Monday, January 22, 2018

Climate Crisis Trumped by the Volatility of the US Commander-and-Chief

Climate change and environmental degradation are recognized as the most pressing issues facing humanity, however, these serious threats have been trumped by the man who now occupies the Oval Office. The first year of Trump's presidency has been a nightmare of Orwellian proportions. If the highly unorthodox commander and chief has convinced us of anything it is that he is capable of auguring events that are even more destructive than the climate crisis.

We have every reason to worry about the coming year.  As the Mueller investigation continues and the midterms loom Trump can be expected to ramp up his post-truth bombast. We have every reason to believe that he will become even more irrational as the noose of reality tightens around his neck. We are drawn to the terrifying conclusion that Trump's incompetence and his petulance are an even greater threat in 2018 than they were in 2017.

Trump's impending challenges combined with his bizarre behavior makes surviving the second year of his presidency a higher priority concern than the climate crisis. Trump's childish tirades and incoherant rants could lead to calamity. Under Trump's "leadership" the specter of a nuclear apocalypse is an even greater threat than the climate apocalypse he is actively abetting.

According to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), climate and environmental threats pose a significant risk to businesses around the world in 2018. Environmental disasters stemming from climate change are high on the WED's ranking of global threats but the risk of nuclear, chemical and biological war is at the very top of the list. While extreme weather events are considered the most likely threat, the report ranks weapons of mass destruction as the threat with the greatest impact.

The failure of climate adaptation and mitigation is the number five most likely threat and man-made environmental disasters are number seven. A number of other climate-related threats are mentioned in the report's top ten lists including food and water crises, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, involuntary migration and infectious diseases.

The WEF report also points to the rise of populist anger and singles out Trump by name saying that the policies of his volatile presidency could have unexpected consequences.


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