Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and a few career climate change deniers are attempting to profit at the planet’s peril.
While Donald Trump and his crew have been busy waging war on science and screwing over Mother Earth for Mother Russia, the U.S. military has been, for years, openly shoring up our defenses against the effects of climate change, such as super-storms, droughts, and mass population displacement. They even put out a press release about it in 2014.
DoD Releases Report on Security Implications of Climate Change, July 29, 2015.
Fast forward to today. The first season of The Appointee Apprentice is nearly a wrap, and The Donald is still delivering an endless raft of distractions. Hey, this shitshow makes great TV! Trump’s palace intrigue, however, only serves to distract us from the fact that the characters he has appointed – Tillerson, Pruitt, Perry and Zinke – are all willfully intent on cooking the planet for the private gain of a few corporations. Their only interest, it seems, is to make a yuge buck, or ruble, as the case may be.
Let’s not forget what climate disruption means to Vladimir Putin.
Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet: Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected: a $500 billion oil deal killed by sanctions, Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, December 11, 2016.
Trump and Tillerson will play right into Russia’s climate change wet dreams, Ari Phillips, Fusion, December 13, 2016
Basically, the more the Arctic ice melts, the more oil and gas Russia and ExxonMobile can extract from the region, and the more carbon they will release into the atmosphere, global consequences be damned.
Russia Stakes New Claim to Expanse in the Arctic, Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times, August 4, 2015
In Pentagon Issues Scary Climate Security Report, as Russia Lays Claim to Vast Arctic Territory, Slate, August 5, 2105, Eric Holthaus reports: “Just days after the Pentagon’s latest warning, a bold territorial claim, by Russia on Tuesday—including to mineral rights in a region of the Arctic larger than France and Germany combined that includes the North Pole—emphasizes that the real-world implications of melting sea ice are rushing to a head much sooner than expected.”
So let’s please not be fooled by Rex Tillerson’s apparent softening on U.S. Participation in the Paris Agreement. Since the mid-1970s – until they got caught – ExxonMobil executives, namely Rex Tillerson, helped suppress their own scientists’ data concerning the dangerous impacts of dumping carbon in the atmosphere. With Tillerson’s hand on the tiller, ExxonMobil’s climate denial was epic, and perhaps even illegal in that they potentially defrauded investors by not revealing all that they knew.
Can ExxonMobil Be Found Liable for Misleading the Public on Climate Change?: Scientists at the biggest U.S. oil company understood as early as anyone that fossil fuel emissions were heating up the earth’s atmosphere, Paul Barrett, Matthew Philips, BloombergBusinessweek, September 7, 2016.
It’s worthwhile to note that Tillerson is also the world’s biggest NIMBY who has sued to prevent fracking operations adjacent to his own property “because of the noise.”
Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns, Danile Gilbert, The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2014.
Given how these dudes would trample science, I think Americans may want to ask themselves, do I live in a what the Pentagon considers to be a “Fragile State”?
Three of Trump’s appointee finalists are retired generals, one is a former Navy SEAL, and another is a Lt. General. Okay, that’s a lot of brass, but here’s the thing: These are career military men who have long been part of the same forces that are currently preparing to fight the effects of climate change. The Army especially loves solar. Trump’s generals have long served in the same organizations presently operating in recognition of the fact that climate change is real, it’s happening, and it may be the greatest threat facing our nation in the future.
Immediate Risk to National Security Posed by Global Warming, Lisa Friedman, Scientific American, October 14, 2014
Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change, Coral Davenport, The New York Times, October 13, 2014.
Climate Change Is the ‘Mother of All Risks’ to National Security, Jon Powers, Time, November 6, 2015.
How the Pentagon is preparing for climate Change in each part of the world, Dan Lamothe, The Washingotn Post, July 30, 2015.
Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions, Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times, February 7, 2016.
The U.S.Military’s effort to combat the impacts of climate change are so sweeping, the information even managed to penetrate the Fox News bubble:
Pentagon calls climate change a matter of ‘national security’, Fox News, October 13, 2014.
One can only conclude that, under Trump, our armed forces will be paradoxically charged with protecting global fossil fuel supplies while fighting the effects of fossil fuel usage, and simultaneously weaning their forces off said fossil fuels. It is so wildly hypocritical, it’s absurd. So here’s a thought, maybe Trump’s transition team should send an intrusive climate change questionnaire to the Pentagon, just like they one they sent to The Department of Energy?
Department of Energy Defies Trump, Won’t Name Climate Change Workers, Jason Slotkin, NPR, December 13, 2016.
A bunch folks in white lab coats, protesting a president-elect’s political appointees isn’t something you see every day. Yet, that’s exactly what happened when the convention of Geophysical Union scientists convened in San Francisco last week.
Geophyiscal Union scientists protest Trump appointees, Lizzi Johnson, SFGate, December 13, 2016.
So unusual is the sight of so much brainpower takin’ it to the streets that Bill McKibben, Middlebury College professor and best-selling author tweeted:
Regardless of the fact that the new vitriolic voice of the incoming administration, Sean Spicer, assured the media that “the person who sent it has been properly counseled,” the ill-advised action is completely aligned with the incoming administration’s general distain for the scientific community. And the result is still the same: intimidation.
Able to read the writing on the wall, many climatologists find themselves scrambling time and resources in order to back up data which could be threatened by the new administration.
Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump, Brady Dennis, The WashingtonPost, December 13, 2016
It’s alarming that they feel the need to safeguard their research from Trump and his evil minions, but I get it. And who knows? Maybe the Russians might want to hack them, too.