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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 10 February 2017 > TRUMP VS. POLAR BEARS


Environmentalists fear the new president’s impact on endangered flora and fauna


ENVIRONMENTALISTS who opposed Donald Trump’s candidacy are seeing some of their worst fears confirmed. His nominations of people for Cabinet posts who doubt the scientific consensus on climate change, such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have led researchers and conservationists to fear that historic progress on combating climate change may be undone.

An equally important issue that’s received little attention: Trump and his Cabinet may threaten the survival of many endangered species, a pressing issue since humans are driving a mass extinction of Earth’s flora and fauna. Trump’s exact views on endangered species aren’t publicly known (his team didn’t respond to Newsweek requests for comment), so it would be wrong to condemn him pre-emptively. However, “the policies he’s pushing, the regulations put up by Obama he wants to reverse”—such as the Clean Power Plan, geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories—“would hurt endangered species terribly,” says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group. “I don’t see any direct animosity toward these species, but any time they get between a corporation and its profits, Trump is [probably] going to side with the corporations.”

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Is China’s Xi Jinping about to become a global statesman? President Donald Trump turns America inward as the US withdraws from a Key International agreement.