For Donald Trump, climate change is just another way to divide America

Sign marking shale gas pipeline in Zelienople, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 17, 2019.


Australia’s raging infernos, like our Western wildfires and more devastating storms, prefigure a darker climate future for all of us without urgent action. But for President Donald Trump, the climate crisis is just another opportunity to stoke anger among the American people and further divide us.

Trump has undermined every climate protection possible, not out of any philosophical conviction about smaller government, but in large part to deliberately provoke outrage on the left, and then use the limelight to falsely portray climate-protecting policies to his base as a culture war waged by left-wing elitists against average voters.  

Earlier this month, it was a White House event where he announced proposals to weaken climate protections in the National Environmental Policy Act. In fact, NEPA could benefit from reasonable reforms — not the ones Trump proposes, but, for instance, allowing the siting of clean energy infrastructure needed to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions. But in Trump World, creating contempt for climate protection itself, like slurring immigrants or race-baiting rhetoric, is a key ingredient in the toxic stew of cultural resentment he pre-cooks in search of alienated voters hungry for scapegoats.


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