Climate change is a core issue many American voters this year are considering as they elect our next president. It is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly, as time is running out to stop climate change. President Trump and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden both have different views on climate change: Trump does not believe in climate change and does not have any plans to combat this issue, while Biden acknowledges that climate change is a problem.
In 2018, when President Trump was asked about the findings of the economic impact climate change has, he said, “I don’t believe it.”
President Trump also has been known to call climate change “a hoax;” however, he also has stated that “the environment is very important to [him],” and he “wants the cleanest water on the planet.”
President Trump has gone between these two opinions, however, and has not done anything to protect our environment; instead, during his presidency, he removed countless environmental protection laws, such as Obama-era Clean Water Protections and other environmental policies.
When asked about the wildfires in California, President Trump blamed climate change and said, “It’ll just start getting cooler, you just watch,” going against climate change science.
Professor Michael Gerard, an environmental law professor at the University of Columbia said, “He doesn’t really understand what climate change is about.”
Mason Hagen, ‘23 and a member of Earth Club at MHS, said that, “During his presidency, Trump hasn’t made any positive strides to protect the environment and has dismissed it as either a not a threat or outright non-existent. He does not support renewable energy because he fears that the amount of jobs lost in fossil fuel industries would be too large. I am not aware of any changes to his strategy in the 2020-24 term if he were to be re-elected. I am fearful that if he becomes president again, America will not be able to progress in environmental protection efforts until it will no longer matter.”
Biden, on the other hand, believes in climate change but claims to not support the Green New Deal–he instead plans to put forward the Biden Plan. However, there has been some controversy with this issue since Biden’s website conflicts with this statement, saying that Biden does in fact support the Green New Deal. This plan is a two trillion dollar plan to build a renewable energy infrastructure.
Most of Biden’s climate change action comes from his time serving as Vice President, as well as his involvement in the Senate. As a senator, Biden introduced the Global Climate Protection act and co-sponsored the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1998.
Biden has also stated that, “I want young climate activists, young people everywhere, to know: I see you. I hear you. I understand the urgency, and together we can get this done.”
Biden’s plan to combat climate change mostly involves restoring policies President Trump has undone by increasing taxes.
Member of Earth Club Addison Dieterle, ‘23, said that, “Biden does acknowledge [climate change’s] existence and would like to work towards lessening its severity; however, I do not believe it is his primary concern.”
Our future president should make the climate change issue a top priority; time is running out, and we need to do something fast to combat the issue of climate change.
Member of MHS Earth Club Carmen Kytonen, ‘22, said, “If we don’t collectively work together on this now, we will soon be entering the point of irreversible damage.”