In the past, Donald Trump has said he is “not a big believer in global warming,” “a total hoax,” “bullshit,” and “pseudoscience.” “I’m not a believer in global warming. And I’m not a believer in man-made global warming,” Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt in September 2015. “It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling.” Later on, Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe:” “I consider climate change to be not one of our big problems. I consider it to be not a big problem at all. I think it’s weather. I think it’s weather changes. It could be some man-made something, but you know, if you look at China, they’re doing nothing about it. Other countries, they’re doing nothing about it. It’s a big planet.”
Showing apparent flexibility on the climate issue, Trump called on Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to serve as his energy advisor. Cramer is a climate change skeptic who, however, does support a modest carbon tax. Trump will soon travel to North Dakota to address an oil industry group.
Trump has not been afraid to take on climate change dogma, however, having recently vowed “at a minimum” to renegotiate the Paris climate accord heralded by President Barack Obama. And long before announcing his presidential campaign, he tweeted in 2013, “We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax!” In January 2014 tweet, he wrote: “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”
When asked by the Washington Post in March, “Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?” Trump answered, “I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons.” For its part, the Department of Defense considers climate change as “an urgent and growing threat to our national security.”
Even so, Trump is hedging his bets by seeking to build a sea wall to protect his golf course in Ireland from “global warming and its effects.” In Trump’s application to build a rock wall to protect the seaside links at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland in County Clare, global warming is cited. It states that increased erosion due to rising sea levels, and extreme weather this century, as justification for building the structure. Trump bought the property in February 2014.
In a report by POLITICO, former Republican Rep. Bob Inglis (SC) said of the news, “It's diabolical." He added, “Donald Trump is working to ensure his at-risk properties and his company is trying to figure out how to deal with sea level rise. Meanwhile, he’s saying things to audiences that he must know are not true. … You have a soft place in your heart for people who are honestly ignorant, but people who are deceitful, that’s a different thing.”
Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment said in 2014 that Trump called him to offer the group help in opposing a proposed offshore wind project in a nearby, environmentally sensitive area. The group declined the offer and since has opposed the seawall project.
Trump has sought to protect his property ever since a storm eroded as much as 30 feet of frontage on some golf course. He has sought to prevent further erosion since then.
This month, when he failed to win approval from the Irish government for the seawall, he resubmitted an application with the Clare County Council seeking permission to build the wall consisting of 200,000 tons of rock distributed along two miles of beach. As part of the application, Trump International Golf Links submitted an environmental impact statement that argues that erosion is likely due to rising sea levels. The statement notes a study by the Irish government that predicts a steady rate of erosion into 2050.
“If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct," said the application, "it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland. In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring. … As a result, we would expect the rate of dune recession to increase.”
The impact statement also argues that rising sea levels make taking action unavoidable. “A Do nothing/Do minimum option will have the least impact on [natural] processes but the existing erosion rate will continue and worsen, due to sea level rise, in the next coming years, posing a real and immediate risk to most of the golf course frontage and assets,” states and analysis of options for erosion control. In publicity directed at local residents, Trump’s company sought to convince them of the need for the seawall. In a brochure, the Trump organization stated, "Predicted sea level rise and more frequent storm events will increase the rate of erosion throughout the 21st century."