A question that has been bothering me for a long time and that I would love to get a meaningful answer to is: how can the vast number of Republican politicians, now including President-elect Donald Trump, be in such denial about climate change, in view of the following:
* ALL of the 195 nations at the December 2015 Paris climate change conference agreed, based on the recommendations of their science advisors, that immediate steps must be taken to combat climate change, and almost all of these nations set up national plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Trump will be the only national leader who is in denial bout climate change, with the power to reverse recent gains in reducing climate change, making it far more difficult to avert a climate catastrophe.
* Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals agree that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
* Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 18 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2016 is the warmest year globally since 1880 when temperature records were first kept, breaking the record held before by 2015 and before then by 2014, meaning we now have had three consecutive years of record temperatures..
* Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections. This has caused a rise in oceans worldwide with the potential for major flooding. Already coastal cities, including Miami, Florida, are experiencing flooding, even on clear days, due to tidal surges.
*. There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods. Seems to be stories about this almost daily in the media. Of course there have always been such severe climate events, but now they are occurring far more often.
* California has been subjected to so many severe climate events (heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and mudslides when heavy rains occur) recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
* Many climate experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
* While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 – 3 ppm per year. This is roughly analogous to a person with a dangerously high cholesterol level who continues dietary and other lifestyle habits that continue to increase the cholesterol level.
* While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 6 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events, perhaps resulting in the end of humanity.
* The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
* The conservative group ConservAmerica (www.ConservAmerica.org), formerly known as ‘Republicans for Environmental Protection,’ is very concerned about climate change threats. They are working to end the denial about climate threats and the urgency of working to avert them on the part of the vast majority of Republicans, but so far with very limited success.
Since the fate of humanity is at stake, I would love to get answers as to how the views of Donald J. Trump and other Republican politicians can be so far from the climate realities mentioned above. Please help me understand.