Editor’s Note: as promised, I have returned from my forced stay-at-home vacation from writing and while I’m nowhere near ready to publish the thinkpiece about American fascism that I currently feel compelled to write; I did have a little time to tap out a response to our Liar In Chief’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement in today’s Brief Thought.
My only request this time is that if you find yourself consumed by a towering inferno of rage after reading the info-graphic at the top of this article, please read the entire piece before you send me threatening and or angry emails:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this info graphic, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the sources section of this article.
Now before anyone legitimately strokes out in my mentions on Twitter, I would like to make a few basic facts clear right at the outset of this discussion:
- Donald Trump is not in any way, shape or form good for the environment or interested in fighting the coming climate catastrophe. In fact, between Trump and his chicken shit peddling, jackanape EPA head Scott Pruit, I would be willing to wager that the Trump administration is worse for the continued existence of a sustainable planet than both the Obama and Bush administrations; which frankly is no easy goddamn feat but we’ll get to that part in a moment.
- I am not a climate science denier, nor am I am I trying to minimize the very real danger of impeding climate catastrophe on our planet. Ice shelves are melting, the ocean is rising and we’re breaking new temperature records at a rate that has long since passed alarming. I am extremely concerned about the environment & climate change and while I’m not a scientist, I’m smart enough to know that they aren’t lying to me when they say we’re not absolutely fucked yet, but if we as a human species don’t make massive changes and soon – we will be.
Nothing about these objectively true facts however will make the Paris Climate Agreement anything more than a completely symbolic band-aid that allows the world’s largest polluters (including the United States) to continue on as if we aren’t about to destroy the entire planet; without penalty or literally any sort of enforcement mechanism. This was of course by design and former President Barack Obama knew full damn well that he wasn’t actually committing to substantive change and that any adherence to even the vaguely undefined, largely milquetoast objectives laid out in the agreement would depend on the voluntary participation of the next President and Congress.
Truthfully, this isn’t about who you voted for in the goddamn slightest; regardless of who won the 2016 US Presidential Election the United States was still going to be accelerating rather than reducing the speed of already rapid climate change and the resulting environmental catastrophe. If Americans truly gave a flying fuck about the future of our planet, we’d have been protesting in the streets the moment this wholly inadequate fig-leaf was passed to thunderous rounds of applause; like serious environmental activists in France were – I’m not excusing myself from this rebuke either, somehow I found something more important to do than raise awareness about the impeding destruction of our planet during every single day of 2015 and 2016.
Despite the best efforts of climate scientists, environmental activists and leftists all over the world, the American people in particular (willingly aided by corrupt industrial lobbyists and even the Republican Party) have grown complacent in the face of impeding climate catastrophe; the center-left will march for tax returns, they’ll march to get to the bottom of an objectively fake Trump-Russia conspiracy theory but nobody except scientists are marching for our doomed planet because American liberals actually believe the laughably irrelevant measures taken by the now-canonized Obama administration are enough.
In one ill-fated, shortsighted and largely symbolic gesture the swine emperor Trump has managed to shake American liberals from their falsely confident slumber and for the first time in literally fucking years, the American center-left is mad as hell and ready to do something about impending climate catastrophe. Like an accidental gardener Herr Donald has cast away weeds made of obfuscations, justifications and the beautiful lies of the Paris Climate Agreement to accidentally sew the seeds of what may yet grow to become a robust American opposition to pollution and climate science denial. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’d be willing to wager than anti-Trump, pro-Democratic Party operatives in the liberal media have devoted more air time, column space and finely crafted rhetoric towards opposing the destruction of our shared habitats in the past day than each of them did during the entire previous year of news coverage combined. Even if it’s only for now, even if it’s only because they hate (the admittedly terrible) President Trump; mainstream liberals are passionately talking about climate change and for anyone who truly understands just how serious the situation we’re in is – that’s a sight for sore eyes indeed.
And at what cost? The United States has withdrawn from a symbolic agreement it never actually implemented with objectives it never actually defined and goals nobody in the US government ever had any intention of achieving. Trump’s destruction of the environment continues at the exact same rate and with the exact same wicked intentions as it did the day before he announced we were withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. Globally, we’re still speeding towards doom at roughly the exact same rate we were yesterday and the kind of people who deny rapidly increasing global temperatures because it snows once in a while are celebrating this huge “victory” for the American swine emperor.
I don’t know about you, but as someone who cares both about the impeding destruction of our natural environment and the continued existence of life on Earth – that strikes me as something of a bargain; at least for now.
- Nina Illingworth
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