Leading scientists have presented a cheeky challenge to Donald Trump’s denial of climate change in Aberdeenshire.
Four professors turned up yesterday at the US President’s controversial golf resort at Menie on the northeast coast to hand over a Ladybird guide to climate change and a Royal Meteorological Society statement on climate science.
They are angry at Trump’s trashing of climate science, his appointment of climate deniers and his plan to withdraw from international agreements to cut carbon pollution. They point out that his golf course is at risk from climate change, as well as the world.
The protest was led by Aberdeen University professor Pete Smith, who was a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “We all share the same atmosphere, so misguided actions in the US will not only affect Americans, they will affect everyone on the planet,” he said.
“We cannot allow decisions based upon ideology to replace those based on scientific evidence.” Smith convened a meeting to discuss climate change at Aberdeen University yesterday as part of British science week.
He added: “Failing to act when you are in full possession of the facts, which amounts to wilful ignorance, is inexcusable, and will cause great damage the world we leave for our children and grandchildren.”
Professor Terence Dawson from King’s College London, warned that East Africa countries were facing severe droughts this year which could cause a major humanitarian disaster. Climate change was going to make droughts worse, and hit the poorest people hardest.
“Climate change is a serious risk to poverty reduction and we, as scientists, feel a moral imperative to urge our political leaders act now – inaction or delay is inexcusable,” he said.
Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds was worried that US policies were threatening science by cutting funding for climate research. He pointed out that scientists around the world depended on the work done by Nasa and others in the US.
“More than ever we should be basing decisions on evidence rather than ideologies, and I hope the US administration wakes up and realises this,” he said.
Professor Jo Smith from Aberdeen University urged political leaders not to gamble with lives. “Climate change will mean more droughts and floods, and more people will die,” she said. “The science is clear, so climate policies must be based on this evidence.”
The four professors were accompanied on their visit to Menie by Dr Jo House from the University of Bristol, and the Aberdeenshire councillor and Trump critic, Martin Ford. Their presentation was accepted on behalf of Trump International Golf Links Scotland by head of hospitality, Yashinee Aulum.
She was “courteous and welcoming and was pleased to receive our presentation”, the professors said.