It is now abundantly clear that the Trump administration in the U.S. is staffed with climate-science denialists and committed promoters for the greater extraction, sale, and combustion of fossil fuels.
That includes coal, the dirtiest major fossil fuel of them all, with the highest emissions of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour when used to generate electricity.
Under administrator Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency—charged with protecting the nation's air, land, and water from pollution—has ended scores of regulations intended to prevent, lessen, and mitigate that very pollution.
Pruitt canceled the Clean Power Plan that required each state to work with electric utilities to develop customized plans to reduce or avert the carbon emissions that contribute to manmade global warming.
Meanwhile, Trump has worked loudly and publicly to promote the use of coal—an effort notable for its almost complete failure to date—and the NHTSA seems likely to roll back fuel-efficiency standards and weaken emission limits on new vehicles.
How much does the Trump administration's 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
We asked that question in last week's Twitter poll, and the answer came through loud and clear.
It matters a lot.
Close to two-thirds of the respondents (64 percent) said the denial of basic and accepted climate science by Trump and his top appointees matters "enormously."
The other three choices—"Somewhat," "Not Much," and "Who cares?"—each received 11 to 13 percent of the votes.
While denying basic climate science matters greatly, an earlier survey (with different respondents) suggested that the administration's efforts to end pollution rules and permit greater carbon-dioxide emissions may not have much effect.
Between them, two-thirds of the respondents to that poll said those efforts were either "irrelevant" (34 percent) or "fighting the tide" (32 percent).
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As for global efforts to address climate change—presumably by limiting CO2 emissions and moving wholesale to renewable energy for power generation, transportation, and most other uses—survey respondents appeared at least somewhat optimistic.
Four out of 10 respondents to that poll (again, a different group) said they weren't sure, but were hopeful that such efforts would work.
Participants in our various polls appear to conclude, then, that while the Trump administration's disregard of and contempt for scientific analysis is damaging, their efforts to end U.S. effort to attack climate change and promote more fossil-fuel use may not in the end succeed.
The damage to the functioning of the EPA and its scientific research, not to mention general environmental stewardship, may take considerable to clean up in a post-Trump administration.
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.