Trump vs. Clinton: Climate Change Climate change has fast become the greatest threat to humankind in the foreseeable future.
The possible threat it poses to the survival of humankind, and the planet has grown exponentially as technology has increased. Scientists have assured the public that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as power plants, vehicle emissions, and oil drilling. Global climate change has already presented obvious effects on the environment.
Glaciers are shrinking, ice on rivers and lakes are breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted, and trees are flowering sooner. Without direct action taken against the continuation of global warming, these effects will continue to grow more and more extreme. While this threat to the human population should be one of the main focuses in the recent presidential debates, it has been rarely brought up, and the candidate’s plans have been explored even less.
Hillary Clinton’s approach to the climate change debacle, while seemingly inadequate, is taking the most steps that a president can take without the support of congress. She plans to tighten fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, plug methane leaks from natural gas infrastructures, and defend President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was announced on August 3, 2015, to reduce the carbon pollution from power plants, which are the top carbon emitters in the country. If Hillary Clinton were to withhold this plan there would be significant cuts to power plant carbon pollution and the pollutants that cause the soot and smog that harm health while advancing clean energy innovation, development, and deployment, and laying the foundation for the long-term strategy needed to tackle the threat of climate change.
Her overall goal to cut United States emissions 26-28% below the 2005 levels by 2025 could be achieved by her proposed plan to slowly cut United States emissions over time. If the Democrat numbers in Congress and the House of Representatives rise, her plans could feasibly increase to do more for the betterment of the planet.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no plan whatsoever to address climate change. He does not believe in its existence and instead believes it to be a hoax created by the Chinese. Trump stated in a 2012 tweet that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” If he were to become the president of the United States he has proposed to do almost the exact opposite of Clinton’s plan.
He wants to remove the United States from the Paris climate deal, which he technically could do because of its non-binding nature. He also stated that he would undo CO2 regulations such as Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and allow an increase in oil and natural gas drilling on public land, which would result in an overall increase in United States emissions.
With the science backing it, and the very real threats that have become more and more present in the real world, there is one clear candidate choice when it comes to the climate change debate. While Clinton wants to continually chip away at the enormous mountain of a climate problem in the hopes of getting it within a reasonable range, Trump believes that it is fine how it is, and could even stand to be greater, and therefore more dangerous. Without a clear, concise plan of action to handle this growing threat, the issue may become irreparable, and therefore lead to a greater decline in the state of our world as a whole.