Donald Trump defies science with mix of arrogance and stupidity – leader comment

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg listens as US President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos (Picture: Markus Schreiber/AP)
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg listens as US President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos (Picture: Markus Schreiber/AP)
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US President Donald Trump’s speech to the Davos summit shows this self-described ‘very stable genius’ lives in a fantasy world, in contrast to Greta Thunberg and the scientific and business communities.

It’s unusual for teenagers to be invited to address the World Economic Forum at Davos. Greta Thunberg’s presence was a testament to the 17-year-old’s ability to give voice to what the scientific community has been saying for years: that we must act to stop global warming before it reaches a dangerous point.

“We need to start listening to the science and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves,” she told business and political leaders.

US presidents probably have a standing invitation to address the forum, so it was much less surprising to see the 73-year-old Donald Trump given a platform even if his message was a combination of ignorance, stupidity and arrogance.

READ MORE: Climate change: Here’s why there’s still hope despite Donald Trump – Henry McLeish

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He urged people not to believe “predictions of the apocalypse” by “prophets of doom”. “These alarmists always demand the same thing – absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives,” he claimed.

Trump didn’t name anyone, but he’s essentially talking about scientists at Nasa, the Met Office and every other major scientific body in every democracy in the world – including people who understand quantum physics and can use it in practical ways.

Other such highly intelligent people can see that the scientists are right and people like Trump are wrong – this is hardly a contest, after all – and are acting accordingly.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, responsible for a portfolio worth nearly $7 trillion.

Last week its chief executive Larry Fink, in his annual letter to businesses, wrote: “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects... I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.

“...there is no denying the direction we are heading. Every government, company, and shareholder must confront climate change.”

It’s a message echoed by many other leading figures of industry and it is obvious where the smart money is going.

Those who believe Trump, a serial liar who ludicrously describes himself as a “very stable genius”, are living in a fantasy world.

As the process of his impeachment gets underway, the US President appears likely to survive. We can only hope he will not survive the judgement of the American people later this year because there is a pressing need for a ‘leader of the free world’ who is worthy of the name.