It’s been pretty painful to watch the Trump regime in action in America. But now it gets even worse. Now we’re getting to the part where right-wing America truly starts to drag the rest of the globe down with it:
Trump begins tearing up Obama’s years of progress on tackling climate change
Fossil fuels to the fore as president signs orders to review clean power plan, lift ban on coal leases and discard expert thinking on true cost of carbon emissions
Trump will sign executive orders and presidential memoranda that suspend, rescind or review several measures that were central to Obama’s effort to combat global warming. They include a review of the clean power plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.
Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax”, has criticised the power-plant rule and others as placing an unnecessary burden on American workers and the struggling US coal industry.
Burdens and struggles – you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It’s not just environmental and social ignorance on display here, it’s economic ignorance too:
On a call with reporters Monday night to discuss the executive order, one unnamed senior White House official said Trump is “not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the U.S. economy at risk.”
But when this official was pressed with the fact that climate change poses grave economic risks of its own, he froze. “I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about,” he said, challenging the reporter to show him the research. Here’s the full exchange:
REPORTER: What about all the scientists who are saying climate change is going to have adverse economic consequences—things like rising sea levels, more hazardous hurricanes—how do you address those economic arguments?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Again, you’ll have to talk to those scientists. Maybe I can talk to you afterward. I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about. But again, the President’s policy is very clear about addressing—making sure we’re addressing the economy, providing people with jobs, and we’re making sure that EPA is sticking to its core mission.
REPORTER: Are you saying you’re not aware that scientists are concerned about rising sea levels or more violent storms might impact the economy—
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would want to see the research. Sure, that would be good. Show it to me.
Think about this for a second. The Trump administration is unraveling the best chance we have at slowing human-caused climate change, solely because he says it will improve the economy. But Trump’s advisers have apparently not considered how climate change’s impacts on agricultural productivity, human health, and property value will hurt the economy. Hell, they’re not even “familiar” with the idea that it might.
The one bit of good news is that this these destructive changes will take time. Back to the first piece again:
The official acknowledged the orders’ effects would not be immediate, especially in view of legal challenges. “I would bet a good deal I’m sure there’ll be litigation … Whether that’s three years, two years or one year, I don’t know. It’s going to take some time.”
If ever there was a time for sane America to mobilise and vote, it is now.