MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Early in his campaign, then presidential candidate Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t believe there is a dangerous climate change underway.
“Global warming, a lot of it’s a hoax, a hoax!” Trump declared on one campaign stop.
He joked about it in New York on a chilly day in April.
“We need some global warming. It’s freezing!” Trump shouted to a friendly crowd.
Tuesday, President Trump continued to follow through on campaign promises to get rid of environmental regulations that he says put American businesses on an uneven playing field with the rest of the world, and cost U.S. jobs.
“You’re going back to work,” Trump told a group of coal miners at the White House as he signed an order killing a host of environmental regulations. Among other things, the Trump directive rolls back limits on certain carbon emissions, it permits coal mining on federally owned land and eliminates a requirement that agencies consider climate change when making decisions.
Miami-Dade Clerk of the Court Harvey Ruvin was on the front lines of those raising red flags about global warming, having served on multiple advisory boards, and says President Trump is raising a dangerous flag.
“It’s almost like holding up a white flag on an issue that’s going to affect all of our children, all of our grandchildren, all of the future of the whole planet,” Ruvin said.
President Trump had already put a hold on scheduled auto emission cuts and ditched a reduction in carbon spewing from existing power plants. The power plant order is on hold, as a federal judge hears a challenge to it.
“We can’t move back to a coal, a dirty coal industry. We need to move to alternative energies, because our sea levels are at stake, our climate is at stake,” said Juan Cuba, Chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.
Trump’s critics say flooding on Miami Beach that has gotten worse every year, staunched somewhat by control efforts costing hundreds of millions of dollars, is evidence climate change is real. Trump, they say, is turning back the clock on decades of efforts by President’s Obama, Clinton and George W. Bush to confront global warming.
“If Trump continues down this line, he’s abdicating global leadership by the United States on probably the most important issue that humankind is going to be facing over the next century,” said Ruvin.
Cuba, the Democratic chairman, said Trump could be challenged on his environmental orders by some Republicans, as he was in his effort to repeal Obamacare.
“Just like moderate Republicans stood up to President Trump on the health care bill, I hope they will once again find he’s absolutely wrong on climate science,” Cuba said.
As if on cue, South Florida Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo criticized the president’s sweeping environmental orders, saying he will not be able to support all of them.
In a broadcast interview, Curbelo said, “we simply cannot turn a blind eye to this issue of climate change, to the fact that we must reduce carbon emissions in the United States. We have to mitigate human impact on the climate.”