According to the administration’s own math, the pollution rules could eliminate jobs, discourage driving, and inflict billions in damage.
The liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America tallied 142 minutes of climate news coverage on the nightly network newscasts and Sunday political talk shows in 2018.
There are President Trump's children: Eric, Junior, Ivanka, and the rest. Then there are his symbolic spawn, taking root in governments around the globe like a rejected sci-fi movie pitch.
Before this week, President Donald Trump's most glaring enviro-delusion has been his imaginary effort to revive the domestic coal industry.
Only a few years ago, climate denial was on the run in world capitals.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison (right). (Credit: G20Australia/flickr)<p>Australia's new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/what-happened-to-the-climate-change-election-20190522-p51q4m.html" target="_blank">rode a wave of support for the coal industry</a> to victory as head of Australia's Liberal Party (in Australia, the "Liberal" Party is what Americans would call Conservative or Republican. I've never known how that happened.) </p><p>It was billed as "The Climate Change Election." Climate lost. </p><p>Coal is still a big deal in Australia, with huge export markets throughout Asia. Big enough, apparently, that Aussie voters saw fit to swap the imperiled Great Barrier Reef for 30 pieces of coal.</p>
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the most sweeping environmental law on America's books.
When news – particularly bad news – comes at you through a firehose, it's human nature that this week's headline horrors wash away last week's horrors.
Credit: Becker1999/flickr<p>10. The US partially lifted a ban on <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/science/trump-elephant-trophy-hunting.html" target="_blank">importing elephant tusks, lion hides, and other trophy hunting targets.</a> The Administration later backed away from this decision, but an Interior Department panel to study wildlife imports is dominated by <a href="https://wtop.com/animals-pets/2018/03/trump-wildlife-protection-board-has-many-trophy-hunters/" target="_blank">safari guides and trophy hunters</a> .</p><p>11. Trump made the destruction of <a href="https://e360.yale.edu/digest/the-trump-administration-rolls-back-the-clean-power-plan" target="_blank">Obama's Clean Power Plan</a> an early campaign promise. It's a fixture of his rallies in Coal Country. </p><p>12. Climate Omerta:<strong> </strong>The Sicilian term for the Mafia's code of silence is disturbingly applicable to the widespread <a href="http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/silencing-climate-science/" target="_blank">deletion of climate change information</a> from government websites, ranging from the EPA and NASA to FEMA and the National Park Service.</p><p>13. A decade ago, Donald Trump was a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkghtyxZ6rc" target="_blank">hot ticket on the professional wrestling circuit.</a> It was such a good fit for the Trump brand that he's in the WWE Hall of Fame, and WWE co-owner Stephanie McMahon is now in Trump's cabinet (really). So the ill-fated Scott Pruitt's ill-fated plan to have a blue ribbon smackdown between <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/12/trump-team-puts-controversial-red-team-challenge-climate-science-hold" target="_blank">"Red Team" scientists (deniers) and "Blue Team" scientists</a> was fair game, after all.</p><p>14. <a href="https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060103611" target="_blank">Will Happer</a>, a retired Princeton physicist and go-to scientist for climate deniers, won a job on the National Security Council. </p><p>15. <a href="http://environment.law.harvard.edu/2017/10/chlorpyrifos-petition-denial/" target="_blank">Chlorpyrifos</a> is an insecticide used on cotton, food crops, and golf courses for the past half century. EPA banned the substance for home use in 2000, and the Obama Administration proposed extending the ban to industrial use due to concerns it harms children's brains. Former EPA boss Pruitt halted work on the ban last year, prompting a court battle.</p><p>16. EPA also renewed the registration for dicamba this year, ignoring evidence that spray drift from fields treated with the pesticide was killing nearby crops.</p><p>17. Citing both relief on emissions and savings for drivers, the Obama Administration set ambitious goals for increasing fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks. The new Trump rules would <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/02/trump-administration-rolls-back-plans-to-raise-fuel-economy-standards.html" target="_blank">freeze efficiency standards</a>.</p><p>18. Environmentalists and Alaska fishermen cheered when Obama's EPA blocked plans for the massive Pebble Mine. Trump's EPA revived the plan, potentially endangering Bristol Bay, one of the world's most productive fisheries.</p>
Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr<p>19. Last December, the Administration <a href="http://environment.law.harvard.edu/2017/09/hydraulic-fracturing-fracking-federal-indian-lands/" target="_blank">rescinded a rule</a> designed to protect drinking water from fracking on public and Indian lands.</p><p>20. The Trump Administration is still gung-ho about <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/04/trump-aims-to-open-arctic-pacific-and-atlantic-to-offshore-drilling-in-ambitious-new-plan.html" target="_blank">offshore oil and gas leases in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific</a>, despite the fact that the oil and gas industry is not particularly interested.</p><p>21. Environmental journalists have long had a testy relationship with the EPA's press office, but in May, the agency's media relations became a contact sport. EPA apologized to Associated Press reporter <a href="https://www.waste360.com/public-agencies/epa-apologizes-forcibly-removing-reporter-summit" target="_blank">Ellen Knickmeyer</a>, who was barred from attending a public meeting on drinking water safety, then forcibly removed from the event.</p><p>22. A <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/ryan-zinke-neighbor-puerto-rico-power-contract" target="_blank">two-employee company</a> from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown briefly won a $300 million contract to re-wire Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. They were bounced after proving to be woefully short of capable.</p><p>23. Zinke faces multiple ethics investigations, and a possible criminal inquiry into a shady land deal. And in a recent speech to an industry group, he blamed wildfires on "environmental terrorist groups."</p><p>24. As wildfires plagued California, killing dozens and wiping the town of Paradise from the map, Trump saw fit to tweet a nastygram to California officials, saying the forest fires" were the result of mismanagement. The head of the state's firefighters association said the president was <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-tweet-about-california-fires-firefighter-union-president-responds-for-what-president-said-about-california-wildfires/" target="_blank">"dangerously wrong."</a></p><p>25. <a href="https://grist.org/article/donald-trump-just-called-himself-an-environmentalist-wait-what/" target="_blank">"I am an environmentalist."</a> Donald J. Trump, Sept. 21, 2018.</p><p>Oh, please.</p>
Four of the fellows who participated in the program this year will discuss their ongoing research, activism, and experiences with publishing their ideas in the public sphere.
With job loss and stifled development in the renewable energy sector, economists, politicians, and advocates say policy action is necessary to stay on track.
The pandemic has put public health officials in a perilous place—caught between the common good and the often-toxic American drive for personal freedom.