Dear Donald Trump,
Dear President-Elect Trump,
I know you are a busy fellow now, between preparing to be President and accepting congratulations from your supporters and what not, and you probably have other things to attend to. But I hope you might take a moment to hear two things from an earth scientist: climate change is a serious issue that we desperately need your administration to tackle, and prevention of a nuclear exchange is far more serious than bombing some far off city.
Some in your party claim that climate change is made-up, but you (or your campaign) said to sciencedebate.org that “Science is science and facts are facts.” Fact is, carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere, faster than almost any example we can find in the geologic record. Fact is, it is from us burning fossil fuels. Fact is, that increases the mean temperature of the planet. Fact is, this is a long, slow problem that, neglected, becomes impossible to reverse. Mr. President-Elect, you watch polls, so perhaps you’ve seen the poll showing most Americans are worried about climate change. As you’ve confidently asserted your freedom from big donors who might keep you from doing the right thing, I hope you will see your way to making progress on addressing this. And I hope you will discourage your fellow Republicans from trying to defund climate change research. Just because we don’t study it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt us or even kill us.
At times in this campaign, you have spoken rather casually about the spread of nuclear weapons, seeming to feel that there is no particular problem if many other countries have a nuclear arsenal. We don’t need more possible places where such war could erupt. These weapons are totally different from the drones and smart bombs and other devices used in conventional war; they can change the way the planet functions. An all-out nuclear exchange would mimic the events that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Even a limited nuclear exchange between, say, Pakistan and India, could have global consequences.
So, President-Elect Trump, I implore you on these topics to take a moment to listen to the people whose life work has been to understand them. They are threats to the world of our children and grandchildren. There might be many topics on which you and I would disagree, and while many of them are important, I am no more an expert on those than you are. But on these two critical issues, as an earth scientist, I wish to share my concerns and ask you, when President of the United States and a global leader, to help make a better world for the generations that follow.
Craig Jones (aka the Grumpy Geophysicist)