UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


"The concept of global warming was created
by and for the Chinese in order to
make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
Donald Trump - 6 Nov 2012

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet, we need to continue to debate, continue the review and analysis.”
Scott Pruitt, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

USA - Climate

Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. Four major storms in a few weeks, surpassing meteorological history with their size and strength. This is what climate change looks like: more water in the atmosphere makes for larger, stronger storms. And this will be ignored. The new EPA Administrator is a climate denier, as is the new NASA Administrator. This is the United States, where Jim Inhofe brings a snowball to the Senate as evidence that climate change is a hoax. Rush Limbaugh spent a week telling his millions of listeners that the Irma warnings were "fake news" before fleeing his own Florida home just before the storm hit.

Polls show more than 80 percent of Americans favor action to reduce carbon pollution.

On 31 July 2016, leading national scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Geophysical Union, sent Members of Congress a no-nonsense message that human-caused climate change is real, that it poses serious risks to modern society, and that we need to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science."

While the impacts of climate change clearly vary among the regions, there are issues of national importance that transcend regional boundaries. Trends observed in recent decades include rising temperatures, increasing heavy downpours, rising sea level, longer growing seasons, reductions in snow and ice, and changes in the amounts and timing of river flows. These trends are projected to continue, with larger changes resulting from higher amounts of heat-trapping gas emissions, and smaller changes from lower amounts of these emissions. The observed changes in climate are already causing a wide range of impacts, and these impacts are expected to grow.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told a constituent in May 2017 that God can solve the problem of climate change, if the global phenomenon truly exists. The 66-year-old Republican made the remark at a town hall in Coldwater, Michigan. “I believe there’s climate change,” Walberg said, according to a video of the exchange obtained by HuffPost. “I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No. ... Why do I believe that? Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

The Paris deal is too costly for the US, Donald Trump said 01 June 2017 as he withdrew his country from the accord. The US now joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not to support the landmark global climate change deal. Throughout Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, he argued against the deal, saying China had created a climate change "hoax" to hurt the US economically. After taking office in January Trump immediately began gutting predecessor Barack Obama's environmental policies, saying he would prefer to reverse decades of decline in coal mining.

"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord," Trump said at the White House. "We will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal thats fair. And if we can, that's great, and if we can't that's fine... As of today the US will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.... This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and very improtantly the Green Climate Fund which is costing the US a vast fortune."

A group of 22 Republican senators issued a letter last week, urging Trump to “make a clean break from the Paris agreement.” The letter argued that “remaining in it would subject the United States to significant litigation risk” that could complicate Trump’s effort to overturn Obama era regulations, known as the Clean Power Plan.

Freedom Works, an organization dedicated to the principle of smaller government, argued in a statement that adhering to the agreement would be too expensive, costing the U.S. economy more than $2 trillion and nearly 400,000 jobs. “Americans haven’t seen real economic and wage growth for far too long, and this misguided treaty failed to strike anything close to a balance between preserving the environment and prosperity,” the statement said.

In November 2012, Donald Trump tweeted that global warming is a Chinese hoax. He said that it's part of a plot designed to bring down US business and manufacturing. "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." He said he wants to dismantle the USA's involvement in the Paris Climate Agreementt — a pledge between world leaders to stop the earth heating up more than 2 degrees Celsius — because it is "bad for US business."

Since then, he was on both sides of the issue. After the election, he admitted there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt was Donald Trump’s pick to head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Editorial Board of The New York Times wrote "Pruitt has repeatedly suggested that the science of climate change is far from settled, when in fact it is, and says that scientists continue to disagree about whether there is a relationship between human activity and rising atmospheric temperatures, which they don’t…."

Donald Trump has proposed reducing the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Washington Post reported 04 March 2017. The cuts to the NOAA could affect research, eliminate smaller initiatives and leave 3,000 people out of work. The Commerce Department agency "would be hit by an overall 18 percent reduction," the Post reports. NOAA's satellite data division would lose 22 percent of its funding, or $513 million (483 million euros). However, an unnamed White House official cautioned the paper against reporting specific numbers during the "evolving" process.

The AP reported that Trump plans to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency's staff by 20 percent now that campaign loyalist Scott Pruitt - who sued the EPA over regulations 14 times as Oklahoma's attorney general - has taken charge. Trump planned to fund beefed-up military spending through massive cuts to domestic agencies and departments.

The New York Times reported deep divisions within Trump's team ahead of an imminent decision on the US's participation in the Paris agreement. Energy and government officials told the newspaper that senior adviser Steve Bannon has pressed Trump to quit the historic agreement, which 194 countries reached in December 2015 to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Former ExxonMobil CEO and current US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rejected Bannon's position, the Times reported, as had Trump's more influential daughter, Ivanka.

In their book, "Merchants of Doubt", historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway show how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues.

A growing body of scholarship examines the climate denial apparatus, including work by Harvard's Naomi Oreskes, Michigan State's Aaron McCright, Oklahoma State University's Riley Dunlap, Yale's Justin Farrell, and Drexel's Robert Brulle. Their work reveals an intricate, interconnected propaganda web that encompasses over 100 organizations, trade associations, conservative think tanks, foundations, public relations firms, and plain old phony-baloney polluter front groups.

Climate denial was the original "School for Scoundrels" in fake news techniques. Climate denial was the original fake news. They have been at it awhile. A a peer-reviewed academic study of the climate denial apparatus described how this works. The fossil fuel industry sets up an array of "environmental skeptics." But they are not just skeptics; they in reality "are predominantly agents of conservative think tanks." These think tanks, in turn, have the essential role of providing what the report calls "political insulation for industry," including "for companies such as ExxonMobil".

The "defining feature" of this apparatus is the "denial of the authenticity of environmental problems." Collectively, this climate denial apparatus created for the fossil fuel industry "a full scale counter movement" against environmental science. Concluding in the report, "Its major tactic is to manufacture uncertainty."

To collapse into fewer words these decade-old findings about the fossil fuel industry climate denial apparatus: front groups who disguise the identity of the real actors and pump out fake news--in their case, the fake news of climate denial. The tactics and methods of climate science denial are the tactics and methods of weaponized fake news: false front organizations, hidden funding sources, controllable means of communication, mimicry of legitimate groups, personal disparagement of opponents, relentless repetition of lies, and shameless persistence when debunked.

Fake news, dark money, and hidden political spending have been the fossil fuel industry's primary political weapons. This creates the problem. Once a fake news delivery system is in place, that system will not necessarily differentiate between different types or sources of fake news. Once that road is open, anyone can travel it with any fake news cargo. The same fake news delivery system that will distribute fake news designed to manipulate American politics for the fossil fuel industry can just as effectively distribute fake news designed to manipulate American elections for Russia or China or Iran. The fake news delivery system is not restricted to any one payload.

The fossil fuel industry also fought hard to create the dark money political spending apparatus that now despoils American politics. They lobbied the Supreme Court for the wretched Citizens United decision. They saw it coming and they were swift at the mark, and they have stopped any effort in Congress at political spending disclosure. They need and depend on dark money to buy influence in Congress.

Donald Trump in November 2018 rejected the warnings of a national climate-change assessment by more than a dozen government agencies. “I don’t believe it" he said.

In November 2018 an untold number of people lost their lives due to the Camp Fire wildfire in California, many are missing and communities have been destroyed. The air quality in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay were the worst on the planet. There’s no question that climate change is driving these catastrophic wildfires and the deadly air quality that goes along with them.

Donald Trump, while visiting California, said Finland's President Sauli Niinisto had recently told him the country rarely has wildfires because "they spend a lot of time raking and cleaning and doing things" to clear the forest floor. Niinisto said raking did not come up in his conversation with Trump. US Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke said 20 November 2018 that the deadliest wildfires in California's history were partly due to lawsuits from environmentalists who have sought to stop forest management practices, such as forest thinning. "Radical environmental groups that would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest" have brought lawsuits to stop forest management, Zinke told reporters in a teleconference about the California wildfires.

Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen said: “As California struggles to recover from the most devastating wildfires in its history, we call on the nation’s elected leaders to take immediate action to strengthen climate resiliency and move legislation forward that will speed the transition to a clean energy economy. These catastrophic fires are part of a pattern of extreme weather that is putting our lives, our health, our homes, our cities, and our economy at risk. Hotter and drier conditions have turned our forests into a tinderbox. Over the past 30 years, the area affected by forest fires in the western U.S. has doubled because of climate change, according to a study from the National Academies of Sciences."

William Happer, a physicist who previously taught at Princeton University, has claimed that carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is good for humans and that carbon emissions have been demonized like “the poor Jews under Hitler.” Trump appointed him in late 2018 to the National Security Council staff, which advises the president on security and foreign policy issues.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a former Oklahoma congressman who once questioned mainstream climate science, has come round to accepting that science. The Heartland Institute is one of the most vocal challengers of mainstream scientific findings that emissions from burning coal, oil and gas are damaging the Earth’s atmosphere. A May 2018 email exchange between Heartland Institute adviser, Thomas Wysmuller and Happer called the NASA chief’s change of heart on climate science “a puzzle.”

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list