Trying to stifle your catastrophic levels of surprise, but Donald Trump has once again come across as a completely insane person regarding the very real, very immediate negative effects of climate change.
In an interview with the US version of 60 Minutes earlier this week, Trump explained that he no longer believes climate change to be a Chinese hoax but is of the mind that, while “something” is happening, it’s liable to just change back again. His big thing at the moment seems to be acknowledging that climate change is happening but in a way that’s trivial and is not at all worth addressing, which will definitely end up as one of the soundbites they use in future documentaries that explain how the earth became a lifeless ball of dust.
You would assume that Trump, the head of state of the world’s only superpower, would have his opinion on this informed by the reports and briefings available to him from some of the world’s foremost scientific organisations but, uh, no. That is not what informs his opinions. What informs his opinions is that the fact that his uncle — Dr John Trump — is a scientist.
Trump loves to bring up his uncle John (who passed away in 1985), as in this terrifyingly real example:
This is a sentence spoken by Trump, not a piece of modernist stream-of-consciousness pastiche. pic.twitter.com/vfhdKzg9Uy
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) August 9, 2016
So how does this influence from Uncle John manifest itself, you ask? I’ll let Trump explain it himself, in this interview he did with the Associated Press on Tuesday:
Trump: I mean, you know, I am a person that believes very, very strongly in the environment. I am truly an environmentalist. I know some people might not think of me as that, but I’m an environmentalist. Everything I want and everything I have is clean. Clean is very important — water, air. But I also want jobs for our country. And if we would have, as an example, entered certain agreements with other countries, I actually think that we’re doing it so they could have an economic advantage. Because we would have had a tremendous— we would have been at a tremendous economic disadvantage if we entered into certain agreements.
AP: But scientists say this is nearing a point where this can’t be reversed.
Trump: No, no. Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.
Having an uncle who was a scientist gave him a ‘natural instinct for science’? I think that’s what he’s saying? In addition, obviously, to how ‘clean’ (?) is very important.
In terms of that ‘both sides’ stuff, he’s technically right, but I’ll let NASA field this one:
Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.
We are absolutely fucked, happy hump day!Image: Getty Images / Win McNamee