Climate change could lead to economic shifts in Michigan, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing and energy, according to researchers studying climate change issues.
But those changes — at least in the short term — will likely be shaped in part by the new Trump administration.
During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” on Dec. 11, Trump said he was open about the existence of climate change, but also said, “No one really knows.”
“The climate change conversation in Washington will be very different now,” said Michael Jones, a professor of fish and wildlife at Michigan State University who studies climate change efforts on fisheries in the Great Britains. Lakes. less pressure to adapt to climate change.
Aaron McCright, a sociology professor at Michigan State who studies public understanding and the political dynamics of climate science, thinks Michigan should focus on developing and building new technologies rather than certain areas of less skilled manufacturing.
“Michigans have to find a way to be competitive in the 21st century,” McCright said. “There’s a ton of people who come from industrial, problem-solving families, and I’d like to see us be the home of 21st century intellectual property.”
McCright said industrial waste opportunities are available in Michigan.
“If we could find ways to solve the problems of cleaning up old industrial waste sites to make them habitable or turned into a small business, then we could export this technology anywhere in the world where other people are having the same problems” , said McCright. “That could be how we create jobs.”
But if Trump cuts funding for climate change programs or eliminates regulations encouraging changes to combat climate change, it will likely hamper job growth related to these new technologies, as well as research activities, said Eva Kassens-Noor, assistant professor at MSU who studies urban planning and sustainability.
Trump named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government’s primary regulator on environmental issues. Pruitt criticized the agency and its efforts to address climate change.
“Recent remarks from both officials underscore their position that global warming does not exist,” Kassens-Noor said in an email. “If this is the national position, we are likely to see defunding on issues that primarily target climate change research.”