Climate Change Denying Donald Trump Aims to Scrap Landmark Paris Treaty

“Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880.” — NASA.

“America’s leadership in Paris has put the world on the path to a clean energy future that will create jobs and save lives.” — Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters.

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” — Donald Trump.

****

In late 2015, at the Paris Climate Summit (COP 21), the world made history by agreeing to rapid carbon emissions reductions in an effort to prevent catastrophic climate change. The Summit, which has earned criticism from climate activists claiming its resulting treaty doesn’t go far enough and attacks from a fossil fuel industry which would necessarily be phased out as the global community pushes for a transition to low and zero carbon energy sources, forged the strongest international climate treaty yet. As such, it represented a huge leap forward in global climate policy.

(“You’ve Been Trumped” Trailer highlights Trump’s bullying of the Scottish people and fighting to take down wind farms in his push to build a golf course in Scotland. See also — Injurious to the American People.)

As the treaty was being hammered out in Paris, COP 21 quickly became a central topic of debate in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Republicans, who have made a brand name out of pandering for fossil fuel corporate campaign dollars by making ever-more outrageous public professions of climate change denial, practically tripped over each other in their efforts to denounce the treaty.

Ted Cruz, the main contender to Trump, held what could best be described as a circus of climate change denial on the floor of Congress while the Paris Summit was unfolding. Chris Christie — who was still in the race at the time, but now appears to be Trump’s most likely VP candidate — blithely stated “There’s no climate crisis.” Not to be outdone, Trump coined a new conspiracy theory. Fanning both the flames of climate change denial and US workers’ fears of losing jobs to the Chinese he outrageously claimed “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” As if all the climate scientists in the world were somehow involved in some sort of secret deal with the Chinese to wreck US manufacturing. As if wind, solar and electric vehicles didn’t represent a massive new avenue for US manufacturing growth and a potential for jobs expansion not seen since the middle of the 20th Century.

Today, as the Presidential Primaries began to enter their final races, Trump apparently decided that his blanket assertion that climate scientists were involved in shady deals with the Chinese probably wasn’t going to cut it. Making a herculean effort to issue a more serious statement on Paris, Trump today claimed that he would seek to renegotiate the treaty or to withdraw from it altogether. Since the US has already committed to the treaty — pledging to reduce carbon emissions by between 26 and 28 percent through 2030 — Trump’s new claims could be taken only slightly more seriously than his earlier Chinese global conspiracy allegations. For even in the event that he is elected, he would have difficulty withdrawing as that process would take five years and much of the action had already been locked in.

NASA temperature graph

(As this NASA graphic shows, 2015 was the hottest year on record. If current trends hold, 2016 will be significantly hotter at near 1.3 C above the 1880-1899 preindustrial baseline. Donald Trump doesn’t believe the scientists at NASA are telling the truth. And he has pledged to attempt to withdraw or renegotiate a critical international agreement aimed at reducing the rate of future temperature increases. Image source: NASA.)

What we should seriously consider, however, is Trump’s potential to wreck a path of ongoing emissions reductions that has been carefully crafted over the past 8 years. Trump’s statements should instead be interpreted as a signaled intent to harm the spirit of global cooperation on carbon emissions reductions that the US — in its Paris leadership during late 2015 — engendered. Trump casts blame on the Chinese, makes false claims that US commitments already in place are hurtful to the US economy, and appears ready to open a war on ramping rates of renewable energy adoption in the US. Harmful words considering the fact that renewable energy now creates five times more jobs than coal and that hundreds of US cities rely on healthy oceans, stable coastlines and predictable growing seasons for their own economic well-being.

Regarding Trump’s statement, Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said today in the Guardian:

“This is another example of Trump’s dangerous lack of judgement and the very real impacts it could have for all of us. Trump now not only denies the science of climate change, but also the politics and economics of it. America’s leadership in Paris has put the world on the path to a clean energy future that will create jobs and save lives. Fortunately, Trump’s rhetoric is not going to stop the Paris agreement, nor should it given the benefits of action and the costs of ignorance.”

Trump’s words engender and epitomize what has been an ongoing effort by him, and his republican allies, to spread climate ignorance and to prevent helpful climate action. In essence, Trump is pledging to block what is now a building global effort to save lives and prevent harm. An effort that every person of conscience and right mind should now be undertaking.

Links:

Injurious to the American People

Cruz Takes a Stand Against Science

Chris Christie: There’s No Climate Change

Trump Paris Statement Shows that 2016 is Most Important Election Yet

NASA

Trump Wouldn’t be Able to Derail Paris Deal

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Hat Tip to Caroline

Leave a comment

102 Comments

  1. Permanently above 400ppm? And there is no crisis? How do these people live in the same world we do?

    Reply
    • We might see a day or two below 400 ppm come Fall. But that’s it. We’ll never again see 400 ppm. Problem is 400 ppm in itself is pretty bad. But we’re heading for worse.

      Reply
  2. vardarac

     /  May 18, 2016

    I can’t vote for Hillary in good conscience, but this is far worse.

    Reply
    • I can’t throw away my vote for a third party candidate in good conscience. It would be different if we had a strong third party choice, but we don’t. I keep thinking about what happened in Bush v Gore. Never again.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  May 18, 2016

        And the court, don’y forget the court.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  May 19, 2016

        +1 (on both Nader and the Supreme Court). Voted for and contributed to Bernie, will be voting for Hillary in November.

        Reply
      • Yes, still rooting for Bernie. Will vote for Hillary, if I have to.

        Reply
      • I agree…love Bernie…but will not waste my vote in November…it is to important to keep Hair Trump away from the WH…Trump is a horror and a dangerous demagogue.
        Just read a piece by Robert Kagan, a life long Republican who is a fellow at the Brookings Institute. His analysis is spot on about Trump…the Fascist:
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-is-how-fascism-comes-to-america/2016/05/17/c4e32c58-1c47-11e6-8c7b-6931e66333e7_story.html

        I just pray my fellow Progressives will swallow their pride and anger if Hillary is the nominee and vote for her. A sitting it out approach or a vote for Jill Stein…is a vote for Trump. The stakes are just too high.

        Reply
        • We, as progressives, feel a yearning for much-needed justice and return to positive values across the political spectrum. Bernie has campaigned for these things throughout his political career. From the issue standpoint, he really is the perfect progressive candidate.

          So I get the angst when it comes to losing to Hillary. But if we do lose, let’s not sacrifice everything we stand for by getting ugly. We have a very strong base in the party and we can move it and Hillary in the right direction. If we do lose to Hillary, we should try for the best seat at the table we can negotiate for. Hillary has acknowledged this need for unity by making motions in offering Bernie a VP slot. We should honor this sentiment of unity while also continuing to press for a better representation of our values.

          And though I certainly don’t think we should give up on Bernie, I do think we should realize that Hillary has 3 million more popular votes and that there’s no way for Bernie to win without a big upset for Hillary in states like California. If Bernie has the popular vote in the end, then we’d be justified in questioning the delegate system if it still favored Hillary. But right now, with us behind in the popular vote, I don’t think it helps our cause to wrangle over delegates.

          This is the same system in which Barack Obama prevailed over Hillary. But we should be very clear that he led in the popular vote. And it’s when that started to happen that the delegates started moving.

          So if Bernie wins, it should be the right way. A way that unifies the party, not divides it. A way that represents our values, rather than dragging them through the mud. And if he loses, we as progressives can still work to win over the party as a whole. Given the issues at hand, I think there’s a golden opportunity for that. And we absolutely should not squander it.

      • Hi Suzanne-

        Yes. We don’t have time for Hair Trump to change his alleged mind on climate change. And really, the climate change denial of the Republican party in general and Trump in particular seems very similar to the widespread flight from reality into fantasy that occurred under Hitler. There are a huge number of other similarities, as Kagan points out.

        We appear to be evolved to shelter under leaders who give the appearance of being strong. It’s just one more example of how humanity is like a dangerous plague, attacking the biosphere.

        The Authoritarians – Bob Altemeyer

        http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

        “What is Authoritarianism?
        Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want–which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I’m going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation”

        Reply
        • So one thing about authoritarianism to consider — it doesn’t play fair. From the republican side we have voter suppression, active misinformation through various conservative media sources, and a number of web misinformers and people who intentionally pollute the discourse showing up in web chat rooms and discussions.

          It would be different if discussion was engaged in an honest fashion. But it swiftly devolves into the most ugly forms of ad hominem attacks, continued aggressive trolling of bad information, and perpetuation of arguments based on logical fallacies.

          The one trend in the under-current of this stuff coming in that really disturbs me now is what appears to be an active effort to attempt to exploit and widen differences within the democratic party. They know, and we should too, that a house divided cannot stand.

          The threats coming from outside of the democratic party are far greater than those coming from within. So we should be very clear that we absolutely must win this election. I do not think that the US or the world could weather another situation where Congress and the Presidency were held by republicans. We simply cannot afford that.

          But we also have an opportunity here, in this election, to make it about the issues we care about. To make it about the values that we are concerned about. And we can still do that with a united democratic party and a strong progressive wing. Even if Hillary is the nominee. We can still do that. And we absolutely can and should demand a strong place at the table for Bernie. Even if he does lose, he holds the heart of our party in his hands. For progressivism, I believe, is the life-blood of the democrats.

      • Wharf Rat

         /  May 19, 2016

        Rat feels he can vote his conscience, since elections in California go to the Dems by millions of votes. I was an early Bernie contributor and supporter, but told the campaign “no more money” after he flipped out behind a misleading newspaper headline, and started calling Hillary “unqualified”. When I started reading reports that his people were trying to bring down Julian Castro as a possible veep, I decided to write in Jerry Brown. I don’t want to be associated with the Bernie Bros. I’m glad we vote late. In ’08, we voted at the end of Feb, and my vote for Edwards was already in the mail when his story came out.

        I’m not sure whether I’ll vote for Hillary or Jill Stein in Nov. For sure, I’m now #burndabern.

        Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch

        While Mr. Sanders says he does not want Mr. Trump to win in November, his advisers and allies say he is willing to do some harm to Mrs. Clinton in the shorter term if it means he can capture a majority of the 475 pledged delegates at stake in California and arrive at the Philadelphia convention with maximum political power.

        Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, said the campaign did not think its attacks would help Mr. Trump in the long run, but added that the senator’s team was “not thinking about” the possibility that they could help derail Mrs. Clinton from becoming the first woman elected president.

        “The only thing that matters is what happens between now and June 14,”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/us/politics/bernie-sanderss-campaign-accuses-head-of-dnc-of-favoritism.html?&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

        Reply
        • I’ve also been somewhat perplexed by some of the mud being thrown by Sanders. The question of qualification was pretty low and seemed to go against what had been an above board and honest campaign up until that point. There does appear to be a lot going on RE the VP slot. I like Castro, but I think some of the Wall Street stuff might hurt democratic chances. Not to mention the fact that it represents the same conflict of interest people are so concerned about RE Hillary. I think Hillary would be wise to choose a strong populist-progressive like Bernie. It’s pretty clear that Trump is trying to play billionaire populist at this point. That’s why Bernie’s such a great counter. He’s the real deal.

          I’m very concerned about a close race ala 2000. The third party is not strong enough to represent a real choice, in my view. Jill Stein currently seems more like Nader. More likely to take votes away from defeating Trump than actually representing a real potential for winning. And I absolutely do not want a Trump/Republican win on my conscience.

          Given what’s happening in our world. Given the terrible disruption of the natural system due to climate change, we should be fighting as hard as we can for a democratic party win and a big infusion of climate aware progressives. We need to push this hard. The republicans are not going to deliver it. They’ll crush our chances. We need to build on the progress that has already been made and we need a united, clear-headed party to do that. But we also cannot let our passion get in the way of an ultimate victory. It’s not just about Clinton. It’s about the fate of the party as a whole. And we need to make this election about infusing the democrats with climate change awareness and progressive values. We need to take back the heart of our party and put the republicans deservedly on their heels for all the terrible crap they continue to do.

      • Whenever these situations come up within the democratic party, I always think what a strong ticket the two leading candidates would make if one was President and the other Vice President. But that never seems to happen. In this case, though, whoever wins at the coming convention should really name the other his/her running mate. Stopping Trump is much more important than any other consideration, certainly more important than bruised feelings.

        Reply
      • Hi Robert –

        I hope so. It might also take some of the heat off of Hillary, since the financial establishment would be more afraid of Bernie than they are of Hillary. They might also be more afraid of Trump than they are of Hillary, because giving such a loose cannon control over thousands of nuclear weapons might strike them as a bad idea. Trump could seriously get us in a war with China, for example, I think. The economy tends to do better under Democrats, anyway.

        Bernie would bring millions of enthusiastic young voters to the polls. Hillary could threaten to sic Bernie on people she wanted to influence, to bend them to her will. Hillary should just quietly adopt Bernie’s climate agenda, because she is just plain wrong on natural gas, I think. Good things do sometimes happen, I guess – just not very many of them, lately.

        Reply
  3. – Mr. Trump, no doubt, is an opportunistic simpleton who has our attention due to his lucrative real estate scams — with a big helping hand from a compliant media.
    The climate change he so disrespects and disavows will crush him and his helpers, and followers, like they never existed in the first place.
    Beware.
    Be aware.

    Reply
  4. – USA – Florida — SE of Orlando:

    Record rainfall increases risk of algae blooms in Indian River Lagoon
    -tcpalm.com/news/indian-river-lagoon/health/record-rainfall-

    Tuesday’s heavy rainfall increases the potential for algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon as more pollution-laden water flows into local waterways.

    As the Treasure Coast got slammed with rain that broke records in Vero Beach, more water flowed into the lagoon from numerous canals throughout the estuary. Those canals bring two things, said Mark Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society in Stuart:

    Freshwater that lowers the estuary’s salinity level and promotes the growth of blue-green algae; and
    Farm runoff containing fertilizers that feed the algae, which is actually bacteria that is more likely to occur under the high temperatures and sunny days the region has been experiencing.

    – Flooding from heavy rains damage homes Tuesday in St. Lucie County. (XAVIER MASCAREÑAS/TREASURE COAST NEWSPAPERS)

    Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  May 18, 2016

    India’s drought foretells of greater struggles as climate warms

    Cracked soils, farmer suicides and desperate migration are at odds with the country’s image as an emerging economic and technological power, says T. V. Padma

    India is in the grip of a severe drought as a result of two successive weak monsoons and a searing heatwave. Its reservoirs dipped to less than a fifth of their total capacity in May, and a quarter of the country’s 1.1 billion people are estimated to be affected in some way.

    Reports of parched, cracked soils, farmers’ suicides and desperate migration from Marathwada in the west of the country – one of the worst-hit regions – are at odds with the country’s image as an emerging economic and technological power, aspiring towards a trillion-dollar economy “with no poverty” by 2032.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2088777-indias-drought-foretells-of-greater-struggles-as-climate-warms/

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  May 19, 2016

    INDIA’S WESTERNMOST STATE’S LARGEST CITY – NEW RECORD HOTTEST TEMPERATURE: The record all-time hottest temperature in Ahmedabad of 49 C / 120 F was on May 18, 2016. Ahmedabad is the largest city in India’s westernmost state, Gujarat.

    http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/ahmedabad-temperature-touches-49-degree-celsius-red-alert-issued/143199.html

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  May 19, 2016

    DTL’s numbers from Pakistan on the last thread , and this report mean a surge in deaths.

    Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  May 19, 2016

    There is this myth on CNBC that India is the next China.

    Nobody makes any money when it’s 120F degrees. And there’s no fresh water.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  May 19, 2016

      India is bedeviled by its caste system, the great gender imbalance, dreadful infrastructure, a population boom, which the capitalist lunatics see as advantageous, and a Hindutva fascist leader, Modi, who has decided to attack China, India’s ancient civilizational partner, rather than co-operate with them. Western Rightists talk up India out of fear and hatred of China, just what the world needs when international cop-operation is required as never before.

      Reply
  9. Greg

     /  May 19, 2016

    Trump: Making America Hate Again. Err great.

    Reply
  10. kay homles

     /  May 19, 2016

    We need another large demonstration in NYC that the press cannot ignore.

    Reply
    • – Demonstrate against the press for paying so little attention to all important climate change while putting Trump on a pedestal.
      The Occupy movement should do this in full force. Make the media cover the event while they are at the center of it.
      I tried to get this across three or four years ago — to no success.
      Wall St. is just where they sort the money, and make greedy decisions but Madison Ave. is where they tell people all is well just buy more, save less, and make rash decisions while ignoring the future, etc.

      – US consumer debt likely equals or exceeds the GDP of smaller countries while the media promotes everyone to buy another car (on credit of course), etc.
      OUT

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  May 19, 2016

        Very true, DT. Madison Ave does an amazing job brainwashing everyone to think everything is fine, and if it seems it isn’t, just buy our product and everything will be better. And it works like a charm. A livable climate won’t provide happiness, accumulating ever more cheap crap made in China will.

        Reply
  11. climatehawk1

     /  May 19, 2016

    Retweeted.

    Reply
  12. – Raise your hand if you have an N95 Dust Mask Respirator nearby.

    Reply
  13. Andy in SD

     /  May 19, 2016

    Holy hell,

    Look at all the fire in this region of Africa. Hopefully the link is intact when I hit [submit]. If not, copy paste. Or grab your favorite daily satellite source and check out south east Africa (to the NE of South Africa).

    https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p=geographic&l=VIIRS_SNPP_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor(hidden),MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,Reference_Labels(hidden),Reference_Features(hidden),Coastlines&t=2016-05-18&v=19.40544248656171,-8.887592764603179,27.11784483031171,-5.455463858353179

    Reply
    • – Nada, Andy. But I did get this from May 12 for W Africa.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  May 19, 2016

        They regularly burn off the stubble from previous crops in many parts of Africa at various times of year. I don’t know if that is what is happening here, but I’ve seen some pretty dramatic pictures of parts of Africa wrt fires, and been told that this is probably what was going on.

        Reply
    • There’s been large-scale fire activity across the central regions of Africa since the winter. Wili’s right in the sense that burning can generate brush fires, as it does in Russia, but the fire activity is intensified in the region due to a climate change enhanced drought and heatwave that is ongoing. Conditions related to El Nino but exaggerated by the record global heat we are now experiencing.

      Reply
  14. USA – TX – Houston – Anti regulatory feelings abound here and many other places under dire threat of climate change.
    1992 Hurricane Andrew exposed building code laxity in Florida.

    Reply
    • ‘An Associated Press analysis of government data found that if Harris County, which includes Houston, were a state it would rank in the top five or six in every category of repeat federal flood losses — defined as any property with two or more losses in a 10-year period amounting to at least $1,000 each.’

      Reply
    • Excellent story here.

      Reply
  15. Reply
  16. Greg

     /  May 19, 2016

    A Rare Polar-Grizzly Bear Hybrid Was Shot and Killed by a Canadian Hunter
    Last week, a hunter in the town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, named Didji Ishalook, shot an extremely rare grizzly-polar bear hybrid, according to CBC News. Other than its big brown paws, it has the white fur of a polar bear, only smaller sized. Its head also more closely resembles a grizzly. Unofficially, it’s called a grolar bear or pizzly bear, depending on which the sire is. This interbreeding is most likely a result of climate change, which is pushing the two bear populations to now overlap in the pursuit of caribou, researcher Dave Garshelis told CBC News. The two species have similar genetics, probably diverging less than 2 million years ago, according to National Geographic.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/rare-polar-grizzly-bear-hybrid-173900512.html

    Reply
  17. Ryan in New England

     /  May 19, 2016

    I am so embarrassed and saddened over what the US has become. We were once a scientific leader with citizens who respected scientists and appreciated the many wonderful things science has provided. Now we are a moronic, bellicose collection of dunces who is trying like hell to drag the world backwards with our anti-scientific superstitions and delusions. A pathetic, embarrassing nation to be a part of. Thank you Republicans for creating an ignorant voter base.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  May 19, 2016

      I suspect DT actually mailed it, maybe without connecting the dots.
      We are paying the price of all those babies and toddlers being walked on the pavement right next to the exhaust pipes through the 40’s 50’s and 60’s breathing in all that lovely lead loaded rejuvenating exhaust fumes being emitted straight into their faces.
      They are now in their mid 40’s to 70’s. The GOP and TRUMP brigade

      Reply
    • Dave person

       /  May 19, 2016

      Hi Ryan,
      The GOP did not create an ignorant voter base, they are just currently unleashing it. We have always had a predominantly uninformed and anti-intellectual voter base. That is why the founders, who did not trust the “mobs”, created the electoral college and the senate. It is only since 1913 that we elected senators by popular vote. Prior to that they were appointed by state legislatures. We have a senate that gives each state 2 senators regardless of population size because the founders feared populous urban states would dominate government and elect dangerous popular demagogues. I think we are going to appreciate the electoral college and the wisdom of our founders during this year’s election.

      dave

      Reply
      • Oh I think a rather good case can be made for conservative based media and advertising misinforming the public. The Murdoch media empire alone has worked very hard to dumb down not only voters in the US, but those around the world. And they’re just the most obvious bad source among many. No, it’s not just a question of cynical exploitation by republicans. It’s active and deliberate misinformation.

        Reply
      • The Union of Concerned Scientists reports are full of the details of a deliberate misinformation campaign originating mostly from one source – ExxonMobil. When those tactics had some success, other corporations and rich people joined in, was the impression I got.

        Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air
        How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science

        http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

        I don’t think it was inevitable that our country would have a significant percentage of the population denying climate change. A lot of it is due to an organized, subtle, and possibly malicious corporate effort to continue to sell fossil fuels. It’s a deliberate effort modeled on the delay, deny, and confuse tactics of the Tobacco industry, There may even be a hidden motive – at the same time ExxonMobil was spreading disinformation to the uninformed, the Council on Foreign Relations was cheer leading the melting of the Arctic sea ice as a way to access Arctic oil and gas to people who were much better informed.

        Interestingly enough, ExxonMobil and the Council on Foreign Relations have a common link – the Rockefeller family. ExxonMobil is the union of two fragments of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Monopoly, and the Rockefeller faction always wins the proxy fights for control of the corporation. David Rockefeller is a past Chairman of the CFR, and is still the honorary Chairman. The CFR has received probably over a hundred million dollars of Rockefeller money, including a “25 million dollars and above” contribution from David Rockefeller to it’s 2007 fundraising drive the “Campaign for the Council”.

        Events unfolded in a way that looked like a deliberate plan to use global warming to melt the Arctic sea ice and access Arctic oil and gas. A David Rockefeller visiting fellow at the CFR named Scott Borgerson published a series of articles in Foreign Affairs hyping the effect that global warming would have on access to Arctic oil and gas, published a series of op-eds in major newspapers, testified before the Senate, and participated in round table discussions about the Arctic with then Senator John Kerry.

        Melting the Arctic sea ice was a deliberate plan by our financial elites, I think. A tragically misinformed, monumentally callous, or actively malevolent plan to melt the Arctic sea ice, motivated by greed for Arctic oil and gas, among other bad motives, in my opinion.

        Reply
    • We’ve declined a lot since the mid-20th Century, I think. Progress in many areas has halted since then. A lot of backsliding into mysticism and bad thinking.

      Reply
      • Dave person

         /  May 19, 2016

        Hi Robert,
        I respectfully disagree. The repubs have largely used and gotten away with misinformation because they know their base rarely bothers to investigate “facts”. They can feed a lot of nonsense and trash to their base as long as it supports the world views of that base. That kind of manipulation has been a part of our political scene since Washington’s time. I urge you to read up on the Adams-Jefferson campaign and any of Andrew Jackson’s campaigns. Also, if you haven’t already, I urge you to read Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. It helps explain the limitations of human reasoning when faced with complex issues despite high levels of experience, intelligence, education, and even moral character.

        dave

        Reply
        • So you’re happy to completely ignore the misinforming influence of a plethora of bad media sources supporting republicans and a related religious misinformation campaign that has polluted so many churches? You’re happy to ignore an active attempt to deny climate science by republicans and their obvious ongoing efforts to confuse the public dialogue? So what you’re saying is that republicans are just a-priori climate change deniers due to social influences that have existed for 200+ years and not due to any fossil fuel based media and political influence?

          http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-knives-for-scientific-research-20141110-column.html

          I’d say if that’s your view then you’re really not up on current affairs.

          Dave, you can disagree all you like. But this disagreement just doesn’t take into account the reality of a massive media campaign to dumb down the public on top of a mass campaign to keep relevant history and science out of schools.

          I point you to the recent dismantling CSIRO in Australia as just one of many examples. It’s not just a question of conservatives actively dumbing down the US, it’s dumbing down the globe.

          http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/dismay-nasa-appeals-to-csiro-not-to-cut-global-climate-efforts-20160511-gosaco.html

          Anyone with a pair of eyes and a little time on their hands could research the issue and find out that it’s true and pervasive. Pretending that it’s not happening is tantamount to sticking one’s head in the sand.

      • Dave person

         /  May 19, 2016

        Hi Robert,
        I am sorry but you are totally misinterpreting my comment. I do not ignore any of those things and am as aware of them as you are so there is no one here sticking his head in the sand. My point is simply that the misinformation campaigns are successful because they tap into the latent fears and world views of their constituents, a strategy that has been applied for centuries. The only difference today is the plethora of media and information outlets available to spread the BS. People are no smarter or dumber today than they were 200 years ago. My comments had nothing at all to do with misinformation campaigns, but everything to do with the targets of that propaganda.

        dave

        Reply
        • Well, that’s beside the point. Of course active efforts to misinform the public would target tribal fears and sentimentality. All people possess these flaws in one way or the other. But the flaws themselves do not a misinformation campaign make. So, Dave, you’re basically ignoring the fact that ignorance is actively being spread by people who have enough awareness of the public psyche — not just in America, but around the world — to manipulate it in order to perpetuate the bad information.

          It’s not a perpetratorless crime and it certainly isn’t a victimless crime. These people have basically been the victims of active psychological warfare and constantly perpetuated misinformation. It is absolutely a conscious campaign on the part of the fossil fuel industry and its backers. This did not just grow up out of the admittedly ripe garden of American ignorance. And the fact that it is a global issue now points plainly to that fact.

      • I found “Thinking Fast And Slow” connected a lot of dots, especially when I read it after Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” and “Blink”.

        We so often fail to perceive where we sit on the bell curve. In my day-to-day dealings with people, I realize how difficult it is for many of them to grasp what I consider to be basic concepts. I’ve been surprised recently to find that MOST of the college+ graduates I know never took a basic physics course.

        Reply
        • And physics courses are no guarantee either. My cousin — an engineer by trade — is one of the most ardent climate change deniers I know. Someone figured out how to push his buttons. Now he’s happy to deny the very fundamentals of the science he learned in college.

      • Dave person

         /  May 20, 2016

        HI Robert,
        So let me get this straight. Do you believe that in the absence of the right-wing misinformation campaign about climate, that many conservative voters would embrace climate science and work to counter climate change? You don’t think they would come up with other objections, like, it is too expensive, there are no alternatives to fossil fuels that are cost effective, the poor will suffer, it is a conspiracy of left wing environmentalists to change our lifestyle, blah, blah ,blah, all to postpone any action that changes or challenges their comfort zone or world view?

        dave

        Reply
        • There would have been some resistance. But it would have never gone on for so long. We’d have developed wind sooner, solar sooner. It’s really just a question of leadership David. And in the abscence of progressive political leadership what we’ve had is regressive corporate leadership. It’s pretty obvious, really.

  18. dnem

     /  May 19, 2016

    Robert- Christie is not Trump’s official VP choice AFAIK.

    Reply
  19. Victor

     /  May 19, 2016

    I’m new to commenting on this site although I’ve been following for a while. You’re doing a wonderful job Robert! I think this article in the Washington post is interesting, Researchers have designed an inventive test suggesting that the arguments commonly used by climate change contrarians don’t add up, not only according to climate scientists (we know what they think already) but also in the view of unbiased experts from other fields.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/05/18/climate-change-doubters-really-really-arent-going-to-like-this-study/

    Reply
  20. Cate

     /  May 19, 2016

    Fort Mac fire now at 483,000 hectares, up from 423,000 yesterday am.

    And although some cooler, wetter weather has arrived to relieve the beleaguered fire crews, a lot of rain may be a very mixed blessing, as it could wash wildfire toxins into the city’s water supply.

    As an aside—-water contamination in native communities downstream from the tarsands plants has been an issue for years.

    The bitter ironies in this story are taking on mythic proportions.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/wildfire-toxins-could-contaminate-fort-mcmurray-water-supply-1.3588120

    Reply
  21. Cate

     /  May 19, 2016

    The environmental damage of the Fort Mac fire is being quantified. The greatest effect is invisible: the very preliminary estimate of 80 million tonnes of CO2 released, equal to about 10% of the annual emissions from all other sectors in Canada.

    http://geographical.co.uk/places/forests/item/1692-the-environmental-damage-of-the-fort-mcmurray-fire

    Reply
  22. Greg

     /  May 19, 2016

    The mammoth inferno devastating northern Alberta has now destroyed more than 877,000 acres — more than four times the size of New York City. As of Wednesday, the fire was still 0% contained, the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry department said.The inferno could actually burn through the winter and into next year, University of Alberta wildfire professor MIke Flannigan said. Even worse: The blaze is marching east toward Saskatchewan and will likely reach the province Wednesday, Alberta wildfire official Chad Morrison said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/18/americas/alberta-wildfire-canada-fort-mcmurray/

    Reply
  23. Greg

     /  May 19, 2016

    Reply
  24. Greg

     /  May 19, 2016

    Break may come Saturday and Sunday but a long story ahead

    Reply
    • David Lange ‏@DavidLange2 4s5 seconds ago

      US Airnow map. Canada Fort McMurray fire shows up as (RED) high levels of particulate.

      Reply
      • – So. Cal. Bight coast is dense w small particulate (Pm2.5).

        Reply
      • Earthjustice ‏@Earthjustice 2h2 hours ago

        “On some days, the air quality in national parks is as bad or worse than in some major cities”-Molly Rauch @CleanAirMoms

        Reply
  25. Reply
  26. Jason Box ‏@climate_ice 7h7 hours ago

    Not just 2016 that’s warm in Arctic, recent decade tops 2°C warming since 1880 @AMAP_Arctic HT John Walsh

    Reply
  27. – HERO4

    Reply
  28. Aerosols, indeed.

    Reply
  29. World Press Photo ‏@WorldPressPhoto 8m8 minutes ago

    #PhotoOfTheDay: ‘Where the #Children Sleep’ by @MagnusWennman

    Reply
  30. webej

     /  May 19, 2016

    So now the choice is betwen Hillary (continued disastrous neoCon global war policies) who will lead us to possible nuclear confrontation with Russia and Trump who will try to squander the last chance before climate Armageddon.

    Reply
    • So, Webej, what you’re perpetuating here is a meme put out by Hillsdale College supported Redstate — a right wing news source which is basically supported by a republican think tank.

      For those watching this thread, you should consider that this is what republicans want you to think — that Hillary Clinton wants to go to war with Russia.

      We should be very clear that this is an active effort to divide the left by spreading misinformation from within the left. They are targeting anti-war sentimentality in this effort. It’s a cynical campaign designed to support a Trump election.

      We’re going to have to be very smart and savvy with media sources this year guys. Because this is the kind of nonsense we’re up against.

      So webej — how does it feel to have been duped by republican misinformation?

      Reply
  31. Jean

     /  May 19, 2016

    I just listened to the “News” on NPR radio. They said NASA was reporting that this April was the warmest April ever recorded…Then they added that”Authorities ” say El Nino was the cause.Propaganda from Public Radio and TV is more dangerous than Fox “News” a lot of the time by influencing “Liberals” into inaction and brain death.

    Reply
    • Link?

      This has been a problem with mainstream media sources in general over the past couple of months. To be very clear the record global temperatures were caused by an accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The El Nino/La Nina cycle moves global temperatures by about 0.2 C up and down on the positive and negative side. What we’re seeing is a year that will probably be 1.3 C above 1880s overall. So anyone saying that this heat is due to El Nino is basically not listening to any of the real experts on the issue. If this happened as you say, then they should have interviewed NASA or any climate scientist worth her salt.

      Reply
  32. George W. Hayduke

     /  May 19, 2016

    This reminds me of his fight against an offshore wind farm next to his golf course.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/16/3732799/trump-wind-farm-ruling/

    Reply
    • We should be very clear that Trump is no friend to renewables. That he’s been a climate change denier since jump. That is cabinet is full of fossil fuel and Bush cronies. This guys is about as anti-climate action as they come.

      Reply
      • dnem

         /  May 19, 2016

        I’ve been Feeling the Bern since the beginning and I’m no great fan of Hillary. But I’ll be voting for her against Trump with absolutely ZERO hesitation. Yes, she is way too corporate-friendly for my tastes, but I’m beginning to hope that as the climate situation gets increasingly impossible to ignore, she will actually start moving in the right direction. She is smart and she’s not nuts. She would not actually knowingly usher in the end of civilization to make a few extra bucks for a few extra years like many on the Right would.

        Reply
  33. June

     /  May 19, 2016

    The Batagaika Crater/Megaslump is a one kilometre-long gash up to 100 metres (328 feet) deep in the Siberian taiga.

    Batagaika started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared: the land sunk, and has continued to do so, evidently speeded by recent warmer temperatures melting the permafrost, so unbinding the layers on the surface and below. Major flooding in 2008 increased the size of the depression which grows at up to 15 metres per year. The result is an unparalleled natural laboratory for scientists seeking to understand the threat to permafrost due to climate change.

    http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0678-200000-year-old-soil-found-at-mysterious-crater-a-gate-to-the-subterranean-world/

    Reply
  34. June

     /  May 19, 2016

    Nice opinion piece from a climate scientist, Sarah Myhre, urging more public engagement on the part of scientists.

    “Earth scientists, who are teaching, or researching, abut a silent, uncertain, and painful threshold. This is the threshold where climate change shifts from being about science and quantification to being about loss and the suffering of others.

    …The problem is, we are past the threshold – we are just playing games with ourselves. In the anticipation of it, it has passed silently underneath our feet. We are already committed to a world that is warmer and more dangerous than the world of my grandmother’s childhood. That world – where we had time, we didn’t have to be political, we took only small, calculated risks – has evaporated in front of us. So, why are we still operating under old rules?”

    http://skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-mourning-earths-losses-should-make-voices-heard.html

    Reply
  1. Trump Shows Off He Is A Know Nothing Republican!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: