I recently heard that Trump removed the “climate change” tab from the new White House website. Now to be perfectly honest, I don’t know anything about the old tab because I happen to get my climate science from other sources. Having said that, I was nonetheless interested to read what Trump’s new White House page had to say on the matter. I decided to give Trump a chance on this!
Rest assured, climate news wasn’t plastered on the homepage, but who would expect that anyways? With a quick scan I located the “Issues” tab. With climate change a number one issue, this sounded like a reasonable place to harbor the topic. Among the six topics listed, none actually read “climate change.” Fine, he called it a hoax in his campaign, so perhaps he’s being a bit soft or indirect on his website. There is at least an “America First Energy Plan” tab. He probably buried the issue there.
Let’s take a look at the Energy Plan. A quick word search for “climate” yields one result. Uh oh… But at least it’s mentioned! Let’s hear what the site has to say about it. I scroll to the word “climate.” It’s actually capitalized and followed by the words “Action Plan.” Wow, a Climate Action Plan!? I’m admittedly surprised. Maybe Trump will impress! Let’s read this Action Plan. Following the words to the start of the sentence, my excitement is short and any confidence gone. The full sentence reads as follows:
“President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”
Yes, the only reference to climate change on Trump’s White House website is in reference to dismantling climate policy. Wow. To be sure, I subsequently query the entire White House website. Not a single result for “climate change.” Simplifying my search to “climate” still only returns two new results. Neither of which have to do with climate change.
Reading the Energy Plan page in its entirety, we can gain some further insight about Trump’s interest in acting on climate change. After advocating for the increased production of natural gas and oil, it states:
“The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.”
Renewable energy technologies are not mentioned once on this entire webpage. The America First Energy Plan sounds more like the Fossil Fuel Industry First, America Last Energy Plan to me. America, the global leader, has decided to take a back seat on clean energy innovation and adoption. This is hardly the position of a leading nation. This combined with an absence of climate policy spells a very foreboding future for the United States and world. This morning I gave Trump a chance. By noon I was disappointed.
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Shahir Masri, Sc.D.
Environmental Health Scientist