Sunday, April 30, 2017
Climate Sunday: How About those Marches?
Another weekend, another massive turnout in protests against the policies of Donald Trump. There is one thing you can say about his first 100 days--he's definitely set an anti-environmentalist tone. He has signed an executive order to expand offshore drilling (so we can expect more Deepwater Horizon-like spills, I suspect) and to mine and drill and log at national monuments. His EPA is conveniently killing the pretty solid Energy Star program that, it turns out, hasn't been working for his businesses. The EPA has also taken useful climate science data from its website. And as for investing in environmental security measures against the ravages from the effects of global warming? Well, this Administration won't be bothering with that sort of prudent and timely material protection, either.
What frustrates me most about all of this is that this Administration is informed by a kind of penny-wise and dollar-foolish short-sightedness that tries to frame environmentalism as a concern of elitist privilege that costs unnecessary fortunes to address, while ignoring the reality that the people who seem to agitate against green measures are often connected to fossil fuel money, and the communities that bear the brunt of a changing climate are often the poorest. I can't respect a person who is ready to tilt at windmills if they deface the view from one of his properties, and then wants to build a great, huge, beautiful wall...a sea wall, that is, to protect another one from the sea-level rise that per Himself is just a hoax. Situational much?
Just as President Trump has learned (although, to be quite honest, not as fully as he needs to) that dealing with things like health care, taxation, trade, and handling crazy little tin-pot dictators with effective nukes and not-terribly effective missiles, are harder than he once believed them to be, I would sincerely like him to acknowledge that maybe there is a pretty good reason to pay attention to scientists and reasonably concerned individuals who are trying to alert him to the realities that environmental hazards pose. I hope that he would try to actually go out of his way to find the experts who can help him respond to a Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy-level weather event, or a directly man-made threat like the Deepwater Horizon spill. I think it would be great to know that he could listen to people talk about their environmental concerns, and take them seriously. But his rhetoric and the actions of the past 100 days don't give me an awful lot of encouragement.
How do you even tell this guy that CDC disease research and Coast Guard interdiction and the environmental measures taken by the Pentagon are all more essential to national security than his fakakta Mexican border wall is ever going to be? (I don't know! Do you?)
Maybe pictures of these amazing, engaged, motivated crowds can do what mere words don't.