The President-elect's opinions on climate change are, like many of his public views, muddled to say the least.
Throughout his presidential campaign, he repeated claims that it was a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, that he would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and reopen coal mines to stimulate jobs. But soon after his victory, he appeared to temper his views during a discussion with New York Times journalists, stating that he was keeping an “open mind” on the subject. That was until Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, told Fox News that the President-elect's default position on climate change was that most of it is “a bunch of bunk."
Conversely, Trump's daughter Ivanka has claimed climate change will be one of her "signature issues" when her father moves into the White House – though no one knows yet what capacity or role, if any, she will fill. This whole mess of confusion means it is basically impossible to second-guess Trump’s real thoughts on the issue, which is no doubt his plan. But it means that many climate scientists and environmentalist are now on edge.
This is not, however, the time to throw our hands up in despair. “We need to remember that despair is just another form of denial,” Gore said. “I am incredibly optimistic about the climate action happening around the world today. We’ve made incredible progress as a global community in the last 10 years.” Governments are listening, Gore explains, and they are taking action.
Only yesterday Gore ascended in the gold lift of Trump Towers to meet with the President-elect himself, which he described as a “very productive session.” The fact that Trump is even giving time to such a prominent climate figurehead is certainly a good sign. “It was a sincere search for areas of common ground... I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that,” Gore told the press.
Businesses and industry are starting to realize that there is a shift to a green energy economy. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock