Washington DC: US President Donald Trump’s recently appointed Scott Pruitt as the head of Environment Protection Agency (EPA). This has been met with criticism. Pruitt has been accused of favouring fossil fuel companies and has even supported scrapping Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ that aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 per cent within 25 years relative to 2005 levels while increasing the use of renewable energy and energy conservation.
A conference on Climate Change was cancelled by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) owing to the pressure mounted by the Trump administration that affirmed that climate change isn’t a man-made problem. Former US Vice President Al Gore was surprised that the country’s top public health agency had cancelled the Climate Change conference, a policy for which CDC is sanctioned 10 million USD. However, after a talk with President Trump, Al Gore held the conference in Atlanta. Officials from CDC, EPA were among the attendees.
Trump’s candidate for the role of Chief Scientific advisor William Happer, physicist at Princeton University commented, ‘There’s a huge amount of money that we spend on saving the planet from climate change. If it turns out that the planet doesn’t need saving as much as we thought, well, there are other ways you could spend the money.’
When Trump termed Climate Change a ‘hoax invented by the Chinese’, about 2,300 faculty members from more than 10 public universities in California termed it a ‘Shocking Move’ and wrote a letter to him expressing that climate change was due to human activities especially heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Trump has declared his intention to step back from the commitments that are enshrined in the Paris Agreement 2015, the majority of which strive to reduce global warming.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), after an assessment of climate change, assessed, ‘In 1950, CO2 levels were never above 300 parts per million (PPM) but currently, CO2 levels stands at 400 PPM. This can be attributed to climate change that is human made.
NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate
Experiments show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kms (36 to 60 cubic miles) of
ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kms
(36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005. The year 2015 was the first time
the global average temperatures were one degree Celsius or more above the
1880-1899 average. China, whom Trump alleged as the ‘Inventor of the Climate
change hoax’ has been suffering from smog
On New Year’s Day, the pollution level was 24 times graver than the level stated by the World Health Organisation with average PM 2.5 levels in Beijing hovering between 250-460. Nevertheless, China being the biggest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter has pledged 361 billion USD towards clean energy projects by 2020. It also has the highest global share in installed wind capacity, close to 48.5 per cent or 30,753 MW.
With US companies like Google Inc. and Apple Inc. promising to generate 100 per cent of its electricity requirement through renewable energy (RE) sources, it’s important for Trump and his cabinet to consider the consequences of being ‘Climate Change Deniers’. Being the head of a country known for its innovation and foresight, it’s important that Trump sees the dangers of dismissing climate change as ‘insignificant’ and ensures that America doesn’t go back on its commitments to usher in a green and clean earth.