Does Donald Trump's Al Gore Meeting Hint At A Brighter Future For The Environment? There's A Small Chance
It's been said that president-elect Donald Trump's mind can be changed by whomever he speaks with on that particular day — he often seems to flip on issues after meeting with a leading figure, sharing (if momentarily) their stance on the matter. We saw Trump do just that after his first meeting with President Obama, saying that he may consider keeping parts of the Affordable Care Act, despite his campaign promise to do otherwise. And Trump's recent meeting with Al Gore might (an admittedly large "might") have done the same for him on the issue of climate change. Will Gore be able to ease Trump's hard-line, underdeveloped position on climate change? Hopefully he can move it past the "China-manufactured" hoax theory.
Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is rumored to be the driving force behind her father's potential shift on climate change, reportedly arranged the meeting between the president-elect and Gore on Monday so the two could discuss "climate issues." The fear, of course, is that Trump merely brought the former vice president turned climate change activist to Trump Tower as a publicity stunt. But it seems that Gore actually felt better after his meeting with Trump, indicating that there may be some hope in the world after all.
"I had a lengthy and very productive session," Gore said after the meeting. "It was a sincere search for areas of common ground." He added: "I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued."
Gore appeared to be particularly pleased by his interactions with Ivanka. In an interview on MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes Monday evening, Gore said of the first daughter: "It’s no secret that Ivanka Trump is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world. And that was certainly evident in the conversation that I had with her before the conversation with the president-elect. I appreciate the fact that she’s very concerned about this."
The former vice president likewise said that he would keep the details of his meeting with Trump largely private, so that he could ensure that he will have the ear of the president in the future. (Leaked details could mean a critical analysis from the press, and everyone knows just how much Trump hates that.)
Gore's meeting could not have come at a better time, either. Since winning the election, Trump has continued to stack his cabinet with prominent climate change deniers, even installing one its leading figures, Myron Ebell, as head of the EPA transition team. Having Gore, and perhaps Ivanka, as a counterpoint to that rhetoric offers hope that there will be some sanity inflicted into Trump's climate change discussions.