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Climate Change Purged From White House Website
By Andy Rowell
As the Trump Administration Sunday descended into a farce of "alternative facts" to try and argue that there had been historic numbers at the new President's inauguration, it is quite clear "alternative" and blatantly bogus facts, will be used on energy and climate too.
Within minutes of the president being inaugurated on Friday, the White House's webpage got a make-over, reflecting Trump's post-truth, pro-oil agenda.
Out went Obama's message on climate change, where you could see the ex-president saying "our children, and our children's children, will look at us in the eye and they'll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safe [sic], more stable world?"
That box has now been deleted and replaced by Trump's "America First Energy Plan" which is an oilman's Drill-baby-drill dream come true.
The page states:
"Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own."
This pro-oil agenda is reflected in Trump's proposed cabinet. Even the ever-impartial Financial Times noted that: "As Donald Trump moves into the White House, it would be hard to dream up a cabinet friendlier to fossil fuels."
Such is the optimism about Trump from fossil fuel investors that since his election, investors have pumped nearly $4 billion into the U.S. energy sector.
But whilst the President might be able to ignore climate change on paper and by the people he picks for his cabinet, he will not be able to ignore climate change in the real world.
Trump's energy plan concludes with the concept of "a brighter future depends on policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security and protect our health."
As Newsweek points out:
"The missing piece is a plan to address climate change. The future will not be brighter if the coasts are inundated by rising sea levels. Florida could be hit hard, as could Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. Separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach is only seven feet above sea level. If Trump wants a brighter future, perhaps he should move to higher ground."
Likewise, Trump may want to drill every last drop of oil and gas from under U.S. lands, but this may not be as easy as he thinks.
For a Billionaire businessman it seems Trump does not understand simple supply and demand economics.
Once again the Financial Times is skeptical: "The idea that expanding where companies can drill, easing the process of getting a permit and scrapping efforts to curb carbon emissions 'will unleash an energy revolution,' as the Trump transition website put it, is untested. If more supplies do flow, they could depress energy prices and punish investors."
The more shale that is produced, the more it will undermine coal. If Trump subsidies coal, it will undermine shale. The majority of shale is on private land and not on federal land. That is subject to jurisdiction from the states, rather than the Federal Government.
Trump may want to try and undo Obama's legacy on climate, but the Financial Times argues this could take "years to undo." Trump's rhetoric maybe simple, but life is more complicated in the real world.
And Trump will face huge pressure from the international community on climate too. Xie Zhenhua, the veteran Chinese climate negotiator said last week: "The international community and U.S. citizens will pressure the Trump Administration to continue clean energy policies."
The person they would lobby is the U.S. Secretary of State. Later today, Rex Tillerson, the ex-Exxon boss could be approved for that post.
Yes, we face the most pro-fossil fuel cabinet in generations. But every day the resistance to this extreme Trump agenda grows stronger. Just witness the amazing scenes from the women's marches last Saturday from around the world. Look at those pictures and draw hope.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
When armed militants with a grudge against the federal government seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon back in the winter of 2016, I remember avoiding the news coverage. Part of me wanted to know what was happening, but each report I read — as the occupation stretched from days to weeks and the destruction grew — made me so angry it was hard to keep reading.
A searing heat wave has begun to spread across Europe, with Germany, France and Belgium experiencing extreme temperatures that are set to continue in the coming days.
In the 1980s, a Greenlandic subsistence hunter shot and killed a whale with bizarre features unlike any he had ever seen before. He knew something was unique about it, so he left its abnormally large skull on top of his toolshed where it rested until a visiting professor happened upon it a few years later.
A UN expert painted a bleak picture Tuesday of how the climate crisis could impact global inequality and human rights, leading to a "climate apartheid" in which the rich pay to flee the consequences while the rest are left behind.
Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks, according to new research from Norway and Switzerland and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, PNAS, as NBC News reported. The floating islands could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.
More than 40 percent of insects could go extinct globally in the next few decades. So why did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week OK the 'emergency' use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on 13.9 million acres?
EcoWatch teamed up with Center for Biological Diversity via EcoWatch Live on Facebook to find out why. Environmental Health Director and Senior Attorney Lori Ann Burd explained how there is a loophole in the The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act under section 18, "that allows for entities and states to request emergency exemptions to spraying pesticides where they otherwise wouldn't be allowed to spray."