Trump changes mind on waterboarding, global warming

Donald Trump, after stating that he was going to reinstate waterboarding "and worse" for terrorists, now says he is against waterboarding.  He also says global warming, which he once said was a hoax created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing uncompetitive,  may be caused by man-made activities.

Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge that humans contribute to climate change Tuesday in a meeting with New York Times reporters, moving closer to widely held scientific opinion but away from the Republican Party line.

He is keeping an "open mind" when it comes to climate issues, he said.

"I think there is some connectivity" between human activity and climate change, Trump said[.]

There is no way any person who is informed about the "theory" of global warming can believe that.  The theory of global warming is that human-produced carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere.  But human-produced CO2 is only 3% of all CO2 (most is produced naturally), which in turn is only 3% of all the chemicals in the atmosphere.  Common sense would tell anyone that human CO2 production has no bearing on so-called global warming.

It's sad that Donald Trump believes this, and worrisome.  Will he reverse Obama's Clean Power Plan rule, which is shutting down important power plants because of the myth of CO2 production?

As for the "climate change" treaty Obama agreed to in Paris, Trump said:

On climate change, he refused to repeat his promise to abandon the international climate accord reached last year in Paris, saying that, "I'm looking at it very closely." But he said "I have an open mind to it[.]"

An open mind to it?  To locking the U.S. into mandatory CO2 reductions, which, like Obama's Clean Power Plan, will also shut down power plants, make electricity much more expensive, and kill jobs?

On waterboarding:

Mr. Trump suggested he has changed his mind about the usefulness of waterboarding and other forms of torture after talking with James N. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, who headed the United States Central Command.

"He said, 'I've never found it to be useful,'" Mr. Trump said, describing the general's view of torturing terrorism suspects. He added that Mr. Mattis found more value in building trust and rewarding cooperation with terror suspects: "'Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I'll do better.'" He added: "I was very impressed by that answer.''

Again, common sense would dictate that hardened terrorists are not going to be swayed by cigarettes and beers.  Do you think Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, would have confessed over a friendly beer?  Sometimes harsher measures are necessary.

Again, it is worrisome how quickly Trump has changed often repeated positions even before he has taken office.  It feels as though he is taking advice from the most recent person he speaks to, and that his mind is easily changeable.

These are not minor issues, but issues that he spoke out about with force and specificity on the campaign trail.  We can only hope that on the most important issues of immigration, border security, and the Supreme Court, Trump does not prove to be so malleable.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

If you experience technical problems, please write to