The major climate news of the week was undoubtedly Donald Trump’s energy policy speech on May 26 in North Dakota. He offered a very different approach compared to that of President Obama and the even more radical proposed policies by the two Democratic Presidential candidates. Trump’s approach offers hope that the US may avoid the worst of the green energy nightmare which has infected parts of Western Europe, California, and most recently, Ontario, among others. This represents the first major ray of hope since the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which may have ended any real hope that the courts would block the US EPA power plant emissions regulations with the current Supreme Court justices.
Trump’s proposed policy includes the following: Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline; cancellation of the Paris climate protocol/treaty; withdrawal of the EPA power plant greenhouse gas regulations and probably others; market competition between various fuels; increased output of coal; US self-sufficiency in energy; a halt to funding to the UN on global warming; and opening of many more Federal lands to energy development.
I strongly support Trump’s energy policy and hope that it becomes official US Government policy. This is the first time that a major party candidate has so clearly stated an alternative to the alarmist climate viewpoints. The alternative offered by the two Democratic Presidential candidates is to make the EPA power plant regulations even more strict in the short run and to ban the use of all fossil fuels by the US in the longer run. The latter literally cannot be done without a huge setback to the US standard of living and without greatly decreasing US military effectiveness. If Trump’s policy should be implemented, the US will have dodged a major bullet at the last minute before major economic damage would have occurred.
The Need to Promote a Meaningful Dialogue with Environmental Groups
Unfortunately, that would not be the end of the major problem posed by the current “green” climate movement, but should greatly slow it in both the US and internationally. From a longer term viewpoint, what is needed is a reconciliation of the environmental movement’s views on environmental issues such as climate with those of their many critics, or if that is not possible, bringing much more widespread attention to the skeptic viewpoint than has occurred to date. I hope that Trump, if elected, can bring this about despite the great difficulty of doing so given that the alarmists have not been willing to even consider the skeptics’ viewpoints.
Virtually every institution that might be expected to provide an impartial analysis (such as major media, scientific societies, and the National Academy of Sciences) has gone firmly on record on the alarmist side, so the reconciliation would have to take place through the creation of a new institution such as a Presidential commission on major environmental issues. Under current circumstances climate alarmists simply ignore the skeptics and their views and accuse them of having sold out to allegedly evil fuel suppliers. A way must be found to open a useful dialogue if the open warfare that has characterized recent decades is to end and real environmental concerns are to be addressed without destroying the US economy.
Trump says that he wants to deal with real environmental issues, so perhaps such a commission should review the need for, benefits, and costs of various types of environmental improvements including climate. This should not prevent early action as outlined by Trump this week, but hopefully could be used to create the much needed dialogue. The environmental groups could not afford to boycott if they wanted to have any influence over the next four or even eight years should Trump be elected.