Trump Building Wall in Ireland to Keep Climate Change Out
Donald Trump has said numerous times in various places that he does not consider climate change to be a significant problem warranting corrective action. From calling it pseudoscience to a Chinese conspiracy to an elaborate hoax, he’s made it a point to take the Koch-approved stance, even as he disavows such big-money influence in politics. But as Politico’s Ben Schreckinger has uncovered, when it comes to his business and not campaign rhetoric, Trump apparently takes climate change seriously.
At a minimum, those in charge of running one of Trump's golf courses in Ireland seem to be climate conscious. In a planning application, Trump asked for permission to construct a two-mile sea wall to keep the rising sea levels from eroding the golf course. The impact statement refers not only to the coastal erosion from rising seas, but also the even larger risk from storm systems amplified by global warming.
The company made this a public issue as well, distributing a brochure to locals to gain their support for coastal protection, which specifically mentions the sea level rise and storms that will increase coastal erosion. So while Trump's political rhetoric is full-on conspiracy theory denial, this business move shows a rational reaction to a known risk. As such, we can probably expect him to disavow this move to go green so he can keep making the greenbacks from his golf greens. Though the plan is to build a wall and we all know how he feels about that.
News that the Donald’s businesses take climate change seriously comes just after he’s made some unsurprising remarks about climate, specifically about how he would renegotiate the Paris climate agreement. Chris Mooney explained why those comments were “so bizarre” on a few different levels. Short version: Trump’s statement suggests he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what the Paris agreement accomplished, how it’s structured or what it represents.
Ever the optimists, though, we’d like to think that Trump’s insistence that he will hire the best people would mean that he would pick climate advisors from the 97 percent and not the frequently-wrong and less-expert deniers. And his adaptation plan in Ireland suggests that on some level, this is true. So perhaps if elected he would hire the best, heed their advice and acknowledge the reality of man-made climate change. And to prevent being a flip-flopper, he can use this Irish golf course as a way to tee up the pivot from far-right primary to moderate general election campaigning.
Unfortunately, at the campaign level this optimism seems as outlandish as Trump’s conspiracies since Donald is seeking energy advice from a pro-fossil fuel congressman from North Dakota. And even more unfortunately, when it comes to the high-profile issue of healthcare, even conservatives have lambasted his plan as being so bad that "to suggest it was pulled together by an unpaid campaign intern would be an insult to the capabilities of unpaid interns.” Someone from the free-market focused Cato institute called it “a series of ignorant, incoherent and self-contradictory verbal spasms.”
Which some might think suggests that it wasn’t an unpaid intern that wrote it, but Donald himself.
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California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
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By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.