Trump’s Climate Hypocrisy
November 22, 2016
LONDON — When President-elect Donald J. Trumpmet with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present.
The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it.
The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage, the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, campaigned with Mr. Trump during the election. Arron Banks, an insurance executive who was a major financier of the Brexit campaign, was also in attendance.
“He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views,” said Andy Wigmore, the media consultant who was present at the meeting and was photographed with Mr. Trump.
In January 2014, he publicly wondered how the United States could be spending money to combat what, in his words, was a “GLOBAL WARMING HOAX.” In October, when Trump was bitten by the autumnal chill, the Republican presidential candidate snarked on Twitter that he could use “a big fat dose of global warming.” He told The Washington Post editorial board in March that he is “not a great believer in man-made climate change.”
But when it came to protecting his own investments from global warming’s effects, Trump canned the screaming capital letters and jokes. Instead, Trump wants to curtail climate change with a wall.
The Trump International Golf Links Ireland, a golf course by the sea in Ireland’s County Clare, faces the Atlantic’s pounding waves and coastal erosion. As Politico reported Monday, the Trump Organization has submitted a permit to build a sea wall, which cites rising sea levels from climate change as a threat. Not just any wall will do — one plan called for a limestone barricade 20 meters wide, what Friends of the Irish Environment’s Tony Lowes described to CNBC as a “monster sea wall” in March.
As part of the approval process to build the sea wall, Trump International Golf Links filed an environmental-impact statement. It includes specific concern for erosion, beyond one governmental study that did not take into account sea-level rise from climate change, according to Politico.
“If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland,” the application notes. “In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring.”