Trump To Planet: Drop Dead :D
Not really the whole planet. Just the life on it. Know any?
Donald Trump has big plans for America. He's going to make all of us who are already rich even richer and more prosperous, and the only price we have to pay is four to eight more years of delay in doing something about global warming, which isn't merely a Chinese plot to keep America from competing, but is also a complete hoax perpetrated by scientists for nefarious motives. What, you never heard of evil scientists who want to rule the world? There's one bit of good news in all this: The rest of the nations who have signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement still plan to go ahead with reducing their carbon outputs, even as the nation that supposedly leads the world in science turns itself over to leadership by a party that doesn't believe in science anymore -- at least, not in science that you can't drop from fighter jets on some ay-rabs.
In September, Scientific American reported Trump was looking to transition planning help from a team of notorious climate denying flacks. Chief among them is Myron Ebell, director of the "Center for Energy and Environment" (motto: "Energy good, life irrelevant") at the rightwing Competitive Enterprise Institute, who will reportedly be leading Trump's transition plans for the EPA. If you've read the invaluable Merchants of Doubt (or seen the film), you'll recognize the CEI as that fine anti-regulatory "think tank" which has been with us since those good old days when its main focus was denying that second-hand smoke was bad for anyone's health, that the ozone layer needed protection, that acid rain was real, and now, of course, that there's any scientific consensus on global warming.
And what a peach this Ebell is! In a biography he submitted to accompany his testimony before Congress, Ebell brags he'd been listed by Greenpeace as a "Climate Criminal," that Rolling Stone had called him a “misleader” on climate science, and that the Clean Air Trust had named him its "Villain of the Month" in March 2001 for convincing the G.W. Bush administration to not regulate carbon emissions. He also wants to gut the Endangered Species Act, or as he puts it, to "transform [it] into a program that respects property rights and actually protects endangered wildlife habitat," since apparently now it does neither. He's called the Paris Climate Agreement "an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority," because of course it is. He is just one of many of the reasons we can't have nice things. But Exxon-Mobil can!
He told Vanity Fair in 2007, “There has been a little bit of warming ... but it’s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it’s caused by human beings or not, it’s nothing to worry about.”
Aren't you reassured? Now go blow some cigarette smoke into your baby's face while you're at it, because the science isn't settled.
Ebell isn't the only charmer the Trump campaign reached out to for help. For the Department of Energy, there's Republican lobbyist Mike McKenna, who sports an impressive résumé including time with the DOE during Poppy Bush's administration, plus lobbying for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, Southern Company Services, and Dow Chemical. And to help with the Interior Department, there's David Bernhardt, who was solicitor for Interior in the G.W. Bush administration.
Ready for a real thigh-slapper? According to Politico, possible candidates for Secretary of the Interior include Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil; former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, or possibly Donald Trump Jr., whom we thought was supposed to be off keeping Daddy's business separate from his presidency. Maybe that was Ivanka. But the most tantalizing prospect of all? How about Interior Secretary Sarah Palin?
Yeah, we just died to death, too.
Now, let's not get too panicky here: this crowd of science deniers may completely defund all climate research and do everything they can to dig, drill, and mine all the fossil fuels possible, but it's not like it's the end of the world.
It's a more like the end of the world's habitability for large mammals, though, so don't get too sentimental about the biosphere. And don't worry -- the planet probably won't become incapable of sustaining human life until Baron Trump's grandchildren are handed the mess. Maybe sooner, maybe later.
[Scientific American / Vox / BBC / Politico]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.