Like it or not, the United States has a presidential administration that resembles one from a sci-fi novel or movie set in a dystopian future.
In this very real plot, an ultra-wealthy elite continues to plunder the world’s finite fossil fuel resources at the expense of the global climate and environment.
Joining President Donald Trump in his administration are an anti-climate change administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an oil industry-beholden former Texas governor as Energy secretary, and a former ExxonMobil chief executive officer as secretary of State.
Consequently, Trump has signed off on such environmentally threatening projects as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and more are in the offing.
Trump and his anti-climate change acolytes claim they are rolling back environmental regulations instituted by the Obama administration that have stunted economic growth. These assertions, though, are just more alternative facts.
In reality, by cutting the funding of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Air and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Trump administration is attacking environmental policies instituted by Richard Nixon, who was by no means a business-threatening liberal.
Trump also wants to kill mandatory regional U.S. climate change research reports instituted by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The act was signed into law by a product of Texas’ oil and natural gas industry, George H.W. Bush.
Many of the world’s industrialized and non-industrialized nations realize that our long-running dependence on fossil fuels has cost our planet dearly. It is well past time our leaders cast aside arcane fossil fuels and look to the future of greenhouse gas-free energy technologies. Solar, hydro, wind and tidal are safe alternatives that could make a big-league difference.
Rather than look to Washington for climate leadership, the world now looks to Beijing as China has taken the reins of leading the world to renewable energy resources. Innumerable environmental disasters resulting mainly from its decades of reliance on coal-fired power stations prompted China to seek alternatives.
Meanwhile, Trump calls climate change a “Chinese hoax” and has started the process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. Such a withdrawal is opposed by even conservative Republicans in Congress.
The Trump administration has taken such a stubborn stance that it even refused to meet with Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The United States is heading in the wrong direction, while most of the world — from Canada and Germany to New Zealand and South Africa — continues to press for a switch to alternative energy resources.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who appears to represent the interests of his old firm more than the billions of people impacted by over-reliance on fossil fuels, managed to gut a statement issued by a G20 foreign ministers’ summit in Bonn, Germany, of any references to climate change.
The future of the world’s environment should not be in the hands of policymakers indebted to the oil, tobacco and liquor industries. Yet Trump has permitted these very people to dictate a U.S. withdrawal from the world’s environmental stage.
What Trump calls a hoax has already destroyed much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, plunged inhabited islands under rising seas and placed half the world’s species in near-term jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Trump laughs off climate change while yucking it up with his billionaire friends at his Palm Beach, Fla. resort, a seaside complex that ironically may not sit on dry land much longer.
Wayne Madsen is a longtime progressive commentator whose articles have appeared in leading newspapers throughout the U.S. and Europe. Readers may write him at 414 Choo Choo Lane, Valrico, FL, 33594.