Uncertainty abounds on what President-elect Donald Trump will do next, but climate change scientists may be more concerned than most.
As a new administration heads to the White House, scientists around the nation are wondering aloud if they’ll continue to enjoy the same level of federal funding and support.
Trump has called climate change a hoax, and that worries Elizabeth Arnold, founder of the Philadelphia environmental-justice group EDGE.
“People across the disciplines are especially worried about climate change — and what this is going to mean for climate change — because some of the other areas of science and health funding aren’t as political, and probably aren’t as threatened,” Arnold.
If the new president decides to cut funding or pull back support for international agreements designed to slow global warming, Arnold said, his decisions could give activists a roadmap as they ask private foundations to fill the void.
Sam Bernhardt, a senior organizer with the Food & Water Watch, said Trump’s victory should be a wake-up call for candidates who take a “politically pragmatic” stance on climate.
Lukewarm actions don’t motivate voters to show up on Election Day, he said.
“We hope that this is a real moment for both parties, but especially the one that lost, to realize that they need to do some real work figuring out what positions the people actually want them to take,” Bernhardt said.
Many will be watching to see what the Environmental Protection Agency does as an indicator of Trump’s policy on climate change.