Wednesday, November 09, 2016

This Is Where It Gets Personal

One thing you can count on from Donald Trump's AmeriKa is an abrupt reversal of Barack Obama's climate change agenda.

Keystone XL, a done deal. Big Coal, it's back. Trump has told those who made sure his first government job was the one right at the very top that climate change is a hoax. Like every other Trump appeal to AmeriKa's basest, darkest instincts his supporters await a revolution, top to bottom, with a White Power restoration at its core.

Trump has given a solemn vow to "renegotiate" the Paris climate agreement. He's going to renegotiate with what? Oh yeah, the world. There's worry that Trump may withdraw the U.S. from the accord and return his country to a Sarah Palin, "burn, baby burn" energy policy.

Trump has called climate change a “hoax”, placing him virtually alone among world leaders on the validity of the science. The real estate magnate has promised to embark upon a four-year process of withdrawing the US from the Paris deal and has targeted the “billions and billion and billions” given to UN climate programmes and clean energy development.

Domestically, Trump has promised to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling, despite the fact that the growth of natural gas use has caused the downturn in coal.

He also plans to scrap Obama’s signature Clean Power plan, which is the main policy designed to lower US emissions.

Recent analysis by Lux Research estimated that a Trump presidency would raise US greenhouse gas output by 16% by the end of his second term, should he get one, compared to a Hillary Clinton administration. Such a shift could prove key in not only pushing the world towards dangerous climate change but also dissuading other nations from making the required cuts in emissions.

One of those dissuaded nations could be Canada. The Petro-pols on both sides of the floor of the House of Commons probably aren't going to be very supportive of measures to slash greenhouse gas emissions in Canada if AmeriKa doesn't lead the way. Trudeau has always been well behind Obama on climate change and it's hard to imagine he won't stay safely behind Trump also.

It was last December in Paris that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber warned that mankind's only chance to avert catastrophic, runaway global warming hinged on the willingness of government leaders globally to implement an "induced implosion" of the fossil energy industry. That option is off the table now and perhaps for years to come.

The big unknown in climate science is the most dangerous part - the issue of how much time we have left to change course, to really slash emissions, to abandon fossil fuel and transition to alternative, clean energy. There is some consensus that we have perhaps no later than 2020 to begin implementing major GHG emissions reductions.

Trump represents time squandered that we probably don't have to waste.


Anonymous said...

Temperature in Winnipeg today at 4:00 pm CST: 18.2 degrees C. Previous record high (from 1938 to 2007) for Winnipeg on this day: 10.6 degrees C.

I know you can't look at one day when discussing climate change, but wow.

Troy said...

Thought of that when I thought of Trump fixing anything.

He's not going to be able to deliver on his promise to make the USA energy independent, but he will do a lot of damage for the next president to have to clean up.

As I was worried in regards to Alberta, some or much of the damage will likely be uncleanable.

And we'll be inched closer to, well, destruction.

What's unfathomable, is how bad a bet this is. He's betting that just drilling and mining and fracking will somehow push energy prices up, or something. There's barely any money to be made. It was already all made, ages ago. It's done. It's spent. It's gone. It's dead. "'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!"

Or in this case, a dead industry.

He's gone and made plans instead of thinking about things for five minutes. Just utter madness.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, yes, Big Fossil as the legendary Norwegian Blue parrot. Trump has grandiose ideas that are rarely anchored in fact or logic. It's the Peter Principle on fentanyl.

AniO said...

Interesting that Florida will be among the first to pay the price

Northern PoV said...

Hey Mound
given the latency of CO2, most of the harm done by today's emissions will be enjoyed in 20 or 30 years. The future (in this regard) is baked in.

The Paris agreement and related process is much like the Titanic passengers rearranging deck chairs as it sinks.

Trump is America's (and the world's) answer to climate change. Get used to it. We will not come together to survive and share what's left.
Rather we will fight each other in an oligarchic, capitalist nightmare for the last cup of potable water.

(If KXL means no more KM then that is a small local win for the BC coast.)