Actually, We Do Know Donald Trump's Stance on the Environment

The future of the planet shouldn't be a mystery.

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Though it wasn’t mentioned in a single presidential debate, climate change is the single most important issue facing the United States — and the world. So it’s disconcerting, to say the least, that President-elect Donald Trump says his stance on the environment is a big ol’ mystery that “nobody really knows.”

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Trump about his extremely mixed messages regarding climate change. On the one hand, Trump has met with famous climate change advocates like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, but on the other hand, he appears to be staffing his administration with deniers that he plucked right out of the fossil fuel industry’s pocket.

Trump has repeatedly called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese, but last month he told The New York Times that there’s “some” evidence that it’s real.

“So,” Wallace asked, “where are you on the environment?”

“I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows,” Trump said in response.

“Look, I’m somebody that gets it,” Trump continued, straight-faced. “And nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast.”

Donald Trump on the environment:  \_(ツ)_/¯

Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Wallace then asked Trump what he would do about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Paris Agreement. Trump dodged the question about the Dakota pipeline, but said that he was “studying” the Paris Agreement.

Now, Paris, I’m studying. I do say this — I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries. As you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement. I don’t want that to give China or other countries signing agreements and advantage over us.

Here’s the thing: We know exactly where Trump stands on the environment. He is an enemy of the environment. All his wishy-washy statements to the Times and starfucking with Leo aren’t worth anything if he staffs his administration with climate deniers and fossil fuel executives who have a vested interest in fighting any policies that might hurt their industry.

When Trump says “nobody really knows” his position on the environment, he’s talking about himself. Trump doesn’t care about the environment. What he does care about is going along with whoever he’s talking to in the room at that very moment — hence the meetings with Gore and slightly more encouraging statements to the Times and Fox News. He adopted a softer tone on climate change because he thought it would play better in the room. But, after he leaves that room, he’s headed to the Oval Office where he’ll be surrounded by climate change-denying goons.

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