If you’ve listened to Donald Trump’s debates or any of his campaign rallies, it’s pretty clear that the only book he’s ever even cracked is his own ghost-written autobiography. So, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump’s advisor team is just as ill-informed.
Energy is one of the most important issues facing 21st Century America. Whether or not you believe that fossil fuels are limited (they are), climate change is very, very real. Now, of course, there’s little that’s more politicized than climate change, so it’s absolutely no surprise that Trump’s energy advisor would be a denier, but it’s worse than that — far worse. Trump’s energy advisor, Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) doesn’t even know how electricity works.
In a debate held in the University of Richmond law school’s Moot Courtroom, Career and Clinton energy advisor Trevor Houser faced off for the law students via livestream.
Naturally, the audience was filled with people who do read. The moderator was Noah Sachs and the questions were, frankly, better and more substantive than the questions asked of the candidates during their three debates. Here’s one of the most shocking (no pun intended) takeaways, though, as detailed in In These Times:
Donald Trump’s energy adviser does not know how electricity works.
In response to an audience inquiry about promoting renewable electricity sources, Cramer punted the first response to Houser, saying of the question, “this is a good nerdy one.” When his turn came, Cramer said, “Great question. … It is complicated when you talk about the movement of electricity. You know, neurons go where neurons want to go once they’re on the line, right?” Contra Cramer, neurons are nerve cells in animal nervous systems (including humans’) engaged in electrochemical processes that allow us to think and feel and follow through on basic cognitive functions. Unlike electrons, they are not generally found flowing through the electric grid. Cramer serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is a former member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and was previously North Dakota’s Public Service Commissioner, a role that involved overseeing the state’s electric utilities.
There were more things that Trump and Cramer didn’t know. Cramer admits that Trump likely hasn’t even heard of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Native American protests that are causing controversy across the nation. To Cramer’s credit, he’d heard of it, but then again, it’s happening right under his nose in North Dakota.
Cramer thinks the Paris Climate Agreement is “another bad trade deal” that forces the United States to do all the work. In fact, it’s not a trade deal at all. It’s a call for all of the 85 signatory nations to reduce climate emissions.
While Cramer and Houser might not be at the top of the ticket, they do demonstrate just how the two different candidates will combat climate change. Clinton is a pro-science candidate and Trump, well, he’s anti-intellectual and pro-big business. That’s a dangerous combination and four years of a Trump presidency could dig a climate hole from which we will never be able to dig ourselves out.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.