Center for American Progress

RELEASE: As Climate Deniers Change their Rhetoric, Their Actions Speak Louder
Press Release

RELEASE: As Climate Deniers Change their Rhetoric, Their Actions Speak Louder

Washington, D.C. — During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to climate change as “a hoax” and installed notorious climate deniers into positions of influence and power once taking office. Their goal was to undo the progress done by the previous administration. However, Trump’s executive order this week—which, if fully implemented, would take an axe to many of the most important Obama-era climate protections—takes great pains to avoid denying climate change, even while it seeks to dismantle the regulations protecting Americans from its obvious and undeniable effects.

A new column written by Center for American Progress Vice President for Energy and Environment Policy Christy Goldfuss points out how climate deniers have shifted away from vocally denying climate change’s existence to questioning how to aggressively tackle the problem while maintaining economic growth. All the while, they are attempting to undo critical environmental protections.

“Climate deniers are being faced with a tough choice,” said Goldfuss. “They can continue to be vocal deniers of climate change while the effects become clearer to even skeptical members of the public, or they misdirect the conversation away from denial while surreptitiously undoing climate protections. Their strategy is to deceive and deregulate; leaving Americans vulnerable to the very real, very imminent effects of climate change. When it was clear their rhetoric didn’t match reality, they chose to change the conversation and continue with business as usual.”

As climate deniers attempt to have it both ways, they ignore the fact that, under the Obama administration, carbon emissions dropped 9 percent while the economy grew more than 10 percent. This proves what President Trump is now claiming—that you can have economic growth and a clean environment. The only problem with Trump’s logic is that the very Obama-era climate protections he railed against and his administration is currently dismantling were already getting the job done.

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.