Trump State of the Union speech: what climate change experts say

(The Guardian, 6 Feb 2019) Top scientists condemn State of the Union address and say future presidents must confront climate change as urgent priority.

A climate scientist and a former government expert in the audience for Donald Trump’s annual address to Congress said this will probably be the last administration that can forgo talking about climate change in the State of the Union speech.

Trump did not mention rising temperatures or extreme weather, although he did tout the country’s status as the top producer of oil and gas and boast about how quickly his officials have moved to cut regulations.

Lisa Graumlich, the dean of the environment college at the University of Washington, attended the State of the Union address as a guest of the Washington congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

“I have been doing research on climate change since the 1970s, and it always seemed very far away in time and space. It was something that was going to happen when people’s grandchildren were alive. And that has changed,” Graumlich said. “I don’t think that future presidents will find themselves in this position, because people are feeling the effects of climate change.”

Joel Clement, who resigned from the interior department because he said the administration was muzzling scientists and ignoring climate change effects on vulnerable communities, now works with the Union of Concerned Scientists. He was invited by the Maine congressman Chellie Pingree.

“The Trump administration’s strategy is to ignore climate change and pretend it doesn’t exist and pretend the science doesn’t exist even if it’s coming from its own agencies,” Clement said. “To not say anything about it is just ignorance, and it’s irresponsible.”

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The Guardian, 6 Feb 2019: Trump State of the Union speech: what climate change experts say