A Wisconsin retired lawyer has drafted an “Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump” that he hopes will be widely shared, possibly signed and sent along to the President-elect, and used in a petition to him.
Requesting anonymity, he says that with Trump’s election, his legacy will be based more on his performance in office than on the “understandable pride” he and future Trump generations will take in the “Trump brand” and business. He calls climate change “one of the most important issues” affecting the Trump legacy and says his actions on that issue “will last long beyond your days on this Earth,” a clear appeal to Trump’s keen interest in his brand/image and thus his legacy. He points to a Trump-owned coastal golf course’s having already taken steps to manage risks it faces in a changing climate.
Reconsidering some of his earlier climate change statements as a candidate “would be good for the country, for the world, and for the legacy of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States,” said the letter writer, who describes himself as “a concerned citizen.”
The letter follows in full and can be copied and shared with others, or signed and mailed to the President-elect or used as a template or model in a petition, the letter writer said.
Dear President-elect Trump:
Re: Climate change and your legacy
“Before I get to the subject of this letter, I want to offer my congratulations on your successful campaign for president. The outcome on November 8, 2016, will likely stand like no other in the history of presidential politics. The election changed America and I believe it will change you, particularly as it relates to the subject of this letter.
Had you lost the election, your legacy would be the Trump brand. In that case, in the future when people would seek to understand who was Donald J. Trump, their search of the internet would reflect your impact in the various communities where you built hotels, resorts, golf clubs, etc. that bear your name. Your children, grandchildren, and the Trump generations to follow would point to these accomplishments with understandable pride.
Your victory on November 8 changes this. Your legacy will now be a matter of what you do during your term in office. Unlike your legacy as a builder, which will be fixed when you die, your legacy as president will reflect the actions you take during your term in office – actions whose effects will last long beyond your days on this Earth.
One of the most important issues that will affect your legacy as president is climate change. In the weeks leading up to the election it was reported that one of your properties – Trump International Golf Links Ireland – filed an application with local zoning authorities for permission to construct a seawall. According to that report, the application explicitly cited global warming and its consequences – increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century.
If you were to roll back the U.S. positions on climate change, the dangers noted by your resort application will most certainly ensue, along with severe population disruptions in the U.S. and elsewhere when millions are forced inland to higher ground to avoid the coastal flooding from currently projected major sea-level rise. In the future, when Americans and others around the world are enduring the miseries of unchecked climate change, they will likely look back and point to your actions as a significant if not deciding cause.
Post-election reporting has revealed your willingness to adjust some of the positions you took during the election – e.g., keeping some features of Obamacare. My hope is that you will reconsider your stated opposition to actions to halt or lessen the impacts of climate change. It would be good for the country, for the world, and for the legacy of Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States.