When it comes to the future of the US, the question of where the country goes next has become a central issue for both sides.
On one side, the White House has warned of a “catastrophic” climate change scenario and warned that the nation will face “frightening” impacts as a result.
On the other side, Donald Trump has promised to deliver on his campaign promises to revive the economy and make the country great again.
“What we’ve seen is that we’ve got a president that has been very clear about what he’s going to do, who has been incredibly clear about his economic vision, and that’s what I think is most important,” said University of Illinois economist Jason Furman.
“He’s focused on jobs and the future.
And he knows that if he’s able to build that job-creating capacity, the economy will grow, and it will become more competitive.”
The White House on Monday also issued a new policy proposal that aims to address climate change and the impact of rising sea levels.
“We have a global problem of climate change.
We have a problem with the way we’re doing it, we have a very big problem with energy, we’ve had a big problem, and we’ve been doing nothing about it,” Trump told the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC.
“The American people are the ones who are really suffering and they have to be the ones to make the decision.”
Trump has also promised to make “significant changes” to the Affordable Care Act, promising to scrap its “bad” mandate that requires Americans to purchase insurance.
“It’s a disaster.
I mean, I’ve been through it, it’s a nightmare,” Trump said.
“You can go into the health care exchanges, which I did, and you can see the pain, and I’ve got some of the biggest fans in the business, which is why I’m getting rid of it.
You can’t get it.
We’re going to start doing it ourselves, because we’re going down that road of our own making.”
The president has also vowed to make an immediate transition to a lower carbon economy.
“There’s no question in my mind that we are going to see the return of our country to an economy that produces more energy and cleaner products, because that is the future,” Trump added.
“That’s what we’re aiming for.”
In terms of climate policy, Trump has taken a decidedly cautious approach, saying he believes the planet is warming and humans are to blame.
“I do believe that there’s a global warming thing going on,” he told reporters in Florida on Monday.
“But I don’t believe it’s caused by human activity.
I believe it has to do with climate change.”
But Furman told National Geographic that Trump’s climate plan could leave him open to criticism from the scientific community.
“As someone who studies how the Earth changes over time, I have serious concerns about this proposal,” Furman said.
“[The White House] are really going to have to show they are listening to what the scientific establishment is saying, and they are not just trying to be politically correct.”
And even if Trump were to abandon his plans to abandon the Paris Agreement, he might still find support among the coal industry, which could see a significant spike in production once it moves to the US.
“This is really a no-brainer for coal,” Furmans said.
While the US is expected to generate more than 20 million metric tons of coal in 2020, according to Furman, it will likely generate fewer than 5 million metric ton by 2025.
“If they can get that up to 5 million, I think it will be a huge economic boom for the United States,” he said.