Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trump and Macron: A Climate Luddite and a Climate Leader

The Trump administration will go down in history for its assaults against environmental protections and eradication of climate action. Donald Trump's presidency has been a nightmare of Orwellian proportions so much so that it is a challenge to keep up with his malfeasance.

The Trump White House has an unprecedented aversion to science. Trump is the first president in modern history to be without a science advisor. The reason is simple, science exposes the highly destructive nature of his administration's policy positions. To further corroborate the point the Trump administration recently axed Nasa's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) that measures atmospheric greenhouse gases.

This is a logical extension of Trump's inept decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. It follows that Trump would want to kill scientific research programs that reveal the ignorance of this decision.

CMS is a $10 million per year project using satellites and aircraft to remotely track carbon dioxide and methane. Killing CMS will impact dozens of research projects. Under Trump the US has abandoned evidence based policy and relinquished its role as s world leader. Europe will likely fill the void. The EU already has one satellite-based carbon monitoring system in place and more are on the horizon.

Led by French president Emmanuel Macron Europe has emerged as a global climate leader. This was evident at the One Planet Summit late last year. In response to Trump's contempt for climate science, France awarded "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants to 18 researchers including 13 US climate scientists.

Macron has done what he could to council Trump on a range of issues including the urgency of climate action. In his address to Congress on Wednesday, April 25 Macron unflinchingly contradicted some of the central tenets of the Trump administration including environmental degradation and climate change.

Unsurprisingly Trump appears to be impervious to good counsel. His administration officially canceled the CMS program shortly after Macron's visit to the US in April.

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