Fellows in the News

When people look back at Donald Trump's first year as president, they're likely to be perplexed by his actions on climate change. They will see an administration that put climate deniers in senior government positions during a year of record-breaking natural disasters, did everything it could to save a dying coal industry as jobs in renewables exploded, and exited from an international climate treaty that both environmental activists and Fortune 100 companies supported. And this is all despite the release of a government report that there is "no convincing alternative explanation" for climate change other than human activity—more evidence, if you needed it, that this is a problem that urgently needs attention.

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Trump has said he is putting "America First" with his actions on climate change. But in reality he is willingly surrendering vast political and economic power to China. "It's hard for me to identify a strategy in much of what this administration does," Joseph Aldy, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard and a former Obama administration official, told me. Yet the contrast between China and the US on climate change could not be clearer. "One of the countries has a leadership that's operating in the 21st century and the other is operating in the 20th," Aldy argued.
 

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