, Trump’s former campaign manager climate change skeptic, is Trump’s choice for Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Pruit said, “The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.”
News outlets suggest that Trump’s administration intends to reverse President Obama’s moves to curb climate change. Obama said, “Part of what’s unique about climate change, though, the nature of some of the opposition to action.”
“The best scientists in the world are telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe,” Obama said.
The federal government considers climate change to be, “an urgent and growing threat to our national security.” Whether or not global warming is a real threat continues to be argued among many, and many like Trump remain skeptical on the issue despite scientific evidence and statistics.
To learn more about climate change and global warming, visit climate.nasa.gov.