Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Trump says that a meeting with Prince Charles that was supposed to last for 15 minutes extended to an hour and a half conversation as the prince attempted to convince him of the reality of climate change.
Prince Charles may as well have saved his breath. There are nothing but squirrels running around inside Trump’s brain case and it should have been apparent some time ago to anyone bothering to look that Trump doesn’t change his mind based on rational and fact-based argumentation. Had Prince Charles offered to slap “Trump Tower” atop Buckingham Palace and pay a healthy licensing fee, the might have gotten some attention from the Trumpster.
Trump said, “I believe that there’s a change in weather and I think it changes both ways.”
No, it doesn’t.
Or let us back up and point out that weather is different from climate. Climate is a long term trend. It would be irrelevant if there were only a change in the weather. The weather changes every day. There is a change in the pattern of the weather over the long term.
The trend line is clear– it is going up, and up, and up. And while there are occasional variations– slightly colder years in between the ever warmer ones, the graph is not going back down, not for about 100,000 years.
The upward curve is driven by how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere. In 1750 before humankind had the bright idea of burning coal to boil water for the steam engine, there were about 270 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that had been typical of the Holocene era during which human civilization has developed. Today there are roughly 415 ppm of CO2 up there, because human beings have been very busy burning fossil fuels and releasing their carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas. When the sun’s rays strike the earth, they then radiate back out into space. But CO2 in the atmosphere sets up a barrier that stops the heat from escaping. So then it gets hotter and hotter.
Every time you fill up your tank with gasoline or fire up your gas stove, you are burning fossil fuels and putting CO2 into the atmosphere.
Trump said, “Don’t forget, it used to be called global warming, that wasn’t working, then it was called climate change, now it’s actually called extreme weather because with extreme weather you can’t miss…”
The shift to climate change from global warming was in part a Bush administration policy since the Bush team, headed by oil men, believed that “climate change” is less scary and would forestall a public panic on climate issues.
Scientists were happy enough with “climate change,” though, because it is a better description of the phenomenon day to day. Some parts of earth may get colder on the way to global heating.
“I don’t remember tornados in the United States to this extent but then when you look back 40 years ago we had the worst tornado binge we ever had. In the 1890s we had our worst hurricanes.”
Extreme weather just keeps increasing, like the average temperature of the earth’s surface.
Trump blamed other countries for their pollution levels (he doesn’t understand the difference between dirty air and warming air), including Russian and China, saying that the US has”the cleanest climates there are”.
Air in some US cities is cleaner now than before we put in the environmental regulations that Trump has systematically dismantled.
That has nothing to do with anything. The question is carbon dioxide emissions. While the US at some 5.4 metric tons of CO2 spewed annually into the atmosphere is not the worst offender among nations, it is one of the worst per capita, i.e. per person, annually. But it is also historically the largest single producer of greenhouse gases. Its air is very bad:
Everything Trump says about climate is wrong, and he is incorrigible. The squirrels running around in there prevent him from engaging in good faith with normal people about this issue.
As for the rest of us, we are being cooked by his policies, and our children will be drowned.
Trump said of Prince Charles, “He wants to make sure future generations have climate that is good climate as opposed to a disaster and I agree.”