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The Effect of Trump’s Win on Climate Change

Sarah Newman, Staff Writer

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To those who woke up on November 9th and heard the news, life will be forever changed. As the American people, we look for someone who will lead and help our country innovate and advance, but the voter turnout was extremely unexpected. Donald Trump will be our next president. Many things will change in 2017. But what does this mean for the environment?

In 2012, Donald Trump had made several comments regarding climate change, including the issue being a hoax. He also said it was created by China “in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” in his Twitter post on November 6th, 2012.

There has been extensive research proving the existence of climate change, so Trump’s claims mean little to much of the scientific community. But even if you haven’t studied how chlorofluorocarbons harm Earth’s ozone layer, one would be aware of the dramatic shifts in temperature just by being outside.

And how are the people reacting?

Some worry about what will become of the Paris Agreement, which President Obama signed for America to take part in to stop climate change. Interviewed by Carbon Brief and recorded on their website, carbonbrief.org, one researcher at the University of Melbourne and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said, “Trump won’t be able to withdraw from the Paris Agreement for three years (Article 28) now that it just entered into force – one of the world’s major success stories. A hostile Trump administration could, however, withdraw from the UNFCCC Convention and thereby also from the Paris Agreement indirectly.”

But President-elect Trump has his own views of the Paris Agreement. He called the Agreement a “bad idea”. Come January 20th, the day Trump will start being president, he will have the power to take the United States out of the deal. Although this may not seem too big a deal, it will damage the attempt to save the planet because we, America, are a big emitter of greenhouse gases.

In China, delegates are backlashing at Trump for claiming their country started the idea of climate change, which is completely understandable. Imagine if someone accused you of making up poverty, another real-world issue, just to get attention. In reality, it was the European Union (EU) and the U.S. who brought the concern of climate change to China’s attention. And it’s a good thing they did, since China is another one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, so China signed the Paris Agreement.

The future is uncertain. There’s no doubt about that. What will happen exactly? I can’t say. But don’t worry just yet. January 20th is still two months away. Things could change. People can change. Just remember: if you care so strongly about this world and the people you share it with, speak up because your voice matters. So maybe some of you out there couldn’t vote and decide the fate of this country, but there’s still time for change. I can guarantee this.

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School
The Effect of Trump’s Win on Climate Change