Given the presidential candidates’ differing takes on the subject, Somerhalder tells Variety he’s “wildly passionate” about the upcoming Nov. 8 decision, calling it “the most important election in human history.”
“That’s not me playing up American exceptionalism,” he says. “It has to do everything with our foreign policy and our understanding of the environment. Any person that potentially has the position of being President of the United States who thinks climate disruption is a hoax created by the Chinese doesn’t deserve to be in that seat. It’s just a simple fact.”
That’s a reference to Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, who tweeted back in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Somerhalder calls the prospect of a Trump victory a “scary thing” — so much so that he would consider moving out of the U.S. if the Republican won.
“I think about the America I could potentially be raising my children in, and I don’t know,” says Somerhalder, who married Nikki Reed in April 2015. “I don’t know if I would actually want to stay here. It’s extreme, but I love this country. I want nothing but the best for this country.”
Somerhalder says he understands the need to spur the economy, but not at the expense of the environment. “I want to see our factories up and running again,” he says. “It just takes a little time. But our environment, we can’t survive without it. I’m looking out right now at the beautiful Georgia afternoon, and it’s 84 degrees right now. It’s going to be 87 tomorrow. We’ve hit records almost every day. It’s happening all over the southeast. I’m just concerned.”
Continues Somerhalder, “I want to make a difference. It’s not just for future generations, it’s for us. In our lifetimes, we’re looking at massive, massive climate disruption. I just want to be at one with the climate again.”