The New York Times on Wednesday tried to calm panicky readers fearing Trump-induced global warming destruction. This was the actual headline on the front page of the business section: “Earth Isn’t Doomed Yet. The Climate Could Survive Trump.” Notice the “yet.”
Columnist Eduardo Porter wondered, “Is the battle to contain global warming now lost?” Later, he worried about the “ticking” “bomb.” At first, the Times journalist tried to find ways in which global warming policies could survive a Trump presidency:
Most importantly, climate objectives could mesh with Mr. Trump’s goal of energy independence. According to the 2016 edition of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, the United States could pretty much become energy independent by 2040 — reducing its annual oil imports to 1 million barrels a day from 6 million in 2014 — as long as Washington sticks to current policies.
But then he went back to panicking, essentially suggesting that the world may survive one-term of Trump. But maybe not two: “This is not to say that the world could survive forever an American administration that doesn’t believe in climate change and does nothing to contain it.”
In four years, the United States might have an administration that is less hostile to the concept of climate change. In any case, the rationale for policies to support low- and no-carbon energy sources will be even stronger then than it is today.
“If a Trump administration lasts only four years, the process could maybe absorb that,” said Oliver Geden, head of research at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
The bomb is ticking, but the world still has some time.