If we are to believe the mixed messages (true and false media?) that are emerging from Trump Pre-Presidential HQ, the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world is planning to pull out of Climate Change talks, renegotiate trade agreements to a more self-serving and introspective focus, strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its powers and functions, and reverse all of the environmental statutes and Presidential Executive Orders issued by President Obama. There are a few other issues like building Mexican walls and deporting millions of aliens but I’ll leave discussion of those for another time…..

The USA has for a long time, resisted any committed involvement to Climate Change mitigation. That is until a visionary President Obama used his influence and Presidential Executive Orders, despite his limited influence over the Republicans in the Congress, to get the USA involved and engaged in reducing carbon emissions. It is ironic that once President-elect Trump announced his intent to pull out of Climate Change commitments made in Paris recently (Oh, and by the way, Trump said in a tweet, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”), it was the Chinese (yes, those same polluting Chinese who finally committed to carbon reduction) who called for the Americans to stay with their Climate Change commitments.

There seem to be two main schools of thought about the new Trump dynasty. The first school of thought says let’s give him a chance. He’s new, he has to find his feet and understand that there are limits in life to everything. What we want is not necessarily what we can get and that he will have to reshape his commitments to the practicalities of life and the broader issues that will hopefully benefit all Americans, not just Republicans….and maybe the rest of the world might also appreciate a few crumbs…..

The other school of thought seems to suggest that Trump is a narcissist, aggressive, a proven liar, propagandist, misogynist and cannot be trusted. Some folk have suggested that, in the same way that a leopard cannot change its spots, Trump will not change what he is and how he works. The question to be asked is, are these characteristics that should be key to one of the most influential political leaders in the world? What example does this set?

The question to be asked is, can a successful businessman use his operating methods to become a successful President? I think the first six months will give us a good idea of how President Trump is going to run his four year presidency. It is fairly clear that the USA is going to see some serious reversals of sound environmental management as key environment laws covering water air, and soil  are emasculated, weakened or removed. For a country that depends upon groundwater for much of its potable water supplies, that could become a serious problem for the USA. One reads daily of the growing impacts of air pollution of populations around the world and the USA is no different. Is the glass half full or half empty? Whichever way you see it, the change is unlikely to be palatable or beneficial.

Arend Hoogervorst

Editor: Practical Environmental Options

Managing Partner: Eagle Environmental