The seemingly far-fetched threat of nuclear-induced climate change has been on Trump’s mind since at least June, when he warned of “nuclear warming” during a visit to The Chicago Tribune. His concern: The environmental impact of a potential nuclear blast gets far less attention than the greenhouse gas emissions that are already raising sea levels and temperatures worldwide.
What’s his solution? Trump’s underlying policy goal here is actually dismissing calls for federal action to cut U.S. emissions by raising the profile at a presidential level of both national security and nuclear containment. It’s a counter-argument as well to both Obama and Clinton, who have described climate change as a threat on par with terrorism.
It’s an odd way to deflect on the science and attempt instead to muddle the issue. But who knows — in this election year, it may actually work well enough to confuse people. And of course the other challenge for climate advocates is that climate change doesn’t rank high on the list of voter concerns.
It certainly doesn’t help when a major party nominee tosses out strange, deflecting rhetoric like this, but it’s a line of argument that advocates should be ready to refute.