Surprise: Trump was Once Concerned about Climate Change
Guest essay by Eric Worrall A number of stories have appeared recently, claiming that Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump’s position on Climate Change is inconsistent, because he used to support Climate Action. Apparently once you embrace the Climate faith, you are not allowed to become an apostate. Donald Trump once backed urgent climate action. Wait, […]
Excerpt: Donald Trump once backed urgent climate action. Wait, what?
As negotiators headed to Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a global climate pact, concerned U.S. business leaders and liberal luminaries took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for aggressive climate action. In an open letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress, they declared: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”
One of the signatories of that letter: Donald Trump.
Also signed by Trump’s three adult children, the letter called for passage of U.S. climate legislation, investment in the clean energy economy, and leadership to inspire the rest of the world to join the fight against climate change.
“We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today,” the letter tells the president and Congress. “Please allow us, the United States of America, to serve in modeling the change necessary to protect humanity and our planet.”
In every conceivable way, the letter contradicts Trump’s current stance on climate policy. On the campaign trail, Trump has said he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change.” Last fall, after Obama described climate change as a major threat to the United States and the world, Trump said that was “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics — in the history of politics as I know it.”
The 2009 ad also argues that a shift to clean energy “will spur economic growth” and “create new energy jobs.” But these days, Trump contends that U.S. action to limit greenhouse gas emissions would put the country at a competitive disadvantage. In 2012, he went so far as to claim: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”