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July 14, 2017


As we all know by now, Trump has said that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate control, which at the recent G-20 conference earned him the enmity of the other 19 members who said their decision to join the accord was “irreversible,” though Turkey has since indicated that their country in a “monkey see, monkey do” mimicking would also withdraw. Whether Trump in his otherworld wishes to withdraw because Obama agreed to it or because of corporate lobbyists who see their clients’ business models and profits at stake or for some other unknown reason I do not and cannot know. My guess is that his decision is a bit of overturning anything Obama has done but mostly because of protecting corporate bottom lines, including his own.

Elizabeth Warren in her new book, This Fight is our Fight, zeroes in on the tactics used by huge corporations to continue their for-profit destruction of our environment. She observes that 97% of climate scientists agree that the evidence is beyond challenge; that climate change is already here and that when fake experts are paid off to lie to us that they are putting all of us in “grave danger.” I agree with her. I think that chronic wage inequality is our greatest domestic issue which when played out could destroy our market economy and that climate change is our greatest global issue which is, as she notes, “because the climate of our planet is changing in ways that could make life as we know it impossible. . . . . The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that global warming endangers the health of our children, and the American Lung Association has concluded that millions of people face greater risk to their health because of climate change.”

I am reminded of the lead threat to our environment years ago when it was a component in the mix of paints and gasoline. Humans and especially children were dying or having their brains adversely affected by ingesting leaded paint and fumes from burning leaded gasoline. We reached political consensus on what to do about it and largely ended that threat to the health and futures of Americans.

Though we have reached a 97 percent scientific consensus on global warming we are nowhere near reaching political consensus on not only what to do about it but whether it actually exists, as insisted by corporate lobbyists and paid think tanks. Why, when we (and the overwhelming number of G-20 countries) know (per Warren) that “dirty power plants and emissions from our cars and clear-cutting of forests are accelerating changes that are likely to have catastrophic consequences for our planet?”

So what is the reaction of the giant polluters to this looming catastrophe? It would cost them a lot of money to change their power sources, alter their business models and make other efforts to reduce their environmental impact, so how do they respond, like the Koch Brothers, for instance, whose many lines of business make them a top polluter of our air and water? Easy; deny the problem exists, but how can they deny 97 percent of the scientific community who put their respective reputations on the line who say it does in fact exist. Again easy (per Warren); just bring in a bunch of experts-for-hire, fund phony op-eds, underwrite fake academic articles, and shovel big money into friendly think tanks to support even more fake experts.

The Koch Brothers and their organizations have given $88 million into groups that deny the existence of climate change, not to mention secret other donations to so-called “non-profit” organizations which deny climate change. Warren reports that one study turned up $558 million in secret donations made between 2003 and 2010 to groups denying climate change.

Is it working? Yes, indeed, and now we have a president who is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, which presumably gives legitimacy to corporate propaganda that global warming does not exist, or if it does, it is not man-made. Such well-funded climate deniers just keep repeating over and over that there’s no consensus, a lie in view of the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists say otherwise, but as Dr. Goebbels advised Hitler, if you just keep telling the big lie people will consider it to be true. Thus the goal of the climate deniers is gridlock and paralysis, maintenance of the status quo and profit-making of their polluting clients. The losers? All of us everywhere on the planet, including the Koch Brothers, who along with their progeny have to breathe, too.

So where are we? How far will we go to protect corporate profits over, literally, international survival? With his withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and his calling climate change a “hoax” dreamed up by China, Trump has apparently caved in to corporate propaganda and will do nothing to slow our corporate contributions to foul air and water and soil on the only planet we will ever know. I also note in passing that China is one of the G-20 nations who recently advised Trump at their meeting that their decision to abide by the Paris Agreement is “irreversible.” Trump aside > That is action and not a “hoax,” Donald. The only “hoax” in this environmental arena is the one you and your corporate friends are pulling on the rest of us to preserve their and your profit pictures and to blazes with the planet and its inhabitants.

It is glaringly obvious that Trump cannot lead; he cannot even follow. So much for America’s leadership in the world so carefully put together from The Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire in 1944 to today as this Bannon-inspired loose gun continues to isolate America from mainstream global thinking and critical decision-making.

What’s next? Will he propose that the American dollar that became the world’s reserve currency at the Bretton Woods Conference be abandoned to Chinese and Russian demands for a “basket of currencies” as the world’s new reserve currency? Withdrawal from NATO? (Yes, I heard him say a few days ago that our backing of NATO has never been stronger, but who can believe anything he says when he reverses course five minutes from now?)

So what now? My advice is to keep telling the truth and keep resisting Trump’s campaign to “Make America Second-Rate Again.”      GERALD       E






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