Republican rhetoric, communist hoax and voter psychology; Geraldine Satre Buisson, a PhD student on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership at Imperial College London, looks across the pond at the United States’ attitudes towards climate change.
We’ve all seen the tweets. Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax created by China. It is often cited by those who are concerned with his administration’s position on climate change, but do Trump supporters really adhere to these views, and, crucially, how might their political persuasions lead them to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change?
The people who seem concerned may be justified: Trump’s campaign promises include the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the elimination of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (which, among other things, included steps to phase-out coal power plants) and the development of infrastructure for shale oil and gas. His first weeks in office have not provided much reassurance: his administration imposed a temporary media blackout to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and nominated a man who once described himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” to head said EPA, amid rumours that the agency could be abolished altogether.