American experts in the environmental field have expressed their disagreement with President Donald Trump on his stance on climate change.
They say the president is wrong in his position that climate change is not real.
Dr Jay Banner who is Executive Director of the Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas told a meeting with journalists there is abundant evidence of the impact of climate change contrary to the president’s position.
“The president says he doesn’t believe (in climate change) but I don’t think it’s a matter of belief. You have to look at the best available data. There is a consensus of the scientific community…It’s not about believe,” he said.
“If the doctor tells you that you have cancer, are you going to say you don’t believe? You may seek other opinions…, but you can’t say you don’t believe,” Dr Banner added.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted claims by scientists that climate change is happening cannot be true. Almost a decade ago, he said in a tweet that global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
Earlier this year, he dismissed the Fourth Climate Assessment Report produced by more than 300 climate scientists and 13 government agencies in the USA which warned of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change. President Trump insisted he does not believe the observations of the scientists.
Dr Banner who is one of the scientists who produced the report says the president’s position is wrong. “I find it really curious when people deny climate change. They won’t deny other branches of science but we all use the same methods. We all use the scientific method. Including medical science. And you will never tell your doctor, you don’t buy it...,” Dr Banner said.
“I’m discouraged by this. But I think we have to remain optimistic because that is the only way that change would occur….,” he concluded.
Chairman of the Global Environment Technology Foundation Tom Harvey shares a similar position as Dr Banner.
“The position that our government has taken, personally, I think it’s wrong. I have always felt that we all need to work together to face the facts that we are learning every day about our world, our planet and our climate,” he told journalists who visited his office for a discussion on “creating a water-secure future” on the invitation of the Foreign Press Centers.
“And the science tells me as someone who has been working on these issues for 30 years that things are going to get very bad. And we have to address this. Because we are going to get to the point where we won’t be able to turn the table back…,” he said.
Dr Jay Banner addressing some journalist
The Fourth Climate Assessment report warned the world's temperature is rising and that climate change is “transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and natural systems.”
Mr Harvey says the consequences will be even more worrying across the world in the years ahead. “We are going to have countries that will have severe climate change… You are already looking at places with water stress like Capetown, Kenya, Bangladesh, India… They are having terrible heat and drought… And people are dying because of this every day,” he observed.
“It’s going to get worse folks. The climate is changing. And all of us must do everything we can to get ahead of this. This is going to be the challenge of our kids’ lifetime. It may not be us but our kids. That is what they are going to face and everything that goes with it,” Mr Harvey said.
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better. It doesn’t matter how much you believe or don’t believe,” he warned.
Two years ago, President Trump delivered on a campaign promise and announced the US is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord signed by all countries in the world to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the rise in the world’s temperature.
Mr Harvey says despite the government stance America is working on a daily basis to deal with climate change.
“When there is an official policy, that’s one thing. And we can’t do anything about it. But I am not in a dilemma because we keep working to do what is right. And there are many in the US government who is doing their jobs every day are doing what they believe is right,” he said.
“And never lose sight of the fact that policies come and go. But the planet is here and the people are always here. That is the stability that we will always have… So America is doing what we can. We will continue to do more….” he noted.
He is worried availability of clean, potable water for all is particularly being impacted negatively by the situation.
“The most important thing is that climate change impacts all of us regardless of who we are. And water is the front line of climate change. You either have too much or too little. Right place or wrong place. We all need to come together to deal with this,” he said.
When asked whether he thinks the American government’s position on climate change will vary anytime soon, he responded in the affirmative.
Research and Development Engineer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California – San Diego, Douglas Alden is also convinced there is no doubt climate change is happening. “Climate change is real. Tell the world that climate change is real,” he told journalists.
Asked why he hasn’t said that to the president, Mr Alden said; “if I get his ear, I will.”
“We all know it’s happening. We need to start addressing this now. The data is there…. Climate change is already impacting our environment and we need to do something about it,” he added.