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by Monica Medina and Miro Korenha, co-founders and publishers, Our Daily Planet
While it’s now become a part of meme infamy, Kimberly Guilfoyle’s 2020 Republican National Convention speech made the argument that in America, through a second term of the Trump presidency, “the best is yet to come.” As the GOP’s convention followed that of the Democrats which touched on the looming threat of the climate crisis each night, it was clear that Republicans weren’t willing to even discuss the scant climate action ideas they’ve previously put forward.
Worse yet, Republicans didn’t create a new party platform this year opting instead to use theirs from 2016 which largely categorized climate change as overblown. As a result, when the massive category 4 Hurricane Laura charged toward Louisiana and wildfires ravaged the entire state of California just as the Republican convention was airing, neither the President nor his party had any comfort or vision for a better future to offer the victims of climate change.
In fact, after 90 speakers took their turn at the convention, there wasn’t a single mention of climate change except to ridicule Joe Biden’s climate action plan and mock moves by Democratic governors to push for 100% renewable energy. We can speculate, but this might have something to do with the fact that fossil fuel special interests are bankrolling President Trump’s reelection campaign.
With the Trump administration, it is, in the end, all about the money — even when it comes to climate change and weather forecasts. They ignored the wildfire and hurricane crises – poorly timed to make an entrance during their Republican convention. Though there was a photo op Thursday at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the hard-working folks from National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, who had provided the life-saving storm warnings (describing it as “unsurvivable” and “catastrophic”) were nowhere to be found. Written out of the RNC’s script – it was not supposed to be a disaster film.
We’ve also seen this crony favoritism echoed in President’s Trump’s spending priorities where he’s proposed cutting nearly a billion dollars from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (OEERE) at the US Department of Energy, while eagerly promoting the taxpayer bailout of the U.S. oil industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s “A Budget for a Better America” wanted to slash funding for the widely supported ARPA-E, an agency focused on researching and developing future energy technology that benefits all Americans. America’s energy and technology innovation is part of what makes this nation great, and the President has shown that he doesn’t want to invest in the clean energy future that can help save lives from pollution.
As John Oliver put it, “everything Trump does is designed to destroy the government from the inside.” That’s what we have to look forward to if Trump gets another turn. Climate change is fueling massive storms and wildfires and we’ll have fewer government resources to protect ourselves. And as for the solutions to climate change–our biggest existential threat? Forget about it. The Trump administration isn’t interested in investing in a habitable future, even as scientists have stressed the urgency of taking action. We know what’s to come if we don’t address the crisis before us, and it’s as far from “the best” as we can get.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study released by Conservation International found that tuna populations will likely be pushed from the waters of 10 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to climate change. For nations that rely on tuna as a source of food and income, the consequences could be devastating. Conservation International urges the global […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Earlier this month, devastating floods washed through western Germany, leaving people dead and swaths of cities destroyed. It was the worst flooding Central Europe has seen in decades, and the short, intense rainfall is “one of the hallmark manifestations of a human-warmed climate,” as Yale Climate Connections put it. […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Carbon border taxes are gaining popularity in North America and Europe, but many are skeptical that taxing imports from countries with weak emissions policies will encourage climate action. Others are calling border taxes unjust. John Kerry, the U.S. Climate Envoy, called border tax policies a “last resort.” Nevertheless, Congressional Democrats have already proposed one […]
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