Donald Trump dubbed ‘catastrophe’ in jaw-dropping US election warning

The US presidential election is just over a month away. Panning out to be one of the most divisive ballots in recent history, the incumbent Donald Trump is hoping to hold on for a second term in office. Democrat Joe Biden, Trump’s main opposition figure, is looking to tip the balance in his favour.

As things stand, Biden is ahead of Trump in national opinion polls, and has had a 10-point lead on several occasions.

Several issues ride on November’s election: trade, national security, controlling the coronavirus pandemic, as well as easing wide-spread protests at what critics say is the result of endemic racial injustice.

Also on the agenda is climate change.

While Biden has set out a “plan for a clean energy revolution and environmental justice” anything similar has been scarcely mentioned in the Trump camp.

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Since he took office, Trump has rolled back hundreds of environmental protections, including limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and vehicles, and protections for federal waterways across the country, fulfilling a campaign promise from 2016.

Bonnie Warring, senior Lecturer at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told that a Trump victory in November would mean disaster for the effort to tackle climate change around the world.

She said: “I cannot overstate the importance of this next election for the US: Donald Trump has been a catastrophe for climate change and environmental policy in general.

“If there’s one thing I could communicate it’s how urgent it is for the global economy to make a transition away from fossil fuels very soon in the next decade or so.

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“Having a president in the White House who withdrew from the Paris accord, who is removing regulations that allow oil and gas companies to spew methane into the atmosphere, who has removed protections on all sorts of biosystems that store carbon, has sent the US on exactly the wrong path.”

Forests fires are currently ablaze in the West of the US, and a new hurricane is set to hit the country’s southern coast.

As these two calamities hit the country at once, Trump earlier this week questioned the science around climate change.

When Wade Crowfoot, California’s Secretary for Natural Resources, met Trump and said: “we want to work with you to really recognise the changing climate,” the president replied: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch… I don’t think science knows, actually.”


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Although temperatures often dip and spike, data from the last 100 years shows that on average, the Earth has been warming year-on-year.

Trump has also attempted to push the blame on other nations whose industry-heavy economies emit astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

He has previously said that the US is “just a small speck” claiming that China, India and Russia, “they make up a big preponderance of the pollution”.

He added: “Nobody ever talks about that.”

It is true that China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

However, in second place is the US who, in 2018, emitted around 5.5 thousand metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, while China released around twice the amount.

Ms Warring said she hoped that the US’ current climate trajectory did not put other countries off from being committed to curbing their own CO2 output.

She said: “The inescapable fact that the US is the biggest emitter so what it does really matters.

“Yes, we absolutely must recommit ourselves to the Paris accord, replace a lot of the Obama-era regulations that enforced better policies by the energy sector, that all has to happen if the US is to transition its economy over the next decade which is what needs to happen.

“Given how much damage Donald Trump has done in the past four years for environmental regulations, it’s disturbing to think about what could happen in another four years.

“He’s rolled back over 100 major environmental regulations in his time in office, he’s opened the Arctic up to oil and gas exploration, he’s signalled to the international community that the US does not take climate change science very seriously which is obviously a terrible message to send.

“If he’s reelected, I can just assume that all of that will continue, and we don’t have another four years to spend emitting.”

Most countries around the world have committed to a cap on global temperature increase, around 1.5C by 2050.

The World Meteorological Organisation, however, says it is likely that temperatures will break this threshold over the next five years – about a 70 percent chance.

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