It’s been an odd morning for Donald Trump and his position(s) on climate change. Called out by Hillary Clinton in front of tens of millions of viewers last night for his climate denialism, Trump immediately tried to distance himself from some of the more absurd things he’s said about it.
Trump has repeatedly and forcefully denied mainstream climate science for years in speech after speech, interview after interview, and tweet after tweet. He’s called climate change a hoax, a scam and “bullshit.”
His denial of and disregard for the rapid warming of our planet is also on full display in Trump’s energy policies laid out during this campaign. Instead of investing in a clean energy economy and the jobs it brings, Trump wants us to burn more fossil fuels and open up public lands and our pristine oceans to even more drilling – activities we know contribute most to man-made climate change.
But this morning as Americans began to fact check comments made in last night’s debate, Trump and his campaign surrogates tried to sing a new tune. Mike Pence suggested Trump’s charge that the Chinese originated a climate change hoax was just a big joke, calling Trump’s tweets “flippant.” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Trump actually does believe in global warming, but added that he still doesn’t believe the accepted climate science that warming is caused by human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels.
Donald Trump has a history of saying whatever he thinks his audiences want to hear. Perhaps he’s just waking up to the reality that Americans want to hear about a clean energy future, not one tied to the dirty fuels of the past. We’ll know if he begins to change his energy policies as frequently as he’s altered his tax policies throughout the campaign.
The bottom line is the changing climate is a threat to our health, prosperity and national security. That’s why the world’s most respected institutions and organizations – from the U.S. military to the Vatican – agree that governments, including our own, must act boldly and quickly to avoid the worst impacts of unchecked global warming.
The NRDC Action Fund yesterday launched this video [link] to highlight Trump’s pointed question to a crowd at a recent campaign rally: “Who believes in global warming?”
The answer? Just about everyone but him.