In the mind of potential president Donald Trump, global warming is a “hoax.” Meanwhile, 97 percent of climate scientists believe climate change is “legitimate and caused by humans,” as noted in a Mash article I wrote earlier this year.
Though comical, Trump’s utter disregard for a problem so clearly present is more than just that–it’s dangerous. If elected president, Trump said he plans to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and cut funding for all efforts to confront environmental issues. By doing so, he would be quite literally screwing my generation over.
Whether or not Trump actually believes global warming is feigned, his rhetoric makes clear that he is catering to a very specific, very present group of American people. He is winning over the the populous that often doesn’t bother to question–the instant-gratification seekers, the big promise leeches, the easy-to-shape, easy-to-lead citizens of this country.
The intangibility of global warming tends to be the most popular explanation for its refutal. Thanks to our latitudinal position, most of us can’t see or feel the repercussions of climate change. As a result of this fact, many Americans see global warming as some petty affair to be swept aside.
Doing so might be a smart move for middle-aged America. I get it–if I was 55, I probably care more about my Pilates class and menopause healing session than the planet too. But as someone with a lot of life left to live, I realize that people like Trump are cheating people like me.
It’s important to understand the implications of Trump’s potential presidency. If elected president, Trump would banish, or try to banish, all efforts to combat climate change. Meanwhile, global warming, water depletion and other environmental occurrences will worsen, and, 30 years down the road, my generation will be left to manage the aggregate of our ignorance.
Not only does Trump outright deny the presence of global warming, but he finds hilarity is the notion that our planet is suffering. Through a series of tweets on his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, Trump undermines the profoundness of climate change when really, protecting the Earth should be our national and global priority, especially considering without it there would be no presidential election, no Twitter, no voters, no government and no life.
Still, I don’t blame Trump. I don’t think any one human can bear the responsibility of dealing kindly and fairly with our planet against millions of indifferent people. Right now, he is seeking the power, the satisfaction, the approval–he is not seeking environmental accountability. I realize that a president cannot convince a country of people to care about the planet. Rather, that country of people must care about the planet and then elect a president who will lead the pursuit of environmental health.
In other words, our societal agenda is crooked, and Trump is exploiting that fact to gain supporters. While change must stem from society and not its leaders, Trump cannot and should not lead a country of people who haven’t quite figured it out yet.