Friday, March 31, 2017

Environment? What Kind of Tree-Hugger Needs a Clean Environment?

Trump's executive order eliminating the Obama Administration's actions on climate change has got to be the worst action of any US president since the invasion of Iraq, courtesy of the Bush Maladministration. The Trump administration is loosening environmental regulations as the melting of Antarctica's ice sheets grows apace. This is the worst time for a coterie of stupid, corrupt, and venal persons to be running the world's most powerful government, and eliminating rules on the most deleterious of industries.

The idea that this executive order will help to stop the 'Heartland' from hemorrhaging jobs is ludicrous. Low natural gas prices have undercut the value of coal, and with mountaintop removal mining being industry standard, fewer miners are required for coal extraction. Loosening regulations will only increase the profits of coal barons who will employ a skeleton workforce. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of coal country will be further immiserated by the contamination of their water sources by the dumping of coal waste.

I have blogged about coal before, specifically how it should have been seen as 'startup capital' used to allow the development of a mature energy technology based on renewable resources. With the prospect of cheap, printed solar cells looking more feasible, the fact that our leaders wish to emphasize the use of coal to generate electricity is unforgivable. Never has a policy benefited so few while imperiling so many. As I've noted before, our profligate fossil fuel use is the equivalent of blowing our seed money on hookers and blow, and with the dangers of fossil fuel use being so manifold, those hookers all have STD's and the blow is adulterated with ground glass and PCP... maybe that's why Donald Trump sees the appeal of coal.


mikey said...

Meh - reality has a fascinating way of screwing with Trump's vacuous idiocy. You can't change the trends, and they have nothing to do with climate change or specific extraction jobs. Wind, solar, wave and other renewables are economically superior today, and what energy company is going to invest a hundred million dollars in a coal-fired plant with a 30 year lifespan in the face of a four (or maybe 8, but I don't see it) year radical US presidency? They already know what their generation mix plans are for the next 20 years. The military is focused on reducing their fossil fuel requirements. Cities are planning to shift to renewables in the next 10 years. Other nations don't have any political interest in 'muddying the waters' and are proceeding into the future based on a clear-eyed view of reality.

Trump doesn't really matter - even though he doesn't know it. The decisions have been made for some time, well above his pay grade...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Trump is the symptom, it's the GOP congress and the goddamn stupid voters who keep returning them to power that's the real problem.

Decades of lost opportunities, that's the tragedy- imagine how differently things would have gone if Al Gore had been allowed to take the White House in 2000. The entire 21st century has been a regression in the area of energy policy.