What a Donald Trump presidency might mean for science

As the world braces for a Trump presidency in the USA, experts have been trying to work out what this could mean for science, especially health and climate change.

The Science Media Centre in Wellington has done us a favour by distilling some of the resultant observations in an item which it has posted on its website:

During his campaign, Donald Trump said he would repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and reinforced his stance as a climate sceptic.

The Washington Post reported that the surprise election hurled international climate change negotiations into doubt, as the Marrakech climate summit – COP22 – continues.

Princeton University professor of geosciences and international affairs Michael Oppenheimer told The Washington Post that if Trump doesn’t honour the Paris Agreement’s commitments, “that virtually guarantees that the international process will fall into disarray”.

Writing on The Conversation, University of Michigan Energy Institute director Mark Barteau suggested a prime target for Trump would be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its regulation of greenhouse gases through the Clean Power Plan. Trump has already appointed a prominent climate sceptic – Myron Ebell – to lead his transition teal at EPA.

One possibility is that the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 730,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada’s oil sands to the US, could be put back on the table after being turned down by President Obama in 2015. The Washington Post has speculated that a move back to fossil fuels could set back Tesla and the electric car industry.

The Science Media Centre guides us to these aspects of Trump’s election and what it could mean for science as covered by US media:

Scientific American: What Trump’s Surprise Victory Could Mean for Science
The Washington Post: Obamacare’s future in critical condition with Trump’s victory
ABC News: Trump Win Raises Questions About US Pledge in Climate Deal
The Conversation: What President Trump means for the future of energy and climate
Nature: Donald Trump’s US election win stuns scientists
The Washington Post: Trump’s victory shocks international climate negotiations
Newsweek: Trump: The most anti-science president ever?
Scientific American: No Plan B at Climate Talks, Given Trump Win
The Washington Post: Trump victory reverses U.S. energy and environmental priorities
Science: The U.S. election is over. Who will hold key science leadership jobs?
Scientific American: How Quickly Could Obamacare Be Erased?
Nature: How scientists reacted to the US election results
The Washington Post: What will President Trump mean for science?
Science: What Trump can—and can’t—do all by himself on climate
National Geographic: The Global Dangers of Trump’s Climate Denial
The Atlantic: What President Trump Will Mean for Earth’s Climate
The Washington Post: Now that Trump has won, TransCanada wants to give Keystone XL pipeline another try
New Scientist: President Trump means we can’t escape a dangerously warmer world
The Washington Post: Trump’s sweep could be a big setback to Tesla and Elon Musk


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