Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Protesting Trump is Essential to the Survival of Life on the Planet

The climate crisis and the rapid degradation of the Earth's biodiversity represent existential threats. The ruling US administration is exacerbating these interrelated catastrophes. American President Donald Trump's recent visit to the UK was met by hundreds of thousands of protestors. In total the visit spawned more than two dozen anti-Trump protests across the UK. During his stay Trump added more lies to the over 10,000 he has told since becoming president.

Despite a protracted discussion on climate change with Prince Charles, Trump remains stubbornly resistant to the facts. During this visit the liar-and-chief once again denied the reality of global warming.

"I believe that there is a change in weather and I think it changes both ways," Trump told Piers Morgan. The truth is the climate crisis is a refection of irrefutable long term warming trends attributable to human activity. To accentuate Trump's mendacity, the rate of warming has been increasing in recent years. Trump also said "the United States right now has amongst the cleanest climate there are based on all statistics." (According to the Environmental Performance Index, the US ranks 27th in environmental quality).

Global warming is a civilization ending threat, if we are to stave off the worst impacts we must act and we must act soon. However, the Trump administration is a major impediment to climate action and wildlife protections. The sooner he is forced out of office the better our chances of survival.

A sign by London protestor Keith Martin summarizes the dangers represented by this president. The sign read: "Trump is worse than my cancer." Martin made the sign after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. "Worst case scenario, this will kill me, but Trump’s policies will kill lots of people," Martin told NBC News.

Trump is at war with reality. He attacks individuals and institutions that contradict his obfuscation. Trump does more than just spew disingenuous rhetoric, his administration is behind a raft of anti-science initiatives designed to undermine government institutions to make it easier to hide facts that contradict their policy positions. His budget makes this point abundantly clear as does this administration's efforts to censor and bury research. This war on facts now permeates US government departments and agencies. Both Interior and the EPA have waged successful crusades against science.

The White House recently blocked an intelligence agency’s written testimony calling climate change 'catastrophic'. According to the New York Times the White House, "tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony." The Trump White House has ordered government scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey to stop projecting the effects of the climate crisis over the long term (beyond 2040) to hide the worst impacts. Trump also wants to create a climate change review panel composed of climate deniers who would undermine scientific conclusions.

The Mueller report also cited multiple incidences of Trump dismissing real news as "fake news".  Trump undermines science and disparages fact based journalism because like all corrupt leaders the truth exposes the deception in their narratives.

This administration is eliminating wildlife protections at a time when reports show that humans are destroying flora and fauna at an unprecedented rate.  Trump has paved the way for another million acres of California to be opened to oil and gas drilling including land near Sequoia National Park. As reported by Rolling Stone, Trump has overseen the largest reduction in public lands in US history.

This administration has failed to address the problem of plastic waste, they have abandoned government support for efficiency and efforts to save the the Arctic from the ravages of climate change. In April, Trump signed executive orders clearing the way for oil and gas pipelines to be built more quickly. Trump has also undermined renewable energy ignoring economic arguments focusing instead short term economic upticks from radical deregulation. Economists predict that the longer term economic costs of climate inaction will be calamitous.

If future generations are to have a hope of inheriting a livable planet this bottomless presidency must end. New evidence suggests that protests may be an important vehicle to combat the malfeasance of this administration. As explored by Grist's Kate Yoder, a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Education, found that environmental protests work. According to the study, "climate marches can not only boost activists’ likability, but also encourage bystanders to think we all can work together to take on the climate crisis." Even people who got their news from conservative media, "developed stronger beliefs in collective efficacy — the idea that we can tackle climate change together".

Protests will reduce Trump's chances of winning in 2020 but in a move that mirrors state action, this administration is pushing to criminalize protest by supporting prison sentences of up to 20 years.

Related
States Outlawing Protest to Defend the Fossil Fuel Industry
The Extinction Rebellion's Moment of Truth
Greta's Strikes for Climate Action and her Game-Changing Global Movement
The Sprawling Diversity of the Climate Protest Movement
Top Three Countries for Climate Protests
Climate Inaction vs Income Inequality: The Underlying Unity Behind these Protest Movements
Women's March Calls for Environmental Justice
Young People are Leading Climate Activism and Giving Us Reason to Hope
Climate Protests are at the Heart of Growing Resistance to Trump
Climate Protesters are Part of a Broad Coalition that Cannot be Ignored
A New Environmental Movement Breeds Hope for the Future
Regulation or Revolution
People Powered Environmental Movement

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