Trump has made his climate position clear since the days of the campaign trail in 2016. He’ll help big coal and roll back environmental regulations set forth by the EPA. All the while, he’ll tell Americans he’s dedicated to fighting for a cleaner environment. But Americans aren’t stupid. They’ve noticed, and the latest Washington Post-ABC polls reached an unflattering conclusion:
62% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s climate position. Here are four of the biggest reasons this is the case.
Trump’s Hypocrisy Won’t Fool Voters
The Rising previously reported on Trump’s 84 EPA rollbacks, ranging from pulling America from the Paris Agreement to repealing rules for coal companies to dump rubbish into rivers. This makes sense though: one of Trump’s lofty promises is to save big coal, one that received its fair share of backlash.
Though Trump said Monday that he would work hard to fight for a cleaner environment, his method of criticism of AOC’s GND and more importantly, his EPA rollbacks, tell a different story.
All the while, Trump touted his climate victories ahead of his bid for re-election. His hypocrisy hasn’t gone unnoticed though. Earth.com staff writer Kay Vandette called Trump’s actions “greenwashing.”
If so, the WaPo-ABC poll shows that Trump’s efforts to convince the electorate he actually cares about the environment are futile.
Concern for the Environment Growing Rapidly
AOC’s Green New Deal has brought the discussion of climate into the mainstream, and since then, concern for the environment has grown rapidly. Presidential candidates have obviously taken notice. (Just take a look at what Inslee, Warren, Booker, and O’Rourke are doing.)
Polls back this idea too. According to a recent CNN poll, 82% of young Democratic voters see climate change as a top priority. Though most outlets are taking the chance to report on the meager 7 minutes climate got in the first Democratic debates, that’s already more than the topic got in the entire last election cycle.
The growing concern for the environment isn’t entirely unique to the left either. Almost a third of Republicans believe that the environment needs to be a top priority, according to a Pew Research survey done in early 2019.
Altogether, the appetite for climate policy has gone way up in the last 8 years, according to figures by Pew, as shown.
Most Americans Aren’t Buying Trump’s Man-Made Climate Change Denial
In 2016, Trump went ahead to call climate change a hoax. Though he no longer believes what he said just over three years ago, he wouldn’t conclude that climate change is man-made (as recent as October 2018).
This stance is deeply unpopular, both among scientists and the electorate. NASA reported:
“Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived “forcing” of climate change.”
Yale University found through a 2018 survey that a majority believe climate change is caused “mostly by human activity.”
Whether or not Trump actually denies climate change is a result of human activity seems irrelevant to the electorate, particularly given his history with big oil and gas.
As climate policy becomes an increasingly big deal for voters in 2020, Trump’s audience-pandering won’t go without criticism. Voters are more aware of greenwashing efforts than ever before and even if they aren’t vocal about it, poll statistics will more than do the talking.