Bad People Doing Bad Things …

red circleLook at the circle above.  What colour do you see?  What?  Red?  No, I call that blue … definitely blue.  You still claim it’s red?  Then you will not be allowed to speak about the colour of the circle, for your view does not match my own, and thus is wrong.

Dr. Rod Schoonover was a senior intelligence analyst with the U.S. State Department and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Last week, Dr. Schoonover left the employ of the State Department.  Why?  Because he is a scientist.  Because he looked at that circle and called it red, even though Donald Trump and his administration warned him to say it was blue.  And then, Trump taped his mouth so he couldn’t say it was red.  And Dr. Schoonover decided he had enough and resigned his position.Rod SchoonoverDr. Schoonover was invited to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on June 5th about the security risks the United States faces because of climate change.  The Trump administration, according to leaked internal memos, tried to force Dr. Schoonover to change his prepared speech, but the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research refused and ultimately he was allowed to speak before the committee.  However, when it came time to publish his written testimony, the administration blocked it.

Why? Because it did not match the Trump administration’s views.  According to Myron Ebell, who was once considered to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before Trump settled on Scott Pruitt, Trump’s re-election campaign consultants told him …

“We have polling showing that you need to stress your environmental accomplishments and not start controversial things that will get you bad press, like going after climate science.”

Let that one sink in for a minute, folks.

Policy decisions and governance are now being mandated by Donald Trump’s campaign for next year’s election.  Not the welfare of the country and its people, not our safety and well-being, but what will play well in the rallies, what his ‘base’ wants to hear, what will give him the best chance to spend an additional four years destroying our nation, our lives.

One of the statements White House officials objected to was this observation:

“Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”

On Monday, July 8th, Trump did, in fact, give a speech where he stated that his White House was working “harder than many previous administrations” on the issue of the environment, adding: “Maybe almost all of them.”

Given that he has spent his entire two-and-a-half years in office destroying environmental regulations, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, encouraging the fossil fuel industry, destroying wildlife protections, opening federal lands to drilling and mining, environmentalists’ jaws dropped when they heard his speech.  We shouldn’t be surprised … the man has yet to speak an honest word!

The environment and climate change should not be … should not be an issue of partisan politics!  And yet … it is.  According to a recent survey, 81% of Democrats said climate change was “very important,” compared with more than the 56% of independents and a measly 26% of Republicans.  Yo Republicans!!!  Wake up and remove your head from your arse!!!  You are killing us!

Daniel Q. Greenwood, Trump’s deputy assistant in the White House office of legislative affairs, said that Schoonover’s written testimony was unacceptable because …

“The testimony still has serious concerns with internal components and focuses heavily on the science. Because it doesn’t reflect the coordinated IC position, or the administration’s position, there is no way this can be cleared ahead of the hearing.”

It focuses too heavily on the science???  And it doesn’t reflect the administration’s position. Apparently, Dr. Schoonover didn’t read the republican’s bible that states, “Ye shall put forth no facts, but only whatever fantasy his Trumpship wishes on any given day”.

You can see and download the .pdf file of Dr. Schoonover’s written assessment, with comments and suggested changes written by Trump lackeys.  It is said that most of the comments came from William Happer, a ‘theoretical physicist’ and White House adviser on the National Security Council who denies the established scientific consensus on global warming.  Certainly that makes him uniquely qualified to edit a scientific document on climate change, doesn’t it?

Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, droughts, melting ice caps, algae blooms, a declining bee population … all far in excess of what has been the normal range.  Where I live, we have had “air quality alerts” every day for the past two weeks, and today for the first time ever, I received an “excessive heat warning”.  This coming weekend, I will not be able to leave my house because the temperatures are expected to be around the 100° (F) mark (38° C), and I cannot survive in such.  I have lived in this general area since 1987 and have never once seen temps reach 100°.  In fact, as a rule, I can count on my fingers the number of days the temps are over 90°.

Bottom line — climate science is unpopular with Trump’s base, and there is an election in just over 15 months, so the entire planet must be doomed to the whims and vagaries of an uneducated group of people who like Donald Trump because he says there is no such thing as climate change … and oh yeah, besides that he’s gonna build a damn wall and have Mexico pay for it.

The Hope For Our Future …

The best news of the week was brought to us by students skipping school!  That’s right … kids from 123 nations chose to take a stand, to make their voices heard about climate change, so they played hookey, skipped school and engaged in peaceful protest on Friday.

Last October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that without dramatic change, global emissions are set to rise to a level that would usher in catastrophic consequences in just over a decade. Exactly one month later, the historic Camp Fire broke out in Paradise, California, claiming 85 lives and destroying more than 15,000 structures.

There are three types of reactions to this:  1) those who still claim to deny that human activities are destroying our atmosphere, 2) those who agree and somewhat understand that climate change is indeed a very imminent threat, but do nothing, and 3) those who are doing something, either making changes in their own lifestyle, lobbying Congress to take action, or speaking out loudly enough to get the attention of the first two groups.  These kids are in the 3rd group!

The young people understand, for they are not blinded by the things we are … convenience, laziness, and greed.  They also realize that it is their future, far more than ours, that is threatened.  It is reminiscent of the young people who turned into activists for gun control after the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, but on a much grander scale.

Around the world, students in 123 countries will not be attending classes in protest, instead taking to the streets to demand their leaders take meaningful action to address climate change.  In the United States, the Youth Climate Strike group, founded by three young women from Colorado, New York, and Minnesota, has helped organize strikes in over 100 cities across the country.

One such group, Minnesota Can’t Wait, is co-founded by Isra Hirsi, aged 16, who just happens to be the daughter of freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar.  When asked why she and her group were participating in Friday’s protest, she had this to say …

“Because you need dramatic action for dramatic change. And it’s really important, especially in the United States, when we probably are the biggest contributors to climate change in this entire world, to take that action and to show our politicians that younger people really care about this issue from all different communities and all different places and we want to do something about it, and we’re not going to stand idly by [while] you [are] not doing anything.”

Thunberg

Greta Thunberg – Stockholm, Sweden

The youth climate strikes began last September, when Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, stopped going to school on Fridays. She quickly became known for skipping school to protest outside the Swedish Parliament, all in an effort to draw attention to climate change and demand her government implement policies in line with the Paris climate agreement. Since then, students of all ages and from most nations have been striking to demand action on climate change.

It is estimated that 1.4 million young people took part in the protests.  According to Greta Thunberg …

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. We knew there was a climate crisis … We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

They could see what our leaders in Washington D.C. cannot see, that ‘something’ is ‘very wrong’.  I give two thumbs up to these young people who are determined to make themselves heard for the future of this planet … for their future!  I will let them tell you of their efforts through pictures from around the world yesterday.

Capetown-SA

Capetown, South Africa

Delhi-India

Delhi, India

Dresden-Germany

Dresden, Germany

Dublin-Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Edinburgh-Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Lisbon-Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

London-England

London, England

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Quezon-City-Philippines

Quezon City, Philippines

San-Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA

Seoul-2

Seoul, South Korea

Stockholm-Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Sydney-Australia

Sydney, Australia

Taipei-Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

Tokyo-Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Washington-DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Perhaps we could all take a page out of these kids’ books?  Great jobs, young people!  I’m proud to know that you are the future of our planet … perhaps there is hope after all!

Damn You, Donald Trump!

If the top experts in a field don’t give you the answers you wanted, don’t tell you exactly what you wanted to hear, then the best thing is to find people who will say precisely what you want to hear and abide by their opinions.  For example … say your tax accountant, a long-trusted Certified Public Accountant tells you that you owe a few thousand dollars in federal income taxes, and you don’t want to pay any more taxes, you can always find a shyster who will find illegitimate deductions and with a bit of creative accounting, can make your tax bill vanish into thin air.  This is what all the smart, wealthy businessmen do all the time … businessmen with last names like DeVos, Ross, Mercer, Koch, Craft and Trump.  That’s why they are so wealthy!

Now, my point today has nothing to do with income taxes, though I have spent the last three hours working on them, but with the science of climate change.  Trump doesn’t like the report that was issued last November by the National Climate Assessment (NCA).  He doesn’t like it largely because the results do not fit in with his grand scheme to roll back all environmental protections and give free rein to the fossil fuel industries, as well as others such as the auto industry.  And so, if the puzzle piece doesn’t fit where you want it, then grab a knife and whittle it until it does fit!

The NCA report is a result of the work of 13 different federal agencies, and I urge you to take a look at the section titled Summary Findings, at a minimum.  When the report was first issued, Trump summarily dismissed it, saying he is not among the “believers” who see climate change as a pressing problem.  Go figure, huh?

“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers.”

Did he really say “high levels of intelligence” as referring to himself???  What a son of a b**ch!  But on to the business at hand …

Trump has now decided to set up his own ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet.  In other words, Trump is going to establish a group of climate deniers to state that the NCA report is wrong, thus giving him free rein to follow through on his policies that will bring about, in short shrift, the extinction of not only the human species, but likely all life on earth as we know it today.  Alarmist?  Nope … ask the real scientists.

Trump has tasked the National Security Council with establishing the initiative that would include scientists who question the severity of climate impacts and the extent to which humans contribute to the problem.  The group would not be subject to the same level of public disclosure as a formal advisory committee.  NSC officials said they would take steps to assemble a group of researchers within the government. The group will not be tasked with scrutinizing recent intelligence community assessments of climate change.

Understand that the NCA report was subjected to intense scrutiny by scientists worldwide before it was released and is not the only report to provide similar warnings.  Last year, a military-funded study warned sea level rise and other climate impacts could make more than a thousand low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean “uninhabitable” by midcentury.  Just last month, the national intelligence director delivered a worldwide threat assessment that “climate hazards” including extreme weather, wildfires, droughts and acidifying oceans are worsening, “threatening infrastructure, health, and water and food security.”  In the words of Camilo Mora, a geographer and environmental professor at the University of Hawaii …

“When it comes down to climate change, we are talking about thousands of independent papers, from everywhere, finding exactly the same thing: that the climate is changing, that we are doing it and that most often than not, the impacts are pretty bad.”

A few very important things should be noted.  While I am admittedly ‘science-challenged’, I am fully convinced that humans have created environmental problems that have been ignored for far too long and are now at crisis stage.  Every other nation on the globe … every single one … have signed the Paris Climate Accord and are diligently finding ways to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as other climate initiatives.  But the United State, the second largest emitter of CO2, and the largest per capita, has reversed course and is actively increasing fossil fuel usage, refusing to take advantage of technology that allows vehicles to become more fuel efficient, and has taken every step imaginable to further increase carbon emissions!Co2 emissions by nationOur carbon emissions do not simply affect the atmosphere directly over the U.S.!  Our emissions affect people in every nation on the globe! Put yourself in the place of a citizen of the United Kingdom, a country that has reduced its carbon emissions by some 43% since 1990, a country where clean, renewable energy has reduced much of its reliance on coal, where industrial pollutants are strictly regulated.  Yes, there is a price … some industries have taken a hit and there are other ramifications, but at the end of the day, they are doing their part … the U.S. is not.  Plain and simple.  Germany is doing its part. Even China is taking climate change far more seriously than the U.S.!

And now, the head of our government has undertaken a new mission to form a group of climate deniers to tell the American people that CO2 is not actually harmful to the atmosphere and that we should all support the coal and oil industries, that we should all drive big vehicles that get 10-12 miles per gallon as opposed to more fuel efficient cars that average more than 40 miles per gallon.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has written an OpEd in The Washington Post titled “Disband Your Climate Denial Panel, Mr. President” that is well worth the short read and is further proof that those who are thinkers, those who have education, knowledge and intellect, understand that man has abused the environment just about as long as he can, and we are on a path to destroying the very resources we need to survive.

When our cities look like this …China-pollutionThere is one person who bears the responsibility:  Donald J. Trump.  Damn you, Donald Trump!

The Virtue of Stupidity

Once again, dear friend Hugh has hit the nail on the head regarding the dangerous attitudes of this nation toward addressing environmental issues, most notably climate change, or global warming. Please take a minute to read his excellent post … and make note of his new “law” at the end! Thank you, Hugh, for the post and the permission to share!

hughcurtler

Temperatures around the country have recently been plunging and the nay-sayers once again point to the thermometer and tell us why they deny that the globe is warming. They ignore the fact that South Africa is experiencing the hottest summer on record and that what happens in Alabama or Alaska (or South Africa) is beside the point. Global Warming is a fact and it is not to be identified with passing weather events in particular parts of the world. Confusing the two and ignoring hard science are marks of the “virtue of stupidity” among those who remain with their heads in the sand — or somewhere equally dark. (This is a repost, which I have updated.)

In his remarkable book, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, Charles Pierce quotes Norman Myers of the Climate Institute who estimated that in 1995 [over twenty-four years ago!] there…

View original post 929 more words

Our Planet … Our Home … Our Lives

Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Do you understand how your car’s transmission works?  Do you understand about the little and slightly-less-little gears that engage and disengage to shift your car into just the right ratio based on speed, incline, etc?  Do you understand the intricacies about how your lungs take in air, process the oxygen and send it into the blood stream, then emit the unwanted part, carbon dioxide (CO2)?  Do you understand how the bit of electricity coming from that wall outlet can make your clothes washing machine agitate and spin and sometimes sound like the Eagle Has Landed?  No, and neither do I, but yet we take for granted that the car will run, our lungs will do what they are supposed to in order to keep us alive, and as long as we insert the plug properly, the machine will clean the clothes.  There are many, many things in our daily lives that we accept at face value, even though we may not understand the science behind them.

So please tell me why, all of a sudden, half the nation has decided to repudiate the concept of human-caused climate change and the predictions made by highly-educated, intelligent and knowledgeable scientists?

People go to a doctor and are altogether too willing to assume that he knows exactly the right medicine to give you to cure whatever ails you.  Most people don’t even ask questions, like how does this drug work, what are the likely and remote side effects, why do you think this drug is the best for my condition.  Nope, they just say okay, take the script to the nearest pharmacy and happily ingest whatever doc said.  Why?  Because he has a degree, because he is supposed to be knowledgeable, because he wears a white coat.  The truth is that far more doctors play trial and error, or pander to the drug reps who wine & dine them and give them nice gifts at Christmas time than you probably care to know.  But still, you trust them.  So, why not trust scientists who also have a degree, are knowledgeable, and unlike your doctor, have no reason to lie to you?

There is likely no simple, single answer to that question.  For some, merely the fact that Donald Trump says it’s a hoax, and that even if the earth is warming, it will “all change back” soon.  Why anybody would believe a ‘man’ who is proven to lie some 96% of the time, over the entire scientific community and the results of their research is well beyond my comprehension.

In the past, we have had presidents who listened to the experts in their fields.  These men understood the value of knowledge and education.  These men asked questions, gave careful consideration to the data they were provided, and made the wisest decisions they could based on the information they had.  This is why nearly every leader on the globe, including our own President Obama, signed the Paris climate accord, the agreement dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.  When 97% of the worlds scientists studying the changes in climate tell you that there is a serious problem, it’s time to sit up and take notice.

But Donald Trump, because it isn’t convenient for him, calls it a ‘hoax’, says the Chinese are the initiators of said hoax in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.  Say WHAT???  I imagine there is some twisted connection somewhere inside Trump’s head, but to a reasonably intelligent person, that statement makes absolutely no sense.

It is enough that half the nation fall prostate at Donald’s feet when he denies that climate change is a serious problem, but far, far worse is the fact that the U.S. Congress … or at least the republican element of it … is toeing the party line, falling in line behind Trump, wanting to be seen to be in his corner, on his ship.  Why?  I don’t know, but I know that since we voted for them and we are paying their salary, they are supposed to be looking out for our best interests.  Ignoring report after report showing the likely effects, not in some far off distant future, but now … today … is definitely not in our best interest.

Donald Trump is without question the biggest liar we have ever seen in a leadership role in this country.  He lies even when there is no reason to do so.  He lies so much that he doesn’t even know what is true anymore.  So why on earth would anybody believe him when all the evidence is the opposite of what he says.  Remember last month’s fires in California?  The hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in 2017 and in North Carolina this year?  Not just any ol’ fires, not just your run o’ the mill hurricanes, but ecological disasters!

Donald Trump may refute the evidence, the reports and what is before his very eyes, but some people are taking it all very seriously and doing something about it.  One such man is Yvon Chouinard, billionaire founder of outdoor apparel firm Patagonia.

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard

According to a Forbes article on November 29th

Patagonia announced it has an additional $10 million in profits on its books for 2018 as a result of Trump’s “irresponsible tax cut” last year, which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Instead of investing the additional dollars back into its business, Patagonia said it would give $10 million to grassroot groups fighting climate change, including organizations that work in regenerative organic agriculture to help reverse global warming.

“Our government continues to ignore the seriousness and causes of the climate crisis,” Chouniard said in a statement. “It’s pure evil.”

A billionaire businessman with both a brain and a conscience!  Can we clone him?

“We need an agriculture system that supports small family farms and ranches, not one that rewards chemical companies intent on destroying our planet and poisoning our food. And we need to protect our public lands and waters because they are all we have left.”

Last December, the front page for Patagonia’s website read …Patagonia front pageThe planet Earth will remain in its orbit for the foreseeable future.  Whether it will sustain human, animal or plant life beyond the next few years is up to us.  Donald Trump is not a good steward, is not taking care of our home, but is systematically making decisions on a near-daily basis that are likely to make all lifeforms we know today unsustainable into the future.  It is up to us, for the billionaires in Trump’s circle are too busy making money to care about our future.

Trump Picks More Losers …

The rollback of regulations that were meant to protect the environment and the withdrawal from the Paris Accord were bad enough.  The nomination of climate change deniers Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to top positions in agencies whose primary functions pertained to protecting the environment added insult to injury.  And now, to ice the cake, Trump has appointed William Happer for the key job of “senior director for emerging technologies” at the National Security Council.Will-Happer-climate-science-denierWant to know what’s wrong with William Happer?  Happer is a “theoretical physicist”, whatever the heck that is, at Princeton, and is one of the most demented climate change deniers in existence.  Here are just a few of the things he has to say about climate science …

  • In Defense of Carbon Dioxide: “The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.”

  • “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda.”


  • “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”  Say WHAT???


  • “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

So, just what qualifies him for this position?  Well, for many years, he was chairman of the board of the George C. Marshall Institute, which was funded in part by the Koch brothers to promote climate science denial.  He also writes and co-signs anti-science Wall Street Journal op-eds.

Will-HapperThe reality is that Happer knows little about emerging technologies or real threats to America’s national security but he does know a great deal about denying climate science. And, sadly, that appears to be the only qualification you need to join the Trump team these days.

Another Trump nominee, J. Steven Gardner, had been nominated to lead the Interior Department’s mining agency, but withdrew his nomination earlier this week.  Gardner was a long-time coal advocate who applauded the decision last year to allow coal companies to dump their toxic waste into streams.

According to Tom Morris of the Sierra Club …

“Gardner has shown time and again that he will try and fight anything that gets in the way of profits for coal executives — even if it means sacrificing the health of the families and communities …”Steven GardnerLike Zinke, Pruitt, Happer and all the rest in the current administration, he is a denier of climate science.  Some of his beliefs:

  • Mining is simply “accelerated erosion”
  • Mountaintop mining is good because it creates flat land
  • There is no such thing as renewable energy

Fortunately, Gardner has withdrawn his nomination in light of the stalled confirmation process, and certain requirements by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) with which he was unwilling to comply.  Good riddance, but who will be next?  No doubt another person who doesn’t believe in science, but rather puts corporate profits above preserving our lives.Patrick Chappatte / International New York Times

environment-toon-2

The Death March of Planet Earth

Europe doesn’t want to play with us anymore, and I don’t blame them.

“The European Union will no longer make trade deals with the United States if President Trump follows through on withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, according to a French official whose comments were endorsed by the European Commission.” – ThinkProgress, 06 February 2017

The planet’s second-largest polluter and we are not only refusing to help clean up our own mess, but determinedly making an even bigger mess.

“One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground. No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement. The US knows what to expect.” – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French foreign affairs minister

No word yet of any response from Trump … he probably didn’t understand what they meant, and anyway, he has been too busy worrying about who did or didn’t clap for him at his State of the Union Address to actually consider such trivial things as whether our nation will lose one of our biggest trading allies.

And in other environmental news …

  • The state of Idaho has decided to remove all references to climate science from its science education standards. Way to go, Idaho … keep those kids in the dark and don’t let them know the dirty little secret that we are killing our planet.

  • Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, is still trying to drum up support for his 5-year offshore leasing program that would open up the entire eastern seaboard to offshore drilling. This despite the fact that the governors of 15 of the 16 coastal states are against the plan.  According to Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club’s Lands Protection Program, the plan “underscores how disorganized and uninterested this administration is in preserving our coastline or stewarding our public lands.”  Yep, pretty much..

  • Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer has proposed a new bill that would restrict wind power development in the state and end the designation of wind power as ‘renewable.’ “Wind energy is not Nebraska Nice. Wind energy is a scam that hurts people and animals, wastes billions in tax dollars, and isn’t ‘green’ energy by any definition of the term.” Oh for Pete’s sake!  Wind energy is one of the least polluting sources of energy available.

  • Trump wants to eliminate the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, a federal agency with a strong record of improving public safety. The goal seems to be to give a boost to the nation’s petrochemical industry as part of its “energy dominance” agenda. The agency is charged with investigating major chemical fires, explosions, leaks, and other accidents. Nothing too important there, right folks?

  • Oil and gas companies are suing municipalities that pass ordinances banning drilling and other types of industrial activity. Say what?  But it’s even worse.  Federal judges are sanctioning the lawyers who represent the small towns trying to protect the environment, imposing financial penalties.  (More about this one at some later date)

And that, my friends, is the latest in environmental news.  You may wish to spend  some time outdoors today, for I don’t know how much longer we will be able to breathe out there if this keeps up!

Destruction of HUD, ACA, and EPA … All In A Week’s Work!!! – Part I

It is time to stop this madness.  This entire week has been lunacy the likes of which we have never before seen in this country.  First, there is the absolutely horrible healthcare bill I wrote about yesterday that seems to be flying through Congress to ensure that none of us below a certain income level will qualify for affordable healthcare.  Then came the news that Mike Flynn, the man who served for 24 days as National Security Advisor was serving as a foreign agent, lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government, for which he was paid over a half-million dollars, while at the same time working as Trump’s campaign advisor.  Then came the news that Republican Representative from Illinois, John Shimkus objects to the inclusion of prenatal care in the health plan because after all, why should men have to pay for prenatal care when they don’t get pregnant???  And now there is this horrific massacre of what was once known as the Environmental Protection Agency – EPA.  The only possible solution to halt this runaway train we are on is to get rid of the damn engineer.  TRUMP MUST GO!!! epa-runaway-train

 

Last month, a man named Scott Pruitt was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Think about the name of that department.  Environmental. Protection. Agency.  Its sole purpose, its Raison D’être, is to protect the environment.  PROTECT … not destroy.  And yet, Mr. Scott Pruitt does not believe in protecting the environment if it will cost his buddies over at Exxon-Mobil.

Go to the EPA website, and this is what you will see:

“Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gas emissions have increased the greenhouse effect and caused Earth’s surface temperature to rise. The primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.”

Now, listen to Mr. Pruitt, and this is what you will hear:

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” 

This is the voice of the man who leads the EPA, the same man who has sued the very agency he now leads no less than 14 times for a variety of issues, including the Clean Power Act, mercury and air pollution, the agency’s attempts to regulate pollution of waterways, and methane emissions from oil and gas facilities.

epa-chart

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from 2014, which summarized the findings of 2,000 international scientists, states it is “extremely likely” that the steep rise in CO2, along with other greenhouse gases such as methane, has caused most of the global warming experienced since the 1950s. And yet … this buffoon who is over the EPA, who has a law degree, not a science degree, believes he knows better than all 2,000 scientists who worked on the Climate Change report??? And the buffoon sitting in the Oval Office is allowing this to happen right under our very noses?  But wait … that buffoon in the Oval Office announced today that he is proposing to cut the EPA’s budget from $8.2 to $6.1 billion – a 26% cut – in the current year, which would likely reduce staffing by at least 20%.  Remember yesterday when I proposed that Ben Carson had been put in charge of HUD to keep quiet about budget cuts?  Well, looks like Scott Pruitt is to serve much the same function, and more — to disarm the EPA.  He has already explained why he believes he does not need as large a budget … there is no man-made condition to correct, no problems to solve … I guess they will just sit around and eat brownies from now on!

epa-pollution-4

Pruitt’s comments produced a torrent of criticism from scientists, environmental groups, and even his predecessor at the EPA, Gina McCarthy:

“The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs. When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high. Preventing the greatest consequences of climate change is imperative to the health and well-being of all of us who call Earth home. I cannot imagine what additional information the Administrator might want from scientists for him to understand that.”

Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said: “Pruitt has demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency. There is no doubt whatsoever that the planet is warming, and it is primarily due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and we can demonstrate clearly that the observed warming of the planet would not have occurred without that change in atmospheric composition. These are scientific facts, not opinion, and it is incumbent on politicians to take account of the scientific evidence.”   

epaTrump has previously called the EPA a “disgrace” and promised to reduce it to “tidbits” in order to spark economic growth through additional jobs in the oil, gas, and coal industries, as well as expansion in other industries as environmental regulations are lifted, increasing their corporate profits.  It looks like he has picked just the right man to help him in his devious plan of mass destruction.

Trump & Co. have also threatened … or promised, depending on which side of the coin you stand on … to abolish the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.  But that, and other atrocities, must be saved for Part II of this post, as I cannot squeeze everything into a single post.  Stay tuned as we look at the potential fallout both in the U.S. and across the globe from the decisions being made, and also what this world might look like in 50 years, 100 years, if we stay the course that Trump and Pruitt have chosen.

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