Saturday, June 03, 2017

A pathetically insecure man fights phantoms. Ruin abounds.

... China is doing its part, dramatically winding down a coal boom that could have doomed the planet, frenetically investing in zero-carbon energy. And it will probably continue to do its part even though the president of the United States is volunteering for the role of climate pariah.

It’s quite likely that the United States will continue to do its part as well, because no matter what climate policies he thinks will make America great again, Trump can’t make renewables expensive again or coal economical again or electric vehicles nonexistent again. California just set a target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, and many U.S. cities and corporations have set even more ambitious goals for shrinking their carbon footprints. Trump can’t do much about that, either.

What Trump can do is remind his supporters—and everyone else on the planet—which side he’s on, and, more to the point, which side he’s fighting. He’s taking a shirts-and-skins stand against liberals, against goo-goos, against condescending scolds in Birkenstocks who don’t like Styrofoam or hulking SUVs or real Americans, against naive globalists who want the U.S. to suck up to the French and the Chinese and the United Nations. Climate change will affect the entire earth, from drought-ravaged farm villages in Africa to flood-prone condo towers in Miami, but for Trump it’s just a symbol of the stuff that people who don’t like Trump care about.

...Whatever damage Trump’s climate policies cause to the planet will be collateral damage, shrapnel from his political war on elites and the left and Obama.

But that won’t make the damage any less real. The United States happens to be located on that planet, and it’s the only known planet with pizza, whether the president wants to protect it or not. The United States is also part of the community of nations, and it’s a community with many common interests, whether the president wants to lead it or not.

Michael Grunwald, Politico

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