Monday, January 02, 2017

Donald Trump makes top Republican fear environmental future

By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst
2 January 2017

A leading US Republican says she fears for the future of her seven grandchildren with Donald Trump in the White House.

Christine Todd Whitman, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush, accused Mr Trump of ignoring compelling science.

And she warned that his threat to scrap climate protection policies puts the world's future at risk.

Trump supporters say rules on climate and energy are stifling business.

But Ms Todd Whitman says the US must find ways of promoting business without unduly harming the planet.


She said: "I find it very worrisome that there seems to be a disdain for the science on protecting the environment.

"I worry terribly for the future of my family and families round the world because Mother Nature has never observed geopolitical boundaries and what one country does really does affect another country.

"To walk away from something where you have 97% of scientists saying this is occurring and people have an impact on it … it's gotten to the point where we've got to try to slow it down if we're going to survive it."


She argued that Mr Trump was betraying a Republican heritage of conservation. George Bush Snr signed the UN Framework Convention in Rio in 1992. Abraham Lincoln, she remarked, was the first president to protect public land and Richard Nixon established the EPA.

"Conservation is inherently conservative," she said. "I hope to be proven wrong by Mr Trump but you have so many multi-millionaires from the oil industry in his Cabinet.


Mr Trump's picks for Cabinet posts have alarmed scientists. Several of them have cast doubt on climate science - although it is impossible to know exactly how they will act once in office.

The nominee for Energy Secretary is former Texas governor Rick Perry, who has in the past argued for the abolition of the department he is about to lead.

The choice for head of the EPA is Scott Pruitt, who wants to scrap the clean power programme which underpins America's pledge to the UN to curb CO2 emissions.

Mr Trump's pick for Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, head of oil giant Exxon Mobil, which is being investigated for allegedly misleading its shareholders over risks to the climate.


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