If you visit this page for a periodical Trump-bashing, as seems to be so popular, you may be disappointed. However, one area that does cause particular concern is his environmental policy, and he sometimes manages to sweep this ongoing move against establishing more eco-friendly policies under the carpet. For example, his latest move may have gone under the radar here in the UK.
What Trump has done, to put it simly, is undo the Clean Power Plan which obliged states to lower carbon emissions, an indisputable benefit to the environment. He has also cut some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding , which will have damaging effects on not only the US, but globally too.
To establish why this is something to worry about, we must remind ourselves why the EPA is such an important agency. The example I use comes from Niagara Falls, where 20,000 tonnes of chemical waste were dumped in Love Canal, and the city itself possesses 47 different chemical facilities. Citizens were placed in a difficult position; should they condemn the businesses that granted them employment and provided money for their area’s infrastructure, or face contaminated lakes, air and canals. The EPA helped relocate 800 families, and they set up the Superfund program in 1980. Without its intervention chemical waste would still be infecting their daily lives to this day.
Unregulated power plants and no-one to stop it may sound pretty dystopian, and you’d be right to think that. This may be one stick to beat the Paris Agreement, that pledged the 194 signatory countries to reduce global temperature rises by 2 degrees celsius. Trump turning blind eye to this agreement could undermine the global effort to reduce global warming. Industry at all costs is simply ignoring one of the largest threats to society in the next century.
Trump’s policies is not only a danger to the US therefore, it also threatens the global effort to quash climate change. Now, 23% of San Francisco’s pollution originates in China, so Trump’s order today (28th March) will have large consequences. We should ignore this as climate change affects each one of us, especially the younger generation who have to live with Trump’s policies in the years to come. In a promise to remove barriers “that serve as obstacles and impediments to American energy”, Trump is simultaneously undermining the global effort to reduce carbon emissions, and undoing all of Obama’s steps towards a greener America. All we can do is hope other political leaders do not follow his lead, and condemn him for his actions.