Donald Trump, a stubbed, recently-severed zombie toe soon to be sworn in as President of the United States, remains steadfast in his interpretation of climate change as “hey, maybe not, I dunno.”
As CNN reports, Trump appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where he continued to treat this very real global calamity like T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.
“I’m still open-minded,” he told Chris Wallace. “Nobody really knows. Look, I’m somebody who gets it, and nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast.”
But see, somebodies do know, Donald. NASA knows. The United States Environmental Protection Agency also knows. The European Environment Agency? They know too!
And yet, Trump is contemplating whether to withdraw the United States from its commitment to implement more environmentally-friendly policies. The U.S. made this agreement together with more than 175 other countries at last year’s Paris summit.
“Now, Paris, I’m studying. I do say this. I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries,” he said. “And as you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement. I don’t want to give China, or other countries signing agreements an advantage over us.”
Perhaps our PEOTUS still suspects climate change to be nothing more than a hoax orchestrated by the Chinese — this was, after all, his stance on the campaign trail. Yet it is true that he recently met with two avid environmentalists, former Vice President Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio (hey, sure). And yes, allegedly daughter-in-chief Ivanka Trump cares very deeply about climate change.
Nonetheless, we don’t have much reason to believe Trump will dislodge head from sphincter. His interview with Wallace, after all, reestablishes his adversarial stance. And in a particularly chilling move, his transition team asked the Energy Department to draw up a list of every government employee who worked on climate change policy during the Obama years.
Trump has also identified Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency. As it happens, Pruitt is currently suing the EPA and is a notorious climate change doubter. Why, then, you might ask, would Trump make such a choice, other than to literally scorch the earth for funsies?
Pruitt, Trump contends, will help to make America seem more attractive to businesses. Because the EPA has enforced so many restrictions—so careless!—companies no longer regard the U.S. as a worthwhile investment. Pruitt undoubtedly will hack away at the extant regulations.
“If you look at what — I could name country after country. You look at what’s happening in Mexico, where our people are just — plants are being built, and they don’t wait 10 years to get an approval, ok?” Trump haltered. “They build it like the following day or the following week. We can’t let all of these permits that take forever to get stop our jobs.”
After Trump blathered about how being patient sucks, Wallace noted a trend in Trump’s Cabinet selections: he has almost methodically chosen individuals ardently opposed to their respective agencies’ current agendas. Does the president-elect, Wallace wondered, plan to “take a wrecking ball to the Obama legacy?”
“No. No. No. I don’t want to do that at all,” Trump responded. “I just want what’s right.”
If only Donald Trump’s vision of “what’s right” had any discernible grounding in reality.