WEF 2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement
If the survey of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only reflects the views of Americans but also echoes in almost all the developed countries.
The first person of the USA is probably the first person to be criticized at WEF2020 that too directly from the architect of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement – Christiana Figures. "How will he face himself? How will he face his children and grandchildren?" asked Figures who headed UNFCCC as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2016. He was also pitched against famed teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
In response, Trump hit back to climate activists by calling them 'prophets of doom' who are out to 'destroy our economy and wrest our country or eradicate our liberty'. "To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial profits of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers,". The climate activists have hardly spared any platform to flay the US President (POTUS) Donald Trump's decision to pull out of landmark Paris Agreement 2015 and its associated forums such as the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Conference of Parties (COP). In the same spirit, he is being flayed by climate activists in the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 at the Swiss Alpine town of Davos.
However, beyond these allegations and counter-allegations – there are some data to point towards Trump's confidence. This data is reflected in the WEF Survey released on the first day of WEF 2020. The survey on the perception of climate science in the global population is based on 10,501 respondents from 30 countries of the world. In this survey, 735 persons of the USA were selected as a sample while 315 respondents were representing neighboring Canada. These two countries are grouped under North America among the eight regions of the globe – North America, Latin America & Caribbean, East Asia, and Pacific, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe.
The data give an insight into the kind of confidence, POTUS Trump shows while flaying climate activists.
USA on 27th rank for trust on climate science
This could be the worst ever rank for the US in any thematic survey. The superpower has been ranked 27th among 30 countries of the world for trust in climate science. In the survey the respondents were asked a question – How much do you trust what scientists say about the environment? The respondents were classified into five categories.
According to the survey, 22 percent of the North Americans (the US and Canada) have a great deal of trust in climate science while 25 percent trust 'a lot'. Furthermore, 35 percent have a moderate amount of trust in climate science followed while 12 percent have a little trust. But, 6 have don't trust in climate science. The data shows that 47 percent of people trust climate science from 'a great deal' to 'a lot' while 18 percent either don't trust or trust a little. Furthermore, despite so much climate activism in 2019, there is almost no improvement in trust in climate science among Americans.
This is shocking for the US where people are highly educated. Surprisingly, the leading countries such as Japan and Russia have achieved 29th and 30th rank when it comes to trust on climate change.
In fact, no developed country is among the top 10 countries showing the highest trust in climate science. The top three ranks have been occupied by three South Asian countries – India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This data also throws light on why the G7, G8, and G20 countries do not care for climate science.
Economic Growth is Priority for Americans
In the survey, 67 percent of Americans either preferred economic growth over environmental protection or voted for equal treatment while only 33 percent said that environmental protection should be preferred over economic growth. The US has achieved 21st rank on approving the idea that 'protection of the environment should be given priority, even it slows down economic growth'. Surprisingly, Japan is at the bottom and Russia is on the 29th rank for approving the idea. However, 58 percent of Indians agreed to sacrifice their economic growth for protection of the environment.
Furthermore, the majority in every region blame human activity for global warming but over 30 percent of respondents in North America (the USA and Canada) blame it for natural patterns. Besides, 25 percent of respondents in North America, the Middle East, and East Asia and Pacific regions believe that the governments should always prioritize jobs and businesses over environmental protection.
Only 37 percent say yes to extra Taxes on Polluting businesses
Whether polluting businesses should be charged with extra taxes? In response to this question, only 37 percent of North Americans strongly favored the idea while another 28 percent approved it 'somewhat'. The idea was opposed by 10 percent while 25 percent were neutral.
Surprisingly, 55 percent of respondents in North America either like or were not concerned about plastic packaging while only 24 percent disliked it. When asked about their biggest concern on plastic, only 12 percent said it affects climate while 30 percent found it adversely affecting the ocean and marine life. Shockingly, 7 percent of people openly said they were not concerned about the plastic. This is highest across the eight regions where the percentage of people 'not concerned with plastic' ranges from merely 2 to 4 percent.
Climate Activists need to rethink
The findings of the WEF survey clearly shows that the decision of Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement 2015 is on the lines the opinions expressed by Americans in the survey. However, the good news is that Trump has is own policy and strategy to fight global warming by planting trees which is a line to the action points of the United Nations under SDG 13 for Climate Action.
In fact, the climate activists seem to have made a fundamental mistake of pressurizing the nations to follow the Paris Agreement and various other norms decided in COP. They need to redesign their strategy to connect with the people.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)
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