Trump meets Al Gore, giving planet Earth brief cause for optimism

Donald Trump changes his mind a lot. Like, a hell of a lot. That’s a faint positive to cling on to for a lot of things, but especially for the man’s views on climate change.

Before running for president, Trump has a long history of climate denial. This isn’t the mainstream media spinning against him, as he so often likes to complain about, the evidence is there for you to see for yourself: here are 53 of his climate-sceptic tweets which he hasn’t bothered to delete, for starters.

Anyway, earlier this month in an on-the-record chat with The New York Times, Trump seemed to soften his tone to climate change. Having previously said he would “be renegotiating those [Paris] agreements at a minimum,” Trump told New York Times staff that “I have an open mind to it.” What’s more, he conceded that there may be “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

Baby steps, but that’s progress. Lest we forget:

and 52 more.

But this open mind has extended to a meeting with Al Gore, the former Democratic presidential nominee, who after losing to George W Bush in 2000, went on to become a prolific climate-change activist, releasing the movie An Inconvenient Truth to great acclaim.

We don’t know exactly what they talked about, but Gore himself seemed pretty positive, telling CNN:

“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground. I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”donald_trump_backs_down_on_climate_change

It does seem that Trump can be influenced by one-on-one convincing arguments – see how he went back on his pledge to repeal Obamacare after meeting the current president – but if that’s the case, his early appointments do not inspire confidence. He’s already put a man who runs a group “focused on dispelling the myths of global warming” in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team, and plans to scrap NASA’s climate research budget to kill “politicised science”.

I stick by what I wrote last time I covered Trump’s attitude to climate change:

“I can’t help feeling that Trump says whatever the audience he is in front of wants to hear at any given time – compare his speech when visiting Mexico to his previous comments about Mexican immigrants for example – and this will most likely be a simple nod towards climate change before doing very little about it.”

Even if Trump can be influenced by those around him, the people he’s planning on spending the most time with are not convinced that humans are affecting the Earth. And that’s bad news for those of us that have to share a planet with them.

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