Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, June 2, 2017

Of Course Trump Wants to Exit the Paris Accord

President Trump revealed a small digital representation of the actual knowledge he even has about the state of the environment and the fucks he has to give about it, a Venn diagram of a perfect circle on the head of a pin.
Numerous people have weighed in, worldwide, about the ploddingly predictable announcement President Trump made today in a celebratory announcement that yes, the US would join Syria and Nicaragua in being out of the Paris Agreement. Trump has made an awful lot of noises about coal country and how he's bringing coal back. Right now, solar energy employs more people than coal, oil, and gas combined. Combined.  Talking up coal is like talking about building a bridge to the 19th century. And he's also talked a lot over the years about his belief that climate change is a hoax. Sadly, the only hoax about climate change is the hoax where people think climate change is a hoax. Ocean acidification, desertification of land, increased flooding, prolonged droughts, and storm severity have all measurably increased over an observed timeframe, and CO2 and the mechanisms that could be predicted from understanding of the greenhouse effect (understood since the 19th Century, come to think of it) have pretty much established to the minds of the majority of scientists that this is a real thing, and it's happening now. (Just Google "Strangely Blogged" and "Climate Sunday", and you'll see all kinds of examples.)

But Trump is a very special case. He is a Fox News low-info voter that somehow got into a job that requires a lot of information. And when he goes for additional data--he goes to Fox News' Kimberley Guilfoyle, not necessarily to science, to bolster his POV. And to the extent that he relied on any science at all--he got it wrong.

He's wrong on this in lots of ways. It's scientifically wrong. It's economically wrong (many business leaders oppose this decision). It's bad foreign policy (it weakens our ability to say we negotiate in good faith, and we aren't going to get another negotiation for a deal where we set our own targets, basically--what a dumb demonstration that Trump doesn't even know the agreement he is now rejecting). He's not even correct about the demographic he's supposedly appealing to--for one thing most Americans agree with staying in it. But he made the asinine statement that he makes decisions based on Pittsburgh, not Paris. Well, Pittsburgh PA went for Hillary Clinton, and Pittsburgh's mayor called BS on Trump's claim right away.

But or course, Trump has his supporters, who like this decision based on, basically, liberals not liking it? Or based on arguments so pathetically stupid you know they aren't about actual beliefs, but some weird tribal signifying.

Take Rick Santorum, my former Senator, a grandchild of a PA coal worker:

If the sun was actually unreliable, we'd have more problems than whether the freaking lights turned on at night (like, the original solar battery is plants that we eat to live so if the sun refused to shine?). But he's actually submitting the idea that clouds mean that solar is untenable. Clouds. As fellow Pennsylvanian Andrea McArdle sang in the role of Annie--the sun will come out, tomorrow. Leaping lizards, you guys.

Or take the delightful old "God will provide" stylings right here.  It's bad science and maybe even worse theology. Was it not written, "Do not tempt the Lord your God"? Putting the name of the Lord in your mouth to say he will clean up after you like a housemaid is a form of saying the Lord's name in vain. I'm agnostic and rusty, but my understanding of this passage is: He doesn't stop bullets or gravity for any one, and so He won't stop climate change if it comes through man's continued carelessness--and where in the world is the idea of earth stewardship and loving one's neighbor in this selfish false piety?  (Noted conservative pundit Erick Erickson is on the same trash tip. I suspect E.E. isn't totally stupid, but signifying--but what a waste! If your fellow human is starving, or their kids are dying of hunger and plague because of climate change--if people are drowned or displaced because of flooding, if they become adrift because their home was burned out in wildfires--I just don't know any interpretation of Christian doctrine where that isn't your business. )

And so on--bad science, conspiracy theory, and trash theology all thrown at a problem that has such a simple,  not even immoral accommodation required: Find a better way, and do that! And there are better ways, and we've found them, and they aren't prohibitively expensive, and the reasons not to do them are just...dumb. Trump is unknowlingly (or maybe even knowingly?) ready to trash the environment and the economy and world opinion of the US--for spite, I think. Sad! I don't know the remedy for the RW to unscrew themselves from this intellectual finger trap where they continue to deny climate change even as evidence mounts and the situation grows more dire, as if they just mean to save face for themselves and not allow the liberals to score one. Reasoning and scolding are both useless. Maybe more sinkholes need to open up at various golf clubs and resorts.

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