They really believe this nonsense

The editorial board of the NYT:

Trump Risks the Planet…The assault began with Mr. Trump’s pledge in Detroit to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, continued with a stingy budget plan that would end funding for climate-related scientific programs and reached an unhappy apex Tuesday with an executive order that, among things, would rescind the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s clean power strategy, a rule that would shut down hundreds of old coal-fired power plants and freeze the construction of new ones.

None of this was unexpected from a man who has described climate change as a hoax invented by the Chinese to destroy American industry and who has surrounded himself with cabinet officers and assistants who know or care little about the issue of global warming and its consequences — and who, in many cases, owe their political success to the largess of the oil, gas and coal companies.

Still, the gathering at the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday was deeply dismaying — and not only because of Mr. Trump’s tired complaints about job-killing regulations. Or his false promises of more jobs for coal workers whose industry is in irreversible decline because of cheaper natural gas and the tripling in capacity since 2008 of cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.

It was dismaying also because it repudiated the rock-solid scientific consensus that without swift action the consequences of climate change — rising seas, more devastating droughts, widespread species extinction — are likely to get steadily worse. It was dismaying because it reaffirmed the administration’s support for older, dirtier energy sources when all the economic momentum and new investment lies with newer, cleaner forms of energy. It was dismaying because it flew in the face of widespread public support for environmental protection — including the pleas of the executives of hundreds of major American corporations who fear that without energy innovation their costs will rise and their competitive edge over foreign companies will be lost.

Perhaps most important, Mr. Trump’s ignorance has stripped America of its hard-won role as a global leader on climate issues. There was some relief that Mr. Trump did not use the occasion to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement concluded in December 2015, when 195 nations came together for the first time in a collective effort to reduce greenhouse gases, in large part because of the tireless efforts of Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, to bring the Chinese and India along.

But the truth is that Mr. Trump has, for all practical purposes, repudiated Paris. The initiatives that he threatens to dismantle are the very ones that support Mr. Obama’s expansive pledge in Paris to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than one quarter below 2005 levels by 2025. Without them, the United States will have neither the tools nor the credibility to lead the world on emissions reduction, and surely the leaders of China and India and the rest of the world are smart enough to see this.

This raises two very real dangers. Either other big countries also pull out of the agreement. Or they decide to seize the initiative on clean energy sources, which would be good for the climate but bad for American industry.

Are there ways to avert this madness?

Yes, there is a way to avert this madness. Cancel your subscription to the NYT. Selections from the comments section:

Trump will be gone in 2050, as will I, but his and my children and grandchildren will likely still be around. How will his children and grandchildren be able to explain to mine the devastation that will be manifest then as the direct result of his climate actions now?

Trump’s continuing assaults on the environment and our children’s future mean that more progressive regions, states, and cities will have to fill the federal void that he and his oily friends have created. Those of us in Silicon Valley, the Pacific Northwest, and New England will need to negotiate our own agreements with China, Germany, Canada, Japan and other countries and companies that plan to create the technologies that will drive the 21st century economy.

As a scientist, I remain incredulous that there are still influential climate change deniers who can promote and enact such devastating environmental policies despite the irrefutable evidence indicating the major contributions of human activity to global warming. But as a physician, I had expected that our country could find common ground in appealing to public health as justification to support strict environmental protection given the improvements of air and water quality over the past 4 decades. Sadly, however, we were reminded yet again just this month that Trump and the Republicans don’t care about public health either

You think this looks bad from mid-town Manhattan? You can’t imagine how terrible the US now appears to the outside world. At one stroke Trump has made himself the enemy of most of the world – a billion Catholics, for instance, who listened carefully to Francis I on the environment, hundreds of millions at people already suffering from drought and rising seas, – and more then of all of those put together: the US government now represents a threat to every child in the world

I suspect that, in retrospect, yesterday will be viewed as the second-most tragic day in American history. The most tragic was the day Trump was elected.


2 Responses to “They really believe this nonsense”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    re They really believe this nonsense

    Yes they do, with the emphasis on “believe”. Michael Crichton was spot on when he advanced the theory that climate change is religion and that you can’t logically talk people out of their religion.

    And they have at least an entire generation indoctrinated.

    Who knows where it will end?

  2. terrenc22 Says:

    And as Dr Tim has said GIGO can mean Garbage In Garbage Out; but regarding climate, it means Gosple In Gospel Out

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