Flooded car in parking lot. Photo via Flickr user waitscm/CC2.0
Throughout the world, the accepted science of climate change is no longer in dispute.
Every nation on earth has now signed the Paris Climate Treaty to develop plans to reduce the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
Only one plans to withdraw from that treaty: the United States of America.
Over the last year, the administration of President Donald Trump has appointed climate-science denialists to top posts and canceled the Clean Power Plan that required each state to work with electric utilities to develop customized plans to reduce or avert carbon emissions.
Trump has worked loudly and publicly to promote the use of coal—an effort notable for its almost complete failure to date—and will likely propose to roll back fuel-efficiency standards and emission limits on new vehicles.
Does the loud and public and repeated denial of basic science matter?
How much does it matter that top Trump officials deny climate science?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) February 19, 2018
Our latest poll asks our Twitter followers that question: How much does it matter that top Trump officials deny accepted climate science?
We offer the usual choice of four options, which range from "Enormously" to "Who cares?"
In a previous poll, one third of respondents suggested that the administration's actions on climate are "irrelevant."
Another third said those actions are "fighting the tide."
But the question here is more fundamental: How important is it that the U.S. government simply denies the global consensus that human actions have brought about major and unpredictable climate change?
Given the consistent misstatements, inaccuracies, and untruths that have emerged from both the president and members of this administration, how much does it matter that they are flying in the face of what virtually every other nation on earth accepts?
It's unclear whether the administration's efforts to allow new vehicles to burn more fuel and emit more carbon is related to its attitudes on climate science.
Those plans could be a reflection of the belief that any regulation for any reason is likely to interfere with the workings of a free market and hurt corporations and their profits.
But on the utility front, it's clear that pure economics are already working to cut carbon emissions, because natural gas and, more importantly, utility-scale renewable energy have become cost-competitive with coal.
That will require the transportation industry to accelerate its transition to plug-in electric cars, a global movement led not by the U.S. (which pioneered much of the technology) but by ... China.
As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically valid, due to small sample size and self-selection by those who choose to participate.
Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. We also ask that political discussions be restricted to the topic of the article they follow. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments on topic, civil, respectful, family-friendly, and fact-based.