Saturday June 03, 2017

Trump ignores most of the world and all of the science

(Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

Listen 16:04

By now the world knows that U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. This, despite fierce opposition from many in the international and business communities, from within his own cabinet, and reportedly even from his daughter, Ivanka.

What does the decision mean for the rest of the world?  For Canada?  Dr. Catherine Potvin is Canada Research Chair on Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forests, at McGill University. 

Dr. Potvin is also actively involved in climate change conversations in this country and globally, and is the lead author of a new report commissioned by Natural Resources Canada. It's called Re-Energizing Canada: Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future. She shares her reaction to Trump's decision with Quirks & Quarks host, Bob McDonald. 

Illustration of global warming consquences

(Pixabay)

Despite the science that says action on climate change is as urgent as ever, Trump has plenty of support for his exit of the global accord, including from the Environmental Protection Agency's Administrator himself – Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt has been an outspoken opponent of the agreement. Not only does he not  believe carbon dioxide is the primary cause of global warming but he even stated "over the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming." 

It's be an understatement to say that the scientific community does not agree with those statements.

That's what led a few scientists, including Dr. Ben Santer, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientist (who spoke with Bob as a private citizen), to publish an official rebuttal to that claim about the satellite temperature data. He says contrary to what Pruitt says, the satellite temperature data shows a clear warming trend. His paper was published in Nature: Scientific ReportsTropospheric Warming Over The Past Two Decades