Wednesday 25 April 2018

Donald Trump insists climate change is a 'hoax'... but argues sea wall needed to protect Doonbeg from climate change

Trump's International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg
Trump's International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg

Ruth Sherlock

Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a "hoax", whilst at the same time attempting to build a sea wall to protect his golf course in Ireland from “global warming and its effects".

Mr Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has long publicly asserted that "nuclear weapons" are a bigger threat to the climate than increases in the earth's temperature.

Donald Trump, arriving at Shannon Airport in 2014. Photo: Sean Curtin
Donald Trump, arriving at Shannon Airport in 2014. Photo: Sean Curtin

But behind closed doors he is using the case for climate change to argue that he needs to protect his real estate, legal documents show.

Mr Trump bought the golf resort in Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland in February 2014, promising invest up to €45 million in the property. He said he would "make it one of the greatest golf courses in the world".

But before he could even close the deal a single storm eroded as much as eight metres of valuable golfing terrain.

Mr Trump failed to win a special approval from the government to build a sea barrier that would protect the resort.

The hotel beside the links at Doonbeg. Photo: PA
The hotel beside the links at Doonbeg. Photo: PA

So earlier this month Trump International Golf Links Ireland filed a planning application to the local county council asking to build a two-mile barrier, made up of 200,000 tonnes of rock, to protect the club from further erosion.

The permit request, which was reviewed by Politico magazine, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather  — as a primary reason for building the structure.

The petition cited one Irish government study that assumed a steady rate of erosion through to 2050, but argued that this did not go far enough because it failed to consider the effects of climate change.

“If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland," the Trump application stated.

It added that, factoring in climate change, the estimated rate of sea level rise might as much as double.

The petition is at odds with Mr Trump's public posture. As he prepares for a general election battle, Mr Trump has been openly scathing about climate change.

The Pentagon describes climate change as “an urgent and growing threat to our national security". But Mr Trump has consistently mocked the warnings. He has repeatedly said on Twitter that global warming is a "total hoax".

Earlier this month, Mr Trump suggested that as president he might pull America out a landmark United Nations global climax change accord, a move that would hobble the deal reached in Paris last December by nearly 200 nations.

Mr Trump has not commented on what a pull-out from this agreement might mean for the future of his prized Irish golfing resort.

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