When voters head to the polls in November for the presidential election, one issue that will be on the mind of many is climate change. Where do the candidates stand on the issue? What would each do to help?
For voters who plan to use the climate change issue as a basis for who they select in November, then only one of the two major-party candidates is selectable. And it’s not Donald Trump.
Here is a look at where Trump stands on climate change and what he might do to combat it if elected.
An Unfair Comparison?
Some voters may ask themselves: “How much does Donald Trump actually care about climate change when he often uses a gas-guzzling private jet to cruise around the country?”
That’s a fair question, but when it comes to this issue, it’s probably the wrong one. It may be true that Trump is not doing the environment any favors by using his jet, but Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton certainly flies around the country as well. So, on one hand, it makes sense to cancel that factor out.
That said, one of Trump’s planes has led to environment-related fines overseas. In the U.K., Trump faces a £1,610 (just over $2,000) fine from The Environment Agency for a flight that didn’t meet the organization’s carbon emissions standards.
What Is His Stance?
Private jets aside, Trump’s view on climate change is simple. He doesn’t believe it exists.
Just two years ago, the Republican serial tweeter posted on Twitter, “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”
Even if Trump’s penchant for social media hyperbole is tossed aside — and it shouldn’t be for a serious presidential candidate — he has mocked the science behind human-caused climate change and dismissed it all as a hoax.
If the candidate believes climate change is a hoax, then it seems fair to think he would do nothing about it if elected to office. One simple step he could take — but most likely won’t — would be to promote the use of public transportation over personal vehicles. For example, in Florida alone, drivers wasted 116 million gallons of excess fuel while stuck in traffic between 2009 and 2010. Not exactly eco-friendly.
What Do Others Think?
One of the remarkable things about this campaign is the number of previously well-respected politicians that have stood by their endorsement of Trump despite the fact that they disagree with him on almost every issue.
Not everybody feels the need to stay within party lines, however. For example, two former EPA directors under Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have said Trump has exhibited “profound ignorance of science and public health issues.”
What Are the Alternatives?
So let’s say you feel strongly about environmental issues, but you’d still like to vote for Trump. You might be thinking Trump will act as “promoter-in-chief,” while vice presidential candidate Mike Pence actually runs things behind the scenes.
If that’s your rationale, you may need to find another. Addressing climate change on MSNBC in 2014, Pence said, “We haven’t seen a lot of warming lately.” The problem is, 2014 turned out to be the warmest since records began in 1880.
In short, based on past statements, Donald Trump doesn’t believe climate change is real and has gone so far as to say it’s a hoax. Meanwhile, his running mate, while stopping short of attention-grabbing statements, at best seems uneducated on the issue.
If climate change will play a role in who you vote for in November, then avoiding Trump’s name on the ballot is a no-brainer.