Or how much Donald Trump's win affects us
On Wednesday morning 9th of November 2016 the new President of the United States of America was elected. This development itself is not a big deal for a student organization in Germany which is concerned with agricultural sciences and related field of studies. However, this highly controversial election had one outcome – Donald John Trumps win, which in itself still would be not an issue if he was a regular republican candidate. In this case Trumps presidency might affect even an agricultural student organization in Germany. If this statement seems too absurd, then we have to take a step back and look at it from the following perspective:
Practical agriculture operates strongly within a political framework, where policies and subsidies can affect the crops that are produced as well as prices for the final product which a farmer can sell. Furthermore, agriculture operates within the framework of the natural environment where it is dependent on clean soil, clean water, biodiversity and a stable climate.
Although, Donald Trump’s policies are not clear cut on some issues, he did state that he does not believe in climate change - that is the scientific certainty that our planet is getting warmer due to the greenhouse effect. This is where the combination of politics and the natural environment goes together. Reducing global warming is a global issue and the US is one of the biggest CO2 emitters per capita. From an environmental and social point of view, it is crucial for the US to cut down on CO2 emissions. That, most likely, cannot happen when the leader of the country does not understand the basic scientific concepts.
But how exactly will that affect Germany and Agriculture?
On the homepage of the campaign donaldjtrump.com there is no position on agriculture or the environment yet, which goes to show that the administration is not prepared to deal with these fundamental topics in todays’ globalized (i.e concerning Germany) world. However, there is a position on energy where the following is stated:
„Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.“ - donaldjtrump.com/policies/energy/
This statement clearly shows that going back to non-renewable forms of energy use, will dramatically increase CO2-emissions as well as diminish the efforts put in by other countries to achieve an environmentally more stable future and thus a sustainable agriculture. In an interconnected world where the collaboration towards common goals is key in solving environmental as well as agricultural issues (i.e. growing world population) a loose cannon who divides the public may hamper important achievements on the protection of the environment. Furthermore, it seems that a Trump administration might sever ties with foreign countries to favor US products and therefore establish customs fees on imports from one of its most important trade partners – Germany.