Roughly one month after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement against the wishes of the majority of Americans and just about every other country in the world, Trump’s visit with other Group of 20 world leaders promises to be bumpy — at least where climate change is concerned.
Perhaps aware of the president stubborn ignorance, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel‘s husband Joachim Sauer, a professor of physical and theoretical chemistry, proposed that First daughter Ivanka Trump and First Lady Melania Trump get a tour of the German Climate Computing Center on Friday.
The suggestion by Sauer might be a very subtle, snide comment on the women’s faux activism — or, of course, it could just be a polite invitation to learn a bit more about the phenomenon of global warming. In either case, the invitation brings attention to the Trump administration’s utter failure on climate change.
Climate change is famous for its disproportionately harmful effects on women, especially in developing parts of the world, as they’re often the sole agricultural workers of their families. Of course, the ills of global warming are often felt in less privileged parts of the United States, too, where children struggle to find clean water to drink or develop asthma as a result of poor air quality and smog. All in all, I can hardly think of any demographic more hurt by climate change than children — those alive today, and future generations of children who will likely be born to an unhealthy, even toxic planet.
And yet despite their claims of being champions for women and children, both women remain supportive of an administration that seems bent on destroying the Earth. Of course, there’s only so much Melania or Ivanka can push Trump to do, but they can hardly call themselves activists or feminists when they remain determinedly silent on so many of the president’s egregious, anti-woman policies and frankly inhumane budget proposals and health care ideas.
By giving Melania and Ivanka a tour of the German Climate Computing Center, Sauer is taking them face to face with the disasters of climate change which their husband and father is determined to exacerbate, perhaps aiming them to break their silence.
According to Bloomberg, the facility uses “supercomputers to model climate change and map its effects on regions all over the world.” The building, which has been in operation since 1987, is located near the where the G20 summit is taking place.
For her own part, Merkel ranks among the most devoted advocates for fighting climate change of all world leaders. In a joint statement with other European leaders when Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal, Merkel called “the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible,” and added: “We firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” Merkel said in a joint statement with the leaders of France and Italy after Trump’s June announcement.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.