Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's First 100 Days are a Climate and Environmental Nightmare

Trump's first 100 days have been a dismal failure. Trump failed to deliver on almost every single one of his promises leading many to conclude that the self-proclaimed deal-maker can't seem to close. True to his word he is making progress on one front, depriving Americans of clean air and clean water.

Trumps Muslim ban failed, his attempt to pass health-care legislation also failed. Congress will not finance his wall and nor will Mexico.  Rather than drain the swamp he has made the swamp bigger. The president has rewarded the wealthy on the backs of the poor and the middle class. His one-page reward-the-rich tax plan does not have a snowball's chance in hell of passing and if it were ever enacted by Congress it would trigger economic ruin.

Clearly, Trump does not have a clue about how to get things done in Washington.  Here is a general summary of Trump's first 100 days, by most accounts, the worst 100 days in modern US presidential history.

Trump's inauguration was a gloomy affair heralding the coming darkness. Even before Trump took the oath of office he cast a shadow over the proceedings at COP22.

Early in his term, some had the audacity to suggest that a Trump presidency would not be as bad as it seemed. They did not have the courage to face the truth about what a Trump administration would mean for the planet. However, their naive hopes were quickly dashed. Shortly after the inauguration, his administration purged all mention of climate change from the White House and State Department websites. However, they did leave one reference, a promise to eliminate Obama-era climate change policies.

Trump then picked Scott Pruitt to head the EPA and ex-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the secretary of state. These two men and other members of the administration oppose science-based climate action plans. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, like so many others in the administration, opposes government funding for climate research.

This brings us to Trump's budget which was a declaration of war against environmental protections, climate action, and scientific research. Trump made it clear that he wants to decimate environmental protections and climate action in the US.

In their first month, the Trump administration resurrected dead or dying pipelines (the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline). Within the first two months, they began eliminating vehicle fuel efficiency standards and then they went to work gutting the EPA with proposed budget cuts of 31 percent.

Trump has broken almost every promise he made except for one, the promise to eliminate environmental regulations

On the one hand, Trump is the most ineffectual US president in history on the other he has wreaked unprecedented environmental damage in his first 100 days.  His Executive Orders have systematically rolled back all vestiges of environmental progress in the US. These are protections that began under Republican presidents. He has ended the era of progressive climate action that we saw under President Obama and he has turned the US into a global climate pariah.

When he was running to be president leading Republican insiders suggested he was not fit to be president. After one hundred days in office, it is safe to say that those who made this statement have been vindicated. Even Trump himself conceded that the job is far harder than he had imagined. One hundred days into his presidency Trump has joined the chorus of those who say he is is not up for the job. The point may become moot if he is impeached for collusion with the Russians.

More than any other president who preceded him, Trump is an unmitigated disaster. However, people are standing up and offering unprecedented opposition.

Even before he was president heads of state, climate scientists and business leaders have all urged him to act on climate change. Early in his term, there was the Women's March. This was followed by the March for Science on Earth Day where scientists and others called Trump out for his war on science. One week later there was the Peoples Climate Movement event that drew attention to his utterly irresponsible climate conduct. Just to make sure we get the point, on April 28th, the eve of the Peoples Climate Movement event, all vestiges of climate science were removed from the EPA website.

Trump's strategy is encountering resistance from some business leaders and the courts are challenging his authority.  People are feeling that it is both necessary and appropriate to protest against Trump and they are seeing that there is power in their resistance.

The situation is grim but we need to try to stay hopeful and keep resisting the incompetence of this administration.

RelatedGlobal Warning 2017: Combating the Dystopia of the Trump Administration
Trump and the Darkness of Post-Factual Media
The Trump Administration is a Kakistocracy

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