By Rmuse | 5 February 2019
After denying science and empirical data over the past few decades, a majority of Americans have finally come to the realization that not only is anthropogenic climate change real, it is adversely affecting their daily lives. It is beyond refute that if there was not a concerted Republican effort to portray science as fake news, and warnings about climate change a witch hunt aimed at destroying America, it is possible that America would lead, and help win, the war to save the climate.
Alas, since Donald Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration, America stopped leading the war against climate change and is crusading to decimate what remains of what should be a fundamental human right – a “livable climate.” Despite their concern over a climate that is unlivable, at this point there is nothing the people can do to prevent its demise – except get really sick and die prematurely.
In October 2016, a mere month before America’s democracy suffered a near-fatal, self-indicted wound, renowned climatologist Michael E. Mann penned an article warning warning that then-candidate Donald Trump posed “a threat to the planet;” most semi-conscious people already knew Trump posed a threat to America.
Although it is true that Professor Mann is no kind of prophet, his warning was prophetic according to climate scientists and experts who recently reported that in two short years Trump’s environmental deregulation crusade has been “fatal for a livable climate.” It has also been the dream fulfillment of everything the Koch brothers have spent no small amount of money to see happen during their lifetimes, regardless of the existential threat to a livable climate.
It is remarkable that just as environmental experts are agreeing that “our worst fears have come true” because Trump is in the White House, a recent survey revealed that for the first time ever a record number of Americans understand that climate change is real and “they are increasingly worried about its effects in their lives today.” Those adverse effects are exactly what climate scientists warned was going to happen decades ago.
It was a surprise to experts that the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication survey showed that 73 percent of Americans now say that global warming was happening and that the issue was personally important to them – because it is “affecting their lives today.”
It worth repeating that if Americans were not so naturally averse to science, a natural result of extreme religiosity, they would probably not be feeling the natural effects of electing an anti-science activist to do the bidding of the fossil fuel industry; including deliberately dumping more carbon, and more toxins, into the environment. It has been the overriding agenda of Trump’s environmental policy since January 2017 when the crusade to hasten the demise of the climate began in earnest.
As the former special advisor for green jobs in the Obama Administration, CNN host Van Jones, noted:
“In explaining the demise of our planet, a coroner’s report might very well read ’cause of death: the Trump presidency.”
“In explaining the demise of our planet, a coroner’s report might very well read ’cause of death: the Trump presidency.”https://t.co/ZQaNMixV4Y
— Friends of the Earth (Action) (@foe_us) February 22, 2019
The founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, remarked that Trump’s assault on Obama-era climate rules, coupled with rejecting the Paris Climate Agreement, is fatally delaying climate action America was leading prior to Trump’s ascendancy to a place he has no right visiting, much less occupying. Mr. McKibben said:
“Trump got the Koch Bros what they wanted. Trump’s rollbacks gave them another half-decade or so of their business model, at the expense of breaking the planet.”
The former managing director of President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality, Christy Goldfuss, said what any sane American already knows – Trump has handed environmental policy over to the fossil fuel and chemical industries. Ms. Goldfuss said:
“The deep culture of corruption at all political levels of the Trump administration has reawakened fears about toxic pollution, water contamination, and even asbestos exposure in communities across the country. In its first two years, Trump has worked overtime to increase the exposure of our children to substances that are uniquely dangerous to their developing minds and bodies — including mercury, arsenic, and air toxics, as well as polluted water and the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked directly to fetal brain damage.”
That flagrant disregard for the health and safety of American citizens, especially young children and those not yet alive, should disabuse any Trump-supporting evangelical of his administration’s “pro-life” bona fides. This is particularly true if Trump’s supporters were intelligent enough to acknowledge that their messiah is appointing fossil fuel industry lobbyists to decimate environmental regulations meant to combat climate change at home and across the planet.
As of late Trump nominated a coal industry lobbyist to take charge of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and just yesterday he announced the nomination of an oil industry lobbyist as head of the Interior Department. These appointments of dirty fossil fuel activists who promote policies allowing more toxins and carbon to be poured into the environment are in spite of the well-known health risks to Americans of all ages, but particularly the most vulnerable.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) January 9, 2019
These threats to human life in service to the fossil fuel industry represent a particularly prescient issue in light of a recent scientific report by the American Heart Association (AHA). The report detailed the increase in the number of American infants born with “congenital heart defects” as a result of higher temperatures from anthropogenic climate change. The summary from the AHA states:
“The greatest percentage increases in the number of congenital heart defects [in infants] are predicted in the Midwest, followed by the Northeast and the South. Our findings underscore the alarming impact of climate change on human health and highlight the need for improved preparedness to deal with the anticipated rise in a complex condition that often requires lifelong care and follow-up. Our results highlight the dramatic ways in which climate change can affect human health and suggest that pediatric heart disease stemming from structural heart malformations may become an important consequence of rising temperature.”
As Michael Mann noted, Trump’s anti-environment crusade is having planet-wide implications for the climate. Professor Mann said:
“The most destructive action on Trump’s part has been his efforts to thwart the international Paris climate agreement by threatening unilateral withdrawal of the United States from an agreement that every other country in the world has signed on to. This has provided an excuse for other major carbon emitters, like China, to ease off on their own commitments toward carbon reductions. As a result, global carbon emissions have now gone up two years straight after having flat-lined for three years, and the battle to stabilize warming below the dangerous 2C level has become that much more uphill a battle.” (author bold)
As many pundits and observers have noted, Trump’s legacy will be as a monumentally destructive force to America on myriad counts, mostly affecting America’s waning democracy. But the depth of Trump’s climate devastation is immeasurable and does not stop at America’s borders, and the threat he poses to human life is not restricted to American citizens. While the rest of the planet’s governments are making some kind of efforts to preserve “a livable climate” for the sake their own citizens as much as all mankind, Trump has been on a two year crusade to hasten the demise of “a livable climate” by purposely increasing the amount of carbon emissions in the environment. Add to that murderous campaign Trump’s Herculean effort to increase toxin-levels in Americans’ air and water at the behest of the fossil fuel, manufacturing, and chemical industries and the blood on Trump’s hands will be significant.
It is a tragedy that record numbers of Americans now acknowledge the clear and present danger of climate change because it is far too little and far too late, and Trump is just getting started. It is safe to say that a fair percentage of those Americans own a significant share of the blood on Trump’s hands.
The Earth’s scientists have warned incessantly, for several decades, that failure to act would result in irreversible climate damage while too many Americans’ devotion to religion made them averse to science they believed was a hoax. It is why, in part, they voted for the man who in two short years has proven fatal for a livable climate and could not possibly care less that record numbers of Americans who surely voted for him are worried about climate change.
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