Read More: Scientific American
President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting with Al Gore yesterday could soften his image on climate change a week after he claimed to have an open mind about man-made warming, according to some observers. The discussion came just 27 days after Gore, the former vice president, told voters that electing Trump would be devastating for the planet. Yet Gore emerged yesterday to say the meeting was “extremely interesting.” It’s unclear if their conversation was impromptu; Gore was in Trump Tower to discuss climate issues with Ivanka Trump, the next president’s daughter, who is reportedly interested in the topic. A Trump spokesman said before Gore’s arrival that Trump would not be meeting with the former vice president. Those plans changed, and some are suggesting the encounter could benefit Trump by improving his image on a difficult scientific issue that in the past he’s mocked in conspiratorial tones. “Just talking to Al Gore provides Trump improved climate credibility for some non-expert audiences,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former climate aide in the Clinton White House. The “political atmospherics” of the meeting might polish Trump’s optics, but Bledsoe is skeptical about its influence on public policy, which is being overseen in some cases by transition officials who question the scientific findings on global warming. “So far, the signs are not good,” Bledsoe said.