Potential future President Donald Trump has been publicly dismissive of climate change; recently appointing a known climate change denier to head up his energy policy team. But behind the scenes, Trump may have more to fear from climate change than most.
According to Ruth Sherlock at the Telegraph, Trump has been particularly vexed by the impact of sea level rise on one of his multi-million dollar golf resorts:
“Mr Trump bought the golf resort in County Clare, Ireland in February 2014, promising invest up to €45 million (£35 million) in the property. He said he would ‘make it one of the greatest golf courses in the world’… But before he could even close the deal a single storm eroded as much as eight metres of valuable golfing terrain.”
Far from dismissing climate change, Trump has applied for a permit to build a two-mile flood barrier comprised of more than 200,000 tons of rock to protect his investment:
“The permit request explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather — as a primary reason for building the structure. The petition cited one Irish government study that assumed a steady rate of erosion through to 2050, but argued that this did not go far enough because it failed to consider the effects of climate change.”
There is an old saying that you should judge a person by their actions rather than their words. By his actions – at least when it comes to protecting his own interests – Trump clearly views climate change as a growing threat. By his words, however, he appears not to want to mitigate the threat of climate change for the rest of humanity.