On Thursday, President Donald Trump‘s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement was disappointing and unsettling to global leaders and most Americans, but it was hardly a surprise. Trump has previously called global warming a “hoax” pioneered by the Chinese, as well as “pseudoscience” and “bullsh*t.” The White House has consistently refused to answer whether or not the president believes climate change is real.
And yet just last year, Trump seemed receptive to the existence of climate change — when it meant protecting one of his golf courses.
In May 2016, then a Republican presidential candidate, Trump applied for a permit to construct a sea wall to protect one of his seaside golf courses from “global warming and its effects.”
“A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure.
The zoning application raises further questions about how the billionaire developer would confront a risk he has publicly minimized but that has been identified as a defining challenge of this era by world leaders, global industry and the American military. His public disavowal of climate science at the same time he moves to secure his own holdings against the effects of climate change also illustrates the conflict between his political rhetoric and the realities of running a business with seaside assets in the 21st century.”
At best, Trump has shrugged off the concept of global warming and at worst, denied it outright. And yet the threat of rising sea levels affecting his businesses reveals that he’s willing to take action on global warming — when it suits him.
— POLITICO (@politico) June 2, 2017
Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a human rights issue, as studies reveal its detriments to public health and global warming displaces communities around the world.
Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis, who advocates conservative solutions to climate change, has called Trump’s self-serving duplicity on the issue “diabolical.”
“Donald Trump is working to ensure his at-risk properties and his company is trying to figure out how to deal with sea level rise,” Inglis said in 2016. “Meanwhile, he’s saying things to audiences that he must know are not true. You have a soft place in your heart for people who are honestly ignorant, but people who are deceitful, that’s a different thing.”
Featured image via syracuse.com