Climate change is real, Mr. Trump

editorial cartoon by Aryn Plax
editorial cartoon by Aryn Plax

Climate change denial has no place in politics, and in the face of several natural disasters occurring all around the world, global warming should not be contested or minimized by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Trump has denied global warming, saying that it was a “hoax” perpetrated by China, and has expressed disbelief in man-made climate change, according to a 2016 interview with the Washington Post. Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general and Trump’s pick for the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, rejects climate change, possibly because he has received campaign money from the fossil fuel industry, which would not benefit from climate change measures.

In June, Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords, which deals with the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions globally, because he said that the oil, gas, and manufacturing industries would be hindered. Trump pushed executive orders preventing the hiring for Environmental Protection Agency positions and rolling back regulations on carbon pollution, according to a May 2017 article on CNN.

Even in the face of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Pruitt does not want to talk about climate change. In an interview with CNN Sept. 7, Pruitt said “to have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced.” While it is not wrong to prioritize the well being of those affected by the storm, Pruitt should not diminish analysis of global warming’s relationship to the hurricane. The supporting information of a 2013 study by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America showed that the frequency of Hurricane Katrina magnitude events increased 3.6 times for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperature. According to the Earth Observatory, run by NASA, global warming could make future hurricanes more intense and deadly, and increase the severity of coastal flooding in the event of a storm.

If hurricanes by themselves do not highlight the need to recognize climate change, then the 123 wildfires that dot the western United States should. About 2 million acres are on fire, according to Chris Wilcox of the National Interagency Fire Center in an NPR interview. The summer heat waves contributed to the wildfires, with record temperatures reaching 106 degrees in San Francisco on Sept. 1, according to Accuweather. A 2016 PNAS study confirmed that global warming has doubled the area burned by forest fires.

Trump has yet to answer for his denial of human-caused climate change in the wake of these disasters. Trump, Pruitt and other deniers in power need to be pressed on climate change and urgently modify the way they address environmental policy.

Other Stories

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

Other Stories

Latest Stories

Related articles

Garden Festival considers drought solutions

The California Botanic Garden in Claremont hosted the “Waterwise Community Festival” Sunday to spread awareness about the issues of climate change and water conservation, and the particular challenges the state faces in light of a historic drought. 

Outdoor watering restrictions set to start June 1

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency on April 27, and issued a one-day-a-week outdoor watering restriction for parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, which is home to about 6 million southern Californians effective June 1. 

Iconic Joshua trees threatened by climate change

With climate change becoming a much more pressing issue in our lives, it will soon destroy the historic sites of nature that the Earth’s rising temperatures have not already swallowed.

Time is running out to reverse climate change

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on climate change warned in a recent report that it is certain that human influence has warmed the planet, as well as mentioning that these changes will cause major consequences for future generations.