On Inauguration Day, I was in Washington, D.C., observing the festivities and protests. I had an interesting conversation on public transportation with three older women who had just attended the inaugural address, decked out in their “Make America Great Again” apparel. When I asked what excited them about this new administration, their answers ranged from vague suggestions of “more jobs,” and “a better economy,” to “unity for our country,” and “a clearer sense of American identity.”
I disagreed with much of what they said, but one thing stood out: on climate change, they insisted that the science on global warming was “still out” and they didn’t really accept it, but of course, “everyone wants clean air and clean water.”
I was shocked to hear President Trump reiterate the importance of clean air and water in his recent speech to Congress. His actions while in office show nothing but contempt for environmental regulations. It’s clear he intends to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and roll back federal environmental protections. But, like the women I spoke with, he still says clean air and clean water are important.
There is a disconnect between this administration’s politically convenient rhetoric, touting the ideals of clean air and water, and its disdain for environmental regulations. Furthermore, its appalling disregard for the scientific consensus that human activity is the cause of climate problems is dangerous and unsustainable.
Sooner or later this ideological house of cards built by the Trump administration will topple. It’s only a matter of time.