Dienstag, 26. November 2019

The Fascist Trump/Pence Regime: Climate Science Deniers and Christian Fascists Hell-bent on Plundering and Destroying the Planet

With this fascist regime, every force that seeks to despoil, poison, and destroy nature is unleashed, science is denied and suppressed, and ignorance and backwardness are proudly trumpeted. In the face of what is already a catastrophic and potentially existential environmental emergency, this fascist regime is putting their foot on the gas pedal.
As the planet plunges toward ecocide, Trump is clamping down and censoring scientists who speak the truth, their departments shut down and/or their ability to influence things eliminated. While science points to the need to stop pumping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, Trump proclaims his love affair with coal and does everything possible to promote fossil fuels, the primary source of greenhouse gases, all the while ignorantly mocking the science, reality and effects of global warming. As a signature move, he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accords. Restrictions on pesticides and other dangerous chemicals were completely inadequate in the first place: now they are going, going, gone. Air, water, soil, and the oceans are all fair game for any and all efforts to capitalize off of nature—for profit and plunder.
And this is all being done with a savage and gleeful passion on the part of those leading the assault—from the science-denying Christian fascists who assert God-given dominion over “Nature” to the capitalists given free rein to extract the greatest profit from its plunder, consequences be damned.
The destruction of the environment did not begin with the Trump/Pence regime, the latest rulers and overseers in the U.S. of the worldwide system of capitalism-imperialism. This system is driven to exploit the environment with little regard for the consequences, driven by competing blocs of capital to “expand or die,” including nation-states of today. This is why whatever efforts there are to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted worldwide by the functioning of this system, historically powered by fossil fuels, are nowhere close to meeting even the modest goals of the Paris accord. Only an actual revolution to get rid of this system gives humanity a real chance to save the planet—go here for more.
With all of the destruction of the environment already underway, as this list shows, what the Trump/Pence regime is unleashing is accelerating this to possibly irreversible extremes, with horrific consequences for humanity. And for any possibility of a radically different and far better world, this fascist regime needs to be driven #OutNow through mass sustained nonviolent mobilization of millions of people. Go here for more on the #OutNow movement.
The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

I. Denying and Suppressing the Science of Climate Change

From the Mouth of a Fascist Ignoramus-in-Chief

Trump has repeatedly made completely ignorant statements and tweets calling climate change a hoax and a plot by the Chinese, saying that a cold spell disproves the science of climate change (when each of the last five years have been one of the top five hottest). His claims are backed up not with any facts but by saying that recognizing climate change would hurt the U.S. economically. Here are some selected quotes:
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” (2012)
“Wow, it’s snowing in Israel and on the pyramids in Egypt. Are we still wasting billions on the global warming con? MAKE U.S. COMPETITIVE!” (2013)
“Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee—I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” (2013)
“I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling... They thought the Earth was cooling. Now, it’s global warming... But the problem we have, and if you look at our energy costs, and all of the things that we’re doing to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists.” (2015)
“I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth is under its feet. I’ve made that wealth come alive.... I’m not going to lose that wealth, I’m not going to lose it on dreams, on windmills, which frankly aren’t working too well.” (2019)
This September, as millions of youth and others joined a climate change strike to demand that action be taken to save the planet NOW, 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN and delivered a blistering denunciation of world leaders. Trump then gave a green light for a barrage of sickening reactionary attacks on Thunberg that spread through the internet when he tweeted mockingly: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” (2019)

Denying Global Warming as Part of a Christian Fascist Agenda

A critical part of the regime’s fascist base are Christian fascists with a fanatical disdain for the truth and science and a belief that the United States is chosen by god—and they have a god-given right to dominate and ravage nature for human ends.
Many past and present officials such as former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are part of the regime’s Christian fascist core and draw on a literal interpretation of the Bible to justify and promote the destruction of the planet. For example:
Pruitt said on the Christian Broadcast Network, “The biblical world view with respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with to truly bless our fellow mankind.” This is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible (Genesis 1:28) that holds that God gave mankind dominion over the Earth rather than the need to live in harmony with the natural world.1
They argue that we don’t need to worry or do anything about catastrophic changes brought by global warming because we are living in the “end times.” According to a poll by the Yale Center on Climate Change Communication, this is believed by 11 percent of the people in the U.S.2
Fox Radio contributor and Trump adviser Robert Jeffress said that climate change activist Greta Thunberg needs to stop worrying about the “imaginary” climate change crisis and just read the Bible. According to Jeffress, climate change is nothing to worry about because God already promised not to destroy the world again with rising sea levels after the Great Flood.3

Censoring Federal Websites

A quarter of all references to climate change have been removed from federal government websites since Trump took office, according to research by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI).4 For example, OSHA removed references to the impact of climate change from its page on heat-related illnesses, the U.S. Forest Service removed references to climate change from its webpage about wilderness areas. EPA staff have been prevented from updating an agency website, “Climate Change Indicators in the United States.” The Silencing Science Tracker, a joint initiative of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, cites 93 instances of government censorship related to climate change since Trump became president.

Cutting NASA’s Climate Monitoring Program

In May 2018, Science magazine reported that the Trump administration has ended NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-per-year program to improve the monitoring of global carbon emissions. CMS plays a key role in tracking greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.5

Dismissing Science Advisers

In early 2017, the EPA dismissed several members of the Board of Scientific Counselors, an 18-member advisory group that reviews the research of EPA scientists. An EPA spokesperson said the agency wanted to replace “academic scientists” with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency regulates.6 At the same time, the Interior Department announced freezing the work of more than 200 other advisory boards.7

Slashing Research

In its fiscal year 2019 budget, the Trump administration has proposed sweeping rollbacks to U.S. programs designed to study and mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as cuts to research on renewable energy. While not all parts of the president’s budget cuts make it into the final version, it paints a clear picture of the extremes to which the regime is willing to go.8

Eliminating Climate Change Research Programs.

The Trump/Pence regime has reduced or eliminated research on climate change, including:
  • Eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency’s Report on the Environment, and cutting the agency’s Human Health Risk Assessment program by nearly 40 percent.
  • Cutting several NASA Earth-science missions, including PACE (which collects data to better understand how the ocean and atmosphere exchange carbon dioxide); the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3); and DSCOVR, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, which measure the planet’s energy budget.
  • Eliminating the U.S. State Department’s Global Climate Change Initiative, which aims to help other countries better weather the impacts of climate change.
  • Imposing a 55 percent cut in spending on the Department of Energy’s applied research and development programs. At the same time, the budget calls for increases in spending related to fossil fuels.

Revoking Flood Standards for Sea-Level Rise

Trump signed an executive order revoking federal flood-risk standards that incorporated rising sea levels predicted by climate science. A recent Union of Concerned Scientists report found that chronic flooding—a flood roughly every two weeks—will come to affect more than 170 U.S. coastal communities in less than 20 years and some 670 communities by 2100.9
FOOTNOTES:
2. “Global Warming, God, and the ‘End Times,’” climatecommunications.yale.edu, March 2016 [back]
6. “E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board,” New York Times, May 7, 2017 [back]
 

Coastal flooding, due in part to rising sea levels driven by global warming, is already having devastating consequences, especially in Asia and the Pacific. Jakarta, Indonesia, 2017. Photo: AP

Rising temperatures are turning increasing areas of fertile land into desert. South Africa, 2017. Photo: BBC
Climate scientist Irina Overeem, who placed a meltwater monitoring station in western Greenland eight years ago, recorded a dramatic video of water rushing off the melting ice sheet.

“The ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Trump and Fundamentalist Christian Fascists”

 
 
Bob Avakian, "Not fit caretakers of the earth"

II. Expanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Trump Is Withdrawing the U.S. from Paris Climate Agreement

On June 1, 2017, Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. On November 4, 2019, which is the soonest, under the terms of the agreement, that the U.S. could do so, he became the first world leader to give a formal notice of intention to withdraw, which takes 12 months to take effect. The Paris Agreement was never what was needed to prevent a climate catastrophe. Since it went into effect, more and more greenhouse gases have been emitted every year, and not a single large industrialized country has come close to meeting its own inadequate goals.
Trump’s opposition to the Paris Agreement is a refusal to do anything at all to address climate change that might touch U.S. financial or strategic interests. Trump’s justification did not mention the science of climate or any of the apocalyptic projections from even the U.S.’s own scientists. His reasoning: “The Paris accord will undermine [the U.S.] economy,” and “puts [the U.S.] at a permanent disadvantage.”10
The U.S. is leading a bloc of other countries to openly deny any need to even pretend to have concerns about the environment, such as Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
As the Earth warms year after year, with the effects of climate change causing massive suffering, and with scientists issuing urgent warnings of the horrors ahead, the Trump administration has gone all-out to repeal any rule or regulation that limits emissions that are responsible for climate change. A report from the Environmental Impact Center at New York University School of Law called the Trump policies “a virtual surrender to climate change.”11
Trump—who made “Drill, Baby, Drill” an unofficial campaign slogan—is focusing on overturning regulations concerning coal, automobiles, oil and gas, and landfills. He has also expanded fossil fuel use through mining, drilling, and fracking. While many of these changes are currently in the courts or the regulatory process, they paint a horrific picture of the direction of the Trump/Pence regime.

The Myth of “Beautiful, Clean Coal”

In his 2018 State of the Union Address, Trump said, “We endured floods and fires and storms,” but never spoke to a major cause of these disasters: climate change. Instead, Trump said, “We have ended the war on American Energy and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” “Clean coal” is a lie. Coal is NOT clean. Coal plants pump out inordinate amounts of CO2—1,207 million metric tons in 2017—far more than any other source of electricity. There are some methods that power plants can use to decrease emissions but the costs are prohibitive and much higher than renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar. Only two coal power plants in the world use the technique, and it makes up less than 0.1 percent of American coal-fired capacity.12

Overturning the Clean Power Plan (in process)

The Trump administration lifted restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants that had been put in place under the Obama administration. The Obama plan called for a 30 percent reduction in coal plant emissions by 2030 (while scientists and others who oppose climate change call for the elimination of fossil fuels by then, if not earlier). Trump’s plan, called the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, would only require a 0.7 percent to 1.5 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from coal plants by 2030.13 It is estimated that this change alone may result in an additional 1,400 deaths per year.14

EPA Repeals Methane Rules (in process)

In 2019, the Trump EPA announced that it would no longer enforce requirements on oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce releases of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from wells and other operations. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping greenhouse gases over a 20-year timeframe. VOCs are gases that are emitted into the air that cause cancer or pose other health risks.
These changes are predicted to cause an additional 380,000 tons of methane emissions, 100,000 tons of VOCs, and 3,800 tons of other hazardous air pollutants between 2019 and 2025. It is estimated that this will result in 1,970 premature deaths, 39,000 individuals with upper and lower respiratory symptoms, 3,600 emergency room visits, and 1.1 million asthma attacks in 2025.15

Elimination of Automobile Fuel Economy Standards (in process)

In 2012, the government and automakers agreed to increase fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The EPA and the Department of Transportation under Trump want to freeze emission requirements where they are today and block California from setting its own, more stringent, standards. This would dump an additional 16 to 37 million metric tons of harmful carbon pollution into our atmosphere. The Trump administration’s own analysis shows that this would cause 25 million Americans to have more asthma attacks, lost work days, hospital visits, and suffer more premature deaths.16

Approval of the Dakota Access (completed) and Keystone XL Pipelines (in progress)

The 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline stretches from the oil fields of western North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, ultimately linking to other pipelines in Illinois. In 2016, thousands of protesters joined with indigenous people to challenge the pipeline. They faced off against pepper spray, dogs, and bulldozers, forcing the government to back down temporarily. On January 24, 2017, just days after becoming president, Trump signed a memorandum to advance the construction of the pipeline (and the Keystone XL pipeline running from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico) without the environmental review that Trump described as an “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process.” The Dakota Access Pipeline became officially operational in June 2017. Today, 570,000 barrels of oil flow through it every day.
FOOTNOTES:
11. “Climate & Health Showdown in the Courts,” law.nyu.edu, March 2019 [back]
12. “Clearing Up the Facts Behind Trump’s ‘Clean Coal’ Catchphrase,” factcheck.org, November 9, 2018 [back]
14. “Cost of New E.P.A. Coal Rules: Up to 1,400 More Deaths a Year,” New York Times, August 21, 2019 [back]
15. “Climate & Health Showdown in the Courts” [back]
16. “Climate & Health Showdown in the Courts” [back]
 

Arctic Drilling Platform at a site 60 miles west of Deadhorse, Alaska. Photo: Department of Energy Photo

The route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
This system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves.... These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth.
Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:29

III. Befouling the Air and Water

EPA Criminal Enforcements at 30-year Low

The Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal prosecutions under Trump are the lowest they’ve been in 30 years, just 27 percent of the number of prosecutions under previous administrations. Without the ability to refer and prosecute organizations damaging the environment, the EPA loses any authority and becomes ineffective.17

Trump Proposes EPA Budget Cuts

For the third year in a row, Trump has proposed massive cuts in the EPA’s budget. For 2019-2020, Trump is proposing a 31 percent cut. In previous years most of these cuts have not made it into the final budget. However, they show where the Trump/Pence regime is headed. Among the programs facing major cuts in funding are:
  • The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which would restore wetlands and improve water quality in the Great Lakes region;
  • The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant program, which provides money to retrofit or replace diesel-powered vehicles with cleaner models;
  • Chemical safety and sustainability research spending; and
  • The Atmospheric Protection Program, the EPA’s mandatory greenhouse gas reporting program.18
In addition, the Department of Energy will face a 23 percent cut to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy along with a 12 percent increase for the Office of Fossil Energy Research & Development.

Eliminating EPA’s Air Pollution Review Panel

In October 2018, the EPA disbanded its 20-person Particulate Matter Review Panel, made up of experts in microscopic airborne pollutants known to cause respiratory disease, and responsible for helping the agency decide what levels of pollutants are safe to breathe. After the EPA action, Gretchen Goldman, research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said, “We’re seeing E.P.A. trying to cut science out of the process.”19

Dumping Toxic Waste from Mining into Streams

Coal plants have a long history of dumping toxic water laced with mercury, arsenic, and other dangerous pollutants into U.S. waterways. Thousands of miles of rivers and streams have been contaminated. Coal facilities are the largest industrial source of toxic wastewater pollution in the country.
The EPA issued a rule in 2015, called the Waters of the America Rule, to halt some of these discharges. It estimated that the new standards would eliminate the release of 1.4 billion pounds of toxic metals and other pollutants every year. Shortly after taking office, Trump and then-EPA head Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA would begin the process of overturning the 2015 regulation. In September 2019, the current EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, denounced even the attempt by the EPA to limit the dumping of the toxic waste in the waterways as “an egregious power-grab.”20

Cutting Studies on Health Hazards for People Living Near Mountain Top Coal Removal Sites

In 2017, Trump ordered that all work stop on a Department of the Interior-funded study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The study had been launched at the request of two West Virginia agencies after more than two dozen scientific papers found increased risks of birth defects, cancer, and premature death among residents living near large-scale Appalachian surface coal mines.21

Refusing to Ban Chlorpyrifos

Chemical safety experts with the EPA had spent a decade studying the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is used on 40,000 farms. They found chlorpyrifos, even at low exposures, to be associated with brain damage in children and farm workers. Against the advice of the EPA’s own scientists and groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt refused to ban its use.22
FOOTNOTES:
17. “Criminal Enforcement Collapse at EPA,” Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility press release, January 14, 2019 [back]
18. “Trump’s 2020 Budget Would Slash Funding for EPA Programs,” Pacific Standard, March 11, 2019 [back]
19. “E.P.A. to Disband a Key Scientific Review Panel on Air Pollution,” New York Times, October 11, 2018 [back]
20. “Trump’s EPA Made It Easier for Coal Plants to Pollute Waterways,” Scientific American, September 24, 2018, and “Trump Administration Rolls Back Clean Water Protections,” New York Times, September 12, 2019 [back]
22. “How Dow Chemical Influenced the EPA to Ignore the Scientific Evidence on Chlorpyrifos,” Union of Concerned Scientists, October 11, 2017 [back]
 

The U.S. is more responsible than any other country for global warming. This coal-fired plant in Georgia is one of the country’s top CO2 emitters, releasing 27.2 million tons in 2007 alone. Photo: AP

Iron hydroxide precipitate in a Missouri stream receiving acid drainage from surface coal mining.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

IV. Attacking National Monuments and Public Lands

The Trump administration is responsible for causing the largest reduction of protected public lands in U.S. history, according to a comprehensive study in the journal Science. According to the study, 99 percent of the rollbacks were associated with industrial-scale development projects, including oil and gas extraction. The Trump administration plans to downsize Bears Ears, Grand-Staircase Escalante, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and nine more land or marine national monuments. “[Protected lands] play such an important role in mitigating climate change, in serving as a protective habitat for animals and birds,” Rachel Golden Kroner, the lead author on the study, told CNN. And, she told the Grist, “Biodiversity and the web of life on Earth is in trouble. And it’s up to us to do something about it.”

Dismantling Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments

In 2017, after meeting with representatives from uranium mining companies, Trump reduced the amount of land in Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent. In addition to beautiful and unique rock formations, Bears Ears contains important artifacts and sacred lands of indigenous peoples who have lived there for 13,000 years. The monument was created with the input of local tribes who have sued the government over the changes. The area is rich in uranium and Trump’s change would open the area to mining. Trump also recently created a “Nuclear Fuel Working Group” to expand U.S. uranium mining.
Of the 15 percent of Bears Ears that remains, the government has announced plans that include “chaining” potentially thousands of acres, which involves clearing forest with a waist-thick naval anchor chain dragged between tractors, or using an industrial chipper. It’s destructive for landscapes and archeological sites, and is often used to prepare land for commercial cattle grazing. They also plan to build new roads and string new power lines. There is nothing in the government’s plan about protecting the many cultural sites.23
At the same time, Trump reduced the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah by 51 percent. In August 2019, the Bureau of Land Management announced that hundreds of thousands of acres inside what used to be the monument will be opened to mining and drilling.24

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

In September 2019, the Trump administration finalized plans to allow oil and gas drilling in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that has been protected for decades. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer leases on essentially the entire 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, which includes places where threatened polar bears have dens and porcupine caribou visit for calving. Drilling operations are expected to be problematic for indigenous populations, many of which rely on subsistence hunting and fishing.25

Dredging Protected Ecosystems

In November 2019, the Trump regime changed a 25-year-old policy to make it easier for coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to improve their beaches. The shift makes it cheaper for some of the wealthiest communities in the country to replenish their beachfronts, which are increasingly under threat from more frequent and intense storms, rising seas, and other effects of climate change. Critics say that comes at the expense of vulnerable coastal ecosystems.26
FOOTNOTES:
25. “Trump opens protected Alaskan Arctic refuge to oil drillers,” Guardian, September 12, 2019 [back]
 

Cliff Dwelling where people lived about 1,000 years ago in Bears Ears National Monument. The Trump/Pence regime is taking 85% of the monument out of protected status. Source: Bureau of Land Management

A natural rock formation in Bears Ears National Monument.

V. Reversing Protections for Endangered Species

According to a report by a United Nations scientific panel, “Around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss. Without such action there will be a further acceleration in the global rate of species extinction, which is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years.”27

Ripping Apart the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed removing what’s called the “blanket section 4(d) rule” from the Endangered Species Act. Repealing the rule would change how the government deals with species that are threatened but have not been declared “endangered.” Since the 1970s, the U.S. held that by default, threatened species should receive the full protections of the Endangered Species Act. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, 294 species listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are afforded protections only because of the blanket rule. The affected species include the northern spotted owl, the southern sea otter, the spotted seal, as well as eight species of coral and numerous plants.28

Harming Marine Mammals

As part of plans to open up 90 percent of U.S. federal offshore waters to the fossil fuel industry, the U.S. government authorized seismic surveys to identify oil deposits beneath the ocean floor. Seismic air guns used in these surveys are expected to injure, harass, disrupt, and even kill marine life like whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. The air guns create seismic blasts, create noise louder than a rocket launch, and are discharged at about 10-second intervals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months on end. Of particular concern is the survival of the North Atlantic right whale, which, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, could become extinct in 20 years.29
FOOTNOTES:
28. “Trump Attacks Endangered Species Act,” Environment News Service, July 23, 2018 [back]
 

The North Atlantic Right Whale, which could become extinct in 20 years.

The golden toad was last seen in 1989 in a Costa Rican cloud forest and has since been declared extinct. More than 40 percent of amphibian species are threatened by extinction.
 

The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters

In today's world, without the science of evolution there would be no science. Written for both the scientifically-minded as well as those who are not familiar with science at all, this book details the facts of the science of evolution.

VI. Trump’s Environmental Advisers: A Rogue’s Gallery of Climate Deniers, Fossil Fuel Advocates, and Crooks

Trump’s appointments to high-level posts reveal the extreme nature of his environmental agenda: that the economic and strategic interests of the U.S. trump any concerns about the environment or the planet’s future. Trump’s cabinet is a cabal of American chauvinists, white supremacists, climate-change-denying capitalists unleashed to ruthlessly exploit nature for profits, and Christian fascists who feel they have a God-given right to ravage and dominate nature.

Scott Pruitt (Environmental Protection Agency)

Trump’s first EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, was put in place to dismantle and disarm the EPA. He had been a longtime adversary of the EPA and a close friend to the fossil fuels industry. As attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA 14 times. Most prominently, he led a lawsuit by 28 states against the “Clean Power Plan,” an Obama administration initiative to place some limits on emissions from coal power plants.
In running for political office in Oklahoma, he accepted more than $250,000 in donations from the oil and gas industry. As attorney general, he had joined coal companies and others in filing multiple lawsuits to overturn the EPA’s standards to limit toxic air pollution.
Pruitt has a history of denying climate change. He sued to overturn an EPA finding that climate changing greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare, arguing against the overwhelming body of scientific evidence. In an op-ed in the National Review, Pruitt wrote that the debate on climate change is “far from settled.”30

Andrew Wheeler (EPA after Pruitt)

In 2018, Pruitt resigned amidst numerous scandals. He was replaced by Andrew Wheeler, an energy lobbyist. Wheeler’s clients included Murray Energy Corporation, which proudly bills itself as the largest coal mining company in America.
At the time of his appointment, Wheeler was vice president of the Washington Coal Club, a powerful federation of more than 300 coal producers, business leaders, and policy makers. Before becoming a coal industry lobbyist, Wheeler worked as a legislative aide to Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe. Inhofe, the most virulent climate denier in Congress, regularly refers to the science of climate change as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Ryan Zinke (Department of the Interior until December 15, 2018)

The Department of the Interior is the government agency with oversight over the use of federal lands, including controversial pipeline and drilling projects. Zinke, as a Montana congressman, consistently voted in favor of oil and gas drilling projects on federal lands. He supported the Keystone XL pipeline, measures to remove protections of endangered species, and opposed legislation to regulate fracking. In 2014, Zinke said that the science of climate change “is not proven.”

Other Cabinet Members (with apologies to the destroyers of the planet who deserve to be listed here but are left out):

Mike Pompeo (originally head of the CIA and now Secretary of State): “There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change. There’s some who think we’re warming, there’s some who think we’re cooling, there’s some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment.” Pompeo referred to the Paris agreement as a “radical climate change deal.”
Speaking in May 2019, Pompeo enthusiastically welcomed the melting of the ice in the Arctic, a process that is destroying the ecosystem there, and is causing rising ocean levels that threaten to inundate coastal regions. Pompeo said, “Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade.”31
Rick Perry (Secretary of Energy): Perry, who heads an agency that he had wanted to eliminate, has called climate science a “contrived phony mess” and attacked the vast majority of scientists who back it, saying “there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects.”
Vice President Mike Pence: “I don’t know that that is a resolved issue in science today...”
Ben Carson (Secretary of Housing and Urban Development): “There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on.”
Sonny Perdue (Secretary of Agriculture): “Whether temperatures are unseasonably low or high, global warming is the culprit. Snowstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes have been around since the beginning of time, but now they want us to accept that all of it is the result of climate change.”
Elaine Chao (Secretary of Transportation): Chao is an international banker and is known as a big opponent of any regulations to protect the environment or in any way hurt the profits of U.S. business. She resigned from the board of the Bloomberg Foundation when it decided to give money to a project called Beyond Coal.
FOOTNOTES:
 

“The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today”

What Has Given Rise to the Situation in Which We Have a Fascist Regime Ruling the U.S.?

 

How Would a Revolutionary Socialist Society Address the Environmental Emergency?

  • A. The Economy.
  • B. The Environment.
  • Article IV. The Economy and Economic Development in the New Socialist Republic in North America.
  • Section 5. The System of Public-State Ownership is the Foundation of the New Socialist Economy.


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