In a long speech in front of many American flags, billionaire Donald Trump announced Tuesday he was throwing his hat in the already-crowded ring for the Republican presidential nomination.
He did not talk about climate change or national energy policy beyond reiterating his longstanding position that America should take Iraq’s oil to “pay ourselves back.” He also said “Saudi Arabia is in big, big trouble now, thanks to fracking and other things — the oil is all over the place.”
Should Trump be elected president, he will not only take over the executive branch of the United States federal government — he will also take over the president’s official twitter account, @POTUS. For a preview of what that might look like for his theoretical constituents who are interested in President Trump’s views on climate change, he has made those views clear with his personal twitter feed, @realDonaldTrump.
Though he will often tweet links to articles that cast doubt on the reality of climate change, and call it a hoax himself, the lion’s share of his tweets that mention global warming have to do with snow and cold weather.
Since he began tweeting about the topic in November 2011, a comprehensive count reveals Trump has used complaints about cold weather to doubt or attempt to refute climate change 31 times. He has used cold weather and unexpected (or unwanted) snowfall to do so eight times, and tweeted five times solely about snow to refute mainstream climate science. In total, the business magnate tweeted 44 times, mostly in the winter, about how mainstream climate science was a joke because it was cold and/or snowy.
As ClimateProgress has reported many times in the past, freezing temperatures in America in the winter do not disprove global climate change. In 2010, Trump said that cold weather records meant that Al Gore should have to return his Nobel Prize.
Trump actually has blamed the Chinese for the “concept of global warming,” which is patently false.
He has also criticized the White House for “the billions it pissed away on ‘green energy’ failures.” He tweeted at President Obama’s personal Twitter account in 2011, telling him that “the EPA is an impediment to both growth and jobs.”
In a phrase, Trump’s approach to domestic energy policy is “frack now and frack fast.” He discounts negative impacts of natural gas, oil, and coal, yet in 2012 tweeted that “windmills are destroying every country they touch — and the energy is unreliable and terrible.”
Trump has had a vendetta against wind energy going back to when he began to fight the planned construction of an offshore wind array in Scotland he said would impact the views from a golf course he was building. In 2012, he said that Scotland would go broke if they built the array while losing tourism to Ireland. “I am a world class expert in tourism,” he said.
Last week, Trump was in Scotland, opening the golf clubhouse in Aberdeenshire that had been so endangered by the proposed wind farm. Trump had just suffered another legal defeat the previous week, as a court in Edinburgh dismissed his complaint over the wind project’s approval. In response, he said he could sell the resort once the turbines were installed.
What should Americans who want to think about environmental issues do instead? Trump says they should focus on “clean and beautiful air.”
Trump joins a Republican presidential field already well-populated by politicians skeptical of climate action. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) compared his climate denial to the intellectual bravery of Galileo. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) risks alienating a key voting bloc that overwhelmingly supports acting on climate change. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said he was more qualified to talk about climate change than the pope is. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) compared global warming to “sunburn.” Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has said “we may be cooling.” Sen. Rand Paul has said he’s “not sure anybody exactly knows why” climate change is happening. Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) doesn’t seem certain which climate denier trope he will settle on. Former Gov. Jeb Bush has said people who accept mainstream climate science are “arrogant.”
Trump may actually fit right in.