Tag Archives: climate change

Climate news quiz: What’s the difference?

Short two part news quiz:whatsdif3

What follows are two recent quotes about climate change that were in the news.

Step one: simply match the quote to one of these two prominent national Republicans: Vermont Governor Phil Scott or EPA Director Scott Pruitt. Part one should be easy if you have been following the news.

Quote # 1.) “We know humans have most flourished during times of what, warming trends. So I think there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing. Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100, in the year 2018? ”*

Quote #2.) “Climate change could be in some ways beneficial […] when we’re seeing some of the activity in California today, with the wildfires and so forth, and lack of water in some regions of the country, if we protect our resources we could use this as an economic boon, in some respects,” **

And- Step two of the test,explain: What’s the Difference?

 They both have staff that scrub and edited out references to climate change language from official documents. Both Governor Scott and EPA head Scott Pruitt have evolved the more skeptical language they  used about the issue. And now, by suggesting climate change might be beneficial, or even an “economic boon” for some and not a disaster for the planet, the threat seems not as threatening and the need to take action less immediate.

So what is the difference between them?

* Quote # 1.) source

** Quote #2.) source

Pig-Ignorant and Proud of It!

I keep promising myself to waste no more ink on Donald Trump, but the will to carry on is lost when I eliminate the elephant in the room. That “elephant” is pulverizing the place I call home.

What threw the switch for me this morning was the news that, on order of President Trump, climate change has been removed from the list of national security threats, where President Obama placed it in 2015.

It comes as no surprise, of course. Since taking office, “job one” for Donald Trump has been to expunge any trace of the eight year administration of Barack Obama and anything that smacks of science or intellect. He reminds me of all the despots of history who couldn’t feel really at home until they had hacked off the heads of every statue in the land that honored their despised predecessors.

“Job two”seems to be to destabilize the country and, if possible, the entire world.

But even the gargantuan ego of Donald Trump can’t hold back the impacts of climate change by simply denying its existence. When storms and flooding, draught and fires gradually reduce much of the continental US to permanent national disaster sites, I hope there will be some way to prosecute Donald Trump and his minions for the irreversible harm to which they have willfully condemned us all.

And while we are on the topic of Donald Trump’s War on Science, how about the news this week that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) will no longer be allowed to use the following terms in its budget proposals: “fetus,” “transgender,” “diversity,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based,” and “evidence based.”

I wonder if this is a violation of the First Amendment(?)

Does D.T. actually believe that the words have some magical power, and not mentioning them will avoid summoning that power? He clearly believes that truth is a fungible commodity to be swapped out as he sees fit for a more convenient lie.

Then there is the chill in the air at the Environmental Protection Agency. Donald Trump gave that plum agency to one of its chief opponents, Scott Pruitt. Now the EPA’s career staff, appointed under multiple past administrations, Republican and Democratic, is being monitored, Gestapo-style, for any hint of disagreement with current policy, which effectively takes the “P” out of EPA.

When the revisionist reign of Donald I is finally over, we are on track to be light-years behind the rest of the developed world on science in general and climate change innovation in particular. Welcome back to the Iron-Age, folks!

A Whistleblower on the Front Lines

There are so many angles to explore in the dysfunctional presidency of Donald J. Trump that we sometimes are overwhelmed into silence by the sheer number and variety of horrors unfolding before us. It is necessary, from time to time, to simply reach into the grab bag and drag one forward.

An essay in the Washington Post, by Joel Clement, a scientist punished by Trump for “whistleblowing,” is definitely worthy of attention.

Until last week, Mr. Clement, was the director of the office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior. He has been reshuffled to the Department’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue where his scientific training will be ignored for financial number-crunching duties.

“…on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to ‘improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,’ the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies. “

His “crime?” Mr. Clement dared to opine on the impact of climate change on Alaskan native communities. In other words, he was just doing his job.

Mr. Clement had been vocal to his superiors about the urgency to address health and safety issues for indigenous peoples, stemming from the climate crisis. It was not something that the administration cared to discuss.

“A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers.”

Mr. Clement does not intend to quit. He has chosen instead to become a whistleblower to alert fellow citizens to the gross and deliberate misuse of human resources that this represents.
All those unfilled administration positions we keep hearing about?  They are just a symptom of the systemic collapse that is already underway, engineered by Steve Bannon and enabled by the Know-Nothing President, Donald J. Trump.

The climate around Phil Scott

scottbalanceRepublican Phil Scott is doing his bit for the party to promote carbon tax hysterics on climate change this week.

One of his many recent tweets,(Team Scott must not have heard that marketing studies show that after three tweets,engagement dramatically decreases.) a “news” story from Vermontwatchdog.org  warns of an alleged carbon tax apocalypse.

Vermont Watchdog is the local franchise mouthpiece of the Franklin Center for Government, a nationwide organization said to be at the forefront of right-wing efforts to thwart action on climate change and blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy.scottwatch

Watchdog dutifully prints a Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee  ad in part of the article, but if you peel away the hysterics, the gist of the piece is centered on a series of  VPIRG’s proposals. Their proposal to fight climate change (and yes, Phil it is real) suggests a series of tax changes, instituting a global warming impact tax (carbon tax), starting an energy investment fund, and also energy rebates and tax cuts.

But this post isn’t exactly about the complicated carbon tax issue, but rather the policy crowd Scott runs with to get elected — his “in crowd.” The Vermont Watchdog is actually a “local” outlet, but also funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a 501c3 non-profit. Much of its funding is reported to be fueled with money from various hard right sources including the infamous Koch Brothers’ climate-change-denying organization.

Former Reuters chief White House correspondent Gene Gibbons didn’t mince his words in a 2010 report on the Franklin Center:

“For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so.”

The keynote speaker at a Franklin Center Watchdog.org  training session in 2012 was none other than right-wing  provocateur and ACORN “sting” artist James O’Keefe

So,what was it, only a couple weeks or more ago that Scott actually made it clear…well sort of that he thought climate change science was real ?

And now he is tweeting support for Koch Brothers-sponsored  “news” stories about climate issues.This doesn’t exactly fit with his own claims that his view “evolved.” Lie down with Big Carbon, get up covered in soot.