Fresh from the latest disasters on Brexit, surely the last thing the UK needs is a state visit from the world’s provocateur-in-chief, Donald Trump.
Trump’s position on Brexit — bring it on — may be divisive, but his denialist and pro-coal view on global heating and the climate crisis is even more extreme and makes him particularly unwelcome at this moment in Britain.
The British parliament declared a ‘climate emergency’ in May, while a day later the government’s chief advisory committee on climate change recommended that the UK should aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
During the previous month, protesters from Extinction Rebellion took over strategic points in central London for several days to demand even tougher action to combat the climate crisis. A simultaneous visit by the teenage Swedish climate school striker Greta Thunberg saw politicians from across the political spectrum vying to declare their support.
As part of the global climate school strike movement, the UK has now seen several day-long protests by tens of thousands of schoolchildren, who argue convincingly that their futures are imperiled by the world’s dithering in the face of the climate emergency.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, mocks renewable energy, brags about the US once again being the world’s largest producer of oil, and tries to resuscitate America’s ailing coal industry.
His decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accords left America embarrassingly isolated. Even the last hold-out — war-torn Syria — decided to sign the agreement in November 2017, leaving Trump’s America in a minority of one. [Continue reading…]