Dr Julia Meaton

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 16:31:00 GMT

The Centre for Sustainability and Resilient Communities researcher, Dr Julia Meaton...

...on climate change and America's defiance in believing it.

Dr Julia Meaton, in the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities at  the University’s Business School, comments on the BBC News article which talks about how temperature data for 2016 is likely to have edged ahead of 2015 as the world’s warmest year and America’s defiance in believing in the science of climate change. 

“America has an important role in the global effort to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees. America is the second highest emitter of CO2 emissions, second to China.

However the US has never been a team player in this ‘game’ and has been largely defensive and laggard in responding to previous global agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol. With the inauguration of a new President previous hesitancy and dragging of the feet is likely to be eclipsed given Trump’s own climate sceptism and his tweeted belief that it was ‘created by the Chinese’. His appointment of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, his proposed attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and the new guy at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt,  are all climate change deniers, wedded to the fossil fuel industry.

Trump’s push to make America great again by revitalising the coal industry and his declared wish to scupper the Paris Agreement are unlikely to change in the face of evidence. Any reality that gets in the way of Trump’s reactionary and flawed agenda will surely be branded as ‘fake news’.

Our only hope is that the real business leaders of America will see that job creation and economic growth will only be generated by new sustainable energy technologies. Whether they can succeed in the face of political and economic barriers is questionable. If not, America, and sadly, the rest of the world, will find out too late the value of scientific fact.”

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