What Trump's climate change denial means for Canada

by Gryphon_guelph on November 25, 2016 - 11:06pm


What Trump's climate change denial means for Canada

The recent Election of Donald J. Trump has caused immense concern for American environmentalists in the past few weeks. Around the world there have been protests and outrage, but what is really in store for Canada under this new president? Julian Uzielli and Kristin Nelson investigated what President Trump’s policies will mean for progress in environmental management in Canada. Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall has already come out with a statement decrying the newly announced carbon taxes that will be imposed on the provinces. His argument emphasized the potential losses Canada might face now that America, our biggest competition as well as export market, will assuredly not be following a similar policy. Though evidence that this will affect Canada’s overall economic competitiveness and wellbeing was not given.

 Industries across the world are expected to push back against carbon taxes, in favour of different (and assuredly less stringent) policies. Experts believe that the best way forward will be to ensure that citizens who are being disproportionately affected by the new carbon tax and its implications need to be heard for environmentalism to have a future. Donald Trump won the election by speaking to those voters, and it is time to include them in the decisions that will guide policy in the future. The article suggests that social and environmental justice must be pursued in tandem if there is any hope for Canadians and Americans to be in agreement with carbon taxes and other instruments of environmental protection.

The article illustrates the prevalence of climate change denial. It is so rampant, now even the president of one of the world’s powerhouse aligns himself with this ideology. This fact brings up an important issue in climate change studies currently: the idea of how scientists can communicate both uncertainty and urgency. Scientists when publishing their work, do so within margin of certainty. However, this does not translate to the public easily state actors like President Trump then point to this uncertainty and sway the public’s opinion. This is an especially concerning idea as the state is arguably the most important actor in resource management.

A state’s power, (defined as the regime that presides and holds power over a sovereign or defined territory) at its essence derived from ‘the state’s’ perceived ability to manage, bind, hold tenure over, and exclude others from resources. It is taken as a given that states should take care of the environment, and some countries even have the right to a clean environment entrenched in their constitutions as a necessity for the state to provide. With new President Trump and his same-party senate being in power, this could be disastrous for the future of sustainable resource use in the United States, and possibly create an exploitative culture around the globe.

Though the state is often seen as holding onto their power over resources, it is ultimately the people who can demand certain action from the state, for it is the people’s belief in state power over resources that allows the state to maintain control. It is time for us to demand that Canada not fall into the resource- exploitation disarray that may eclipse America. It is also time for specific states to step up and create strong policies to ensure a clean environment and resiliency to climate change, even if their president does not believe human induced climate change exists. 


I love the currentness of this article! You are 100% correct by writing about the devastation that Donald Trump could have on the state of the environment due to his ignorance of climate change. Some of the ideas and words that Trump has expressed, as described in your blog, is just insane. Isn't that how his whole campaign was run; by insanity? With the jokes aside I do believe the harsh words and ignorance can not be as bad as it seems by your article. We all need to remember Trumps administration must represent the people, and you can not tell me that there isn't some kind of worry about climate change in the majority of people. And there are other actors that are directly involved that are active in fighting climate change. As long as these members speak up and push, the problem can't be ignored could it?

In this article by the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/donald-trump-climate-chang..., they outline that Trump can pull from the United States Paris Agreement, but other environmental policies and doings are not so easy to walk away from. He has to represent the U.S. accordingly, and does not have absolute power over the nation.

I enjoyed reading your post! It is definitely a current and popular topic being discussed as the United Stated presidential elections recently passed. The newly elected president has made it clear that he will not be the most climate-friendly president. As you have stated, Canada’s new carbon tax could present a problem in terms of competition with the United States. Brad Wall has stated that the election result means that Canadians will not be seeing a carbon tax in the U.S. anytime soon. Trump has stated that there will be no carbon tax as well as a reduction in the business tax rate. This double whammy could present a serious problem for Canadian businesses, as the U.S. is our biggest competitor for investment and jobs. Canadians are worried that with the new carbon tax, there is no way that businesses can remain competitive.

As stated in this Global and Mail article, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trump-win-doesnt-change-nee..., Trump is a climate change denier, who has vowed to pull Washington out of the landmark Paris climate record, eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has pledged to promote the exploration and development of oil, gas and even coal. This will have detrimental effects for climate change all over the world. Trump is expected to reverse the many green initiatives launched under Present Obama. President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project whereas Trump has stated that he will approve the project if America gets a chunk of the profits. The state is the main entity in charge of natural resource management. Therefore, it is very worrying not only for Canada but also for countries all over the world that the new leader of the United States is a climate change denier.

Nice post, I also wrote a post about Donald Trump, because it is such a relevant topic.

Trump panders to emotion, instead of using rational arguments. Trump is a demagogue. This is how he won, he has no basis, but he looks like a good option to middle class white America. This is why he can deny climate change, and say it is a hoax created by China (read 'China' in Trump's voice). This is why he is gutting the EPA, and putting a climate change denying economist in charge. This is why he is going to cut funding to NASA's earth science projects, which gives us valuable earth imagery (which helps us evaluate where valuable natural resources may be). He says things that make him look good even though they may not be true. Think about things like the recent developments with Carrier in Indiana, where Trump wanted to save 1300 American jobs from going to Mexico. However, Carrier is still sending 1300 jobs to Mexico, and now Indiana taxpayers are on the hook for $7 million to pay for tax breaks that Carrier receives for keeping some jobs in the US. Oh, and Carrier made a $7.6 billion profit last year.

Trump can ignore facts, and his followers will listen because he hits them right in the emotions. We have never seen the likes of a 'Donald Trump' in such power before. Obviously we have seen dictators before, but we have never seen such an unqualified person leading the largest economy in the world.

Fun interesting articles where I get my info, also for a good laugh browse through his Twitter: