Is Team Trump Backsliding On His ‘Climate Change’ Skepticism?

One of the few things I like about Donald Trump is that he has consistently shown that he is not a believe in anthropogenic climate change. I think he’s foolish to blame it on some Chinese conspiracy.

Um. No. He doesn’t buy into every weather event being ‘climate change’. He told the Washington Post Editorial Board

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I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes — if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not — I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room — but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.

But, what if his populism streak shines through?

(UK Guardian) Donald Trump will have a climate plan and it will be ugly. For now, the Republican frontrunner is pedaling the kind of denialism his party loves, having called global warming everything from a “hoaxto a “con job” to a Chinese plot. But an interview with his energy adviser late last week hinted that – before too long – Trump might endeavor to Make Atmospheric Carbon Levels Great Again. For those interested in a livable and more equal future, that’s not a good thing.

“My advice would be, while I’m a skeptic as well”, Trump energy honcho Kevin Cramer told ClimateWire last week, “he is a product of political populism, and political populism believes that there needs [to be] some addressing of climate change”. (snip)

Cramer has not had a climate epiphany. He probably just looked at the data.

Nearly half of Republicans – and 72% of independents – say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who thinks climate change is a hoax. A Monmouth University poll found that two-thirds of Americans want to see their government take action on emissions. Today’s populism, it seems, includes a concern for the planet.

Trump has been willing to pander and backslide and change his positions like the wind. There are seemingly no principles involved. Might he change on this one, too? The rest of the Guardian article is unenthusiastic as to what Trump might do. What if he sides with Obama on the Clean Power Plan? What if he decides to implement a carbon tax or cap and trade scheme nationally, as Democrats and a few Republicans want? What if this is more than just a Trump advisor speaking out?

(Reuters) Republican presidential contender Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would renegotiate America’s role in the U.N. global climate accord, spelling potential doom for an agreement many view as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming.

“I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” the New York real estate mogul said in an interview with Reuters.

“But those agreements are one-sided agreements and they are bad for the United States.”

Trump said he did not believe China, the world’s top emitter of the carbon dioxide gas that many scientists believe is contributing to global climate change, would adhere to its pledge under the Paris deal.

“Not a big fan because other countries don’t adhere to it, and China doesn’t adhere to it, and China’s spewing into the atmosphere,” he said.

What if this doesn’t spell doom for the Paris Accord, but simply means placing tougher measures on China? At one point, Trump wanted to get rid of the Paris Accord, and “described President Obama’s speech to the Paris climate summit last December as “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard.” Now, renegotiation.

Last August, Climate Progress’ Joe Romm said that there is probably nothing to worry about, that a President Trump would likely honor the Paris Accord and O’s Clean Power Plan. He might be right.

So, I tell you, even on this subject, I can no longer trust Trump.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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