Trump Versus Science


Global warming is a threat to us all. The myriad risks it poses to all people and all aspects of society have become undeniable, both through scrupulous research and the first tragic examples of its impact. Yet some people refuse to open their eyes and face one of the biggest dangers facing this world. Unfortunately, Trump, one of the most powerful men in the world, is one such specimen. Consequently, following the G7 meeting it appears he will most likely draw the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord, which was perhaps the most promising global move ever taken to tackle climate change.

Seeing as global warming will inevitably impact all people, it is a topic which should inherently unite all people. It may seem hypocritical writing this from the UK, where the government is being sued for their lack of swift reforms to tackle illegal levels of air pollution, and the Green Party is still viewed as ‘alternative’. Nevertheless, the global reaction to Trump’s imminent withdrawal shows that the Paris Climate Accords were vital in expressing this unifying feature and necessary fight against global warming. The Paris Accords were signed by all but two countries (Syria and Nicaragua) and thus represent one of the first steps of a truly global reaction to the threat posed by climate change.

As such, it’s of no surprise that Trump’s announcement was met by widespread condemnation: apart from May, most world leaders reproached Trump. Even the Vatican got involved with the Pope pressuring Trump to reconsider his choice. Within the USA itself the announcement was met with discontent as majority of the American public wishes to co-sign, and Democratic mayors of cities like New York, Boston, and Los Angeles have announced that they will uphold the agreement themselves. The military itself has acknowledged global warming as the ‘mother of all risks’, whilst the industry sector has increasingly pointed out the risk to jobs and GDP that global warming poses; a 2015 Citigroup report estimating at least a $44tn cumulative loss of GDP over the next five decades due to it.

This is one of the few issues which truly unites all people in society, because it will eventually affect everybody regardless of class, occupation, religion, or nationality. Unfortunately, Trump is one of the select few who have chosen to disregard the importance of global warming. What is truly terrifying is the impact this might have. Not only do people fear that his decision will lead to other countries withdrawing from the agreement, but with the US being the second largest carbon polluter in the world, its collaboration is vital: it is expected that ‘its withdrawal would add up to 3bn tonnes of extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year, raising the global temperature by 0.1-0.3C (0.2-0.5F) by the end of the century.’

Whilst some may wish to write this off as yet another one of Trump’s perplexing and incomprehensible decisions, this should be taken seriously. The long-term consequences are truly terrifying and will not be isolated to the USA, but will affect us all.

[Kirsty Campbell]

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