During a week in which much of the world was wondering whether the president of the United States considers climate change a threat, in a Portland hotel conference room full of people who spend their lives on the water, the question of man-made warming wasn’t even being asked.
For the men and women who must pull a living, lobster trap by lobster trap, out of the Gulf of Maine, it isn’t up for debate – they have seen the change with their own eyes. When you find that the best spots for fishing have moved, or that there’s a new disease in the mix – when you have actually watched temperatures rise and the ocean ecosystem transform – there is no question at all, except over how you’re going to deal with it.
Instead, the Trump administration is doing its best to not confront it at all. President Trump announced he was pulling the United States from the historic Paris climate accord, prompting the question over whether he believed in man-made climate change, a question members of his Cabinet answer in the negative without hesitation.
The president has also proposed a budget that would severely diminish government-funded research into climate change. Among many other items, it would hinder Maine’s ability to find out how warming waters will impact the lobster industry.