Quantcast

Blind, Burrowing, Thin-Skinned Worm Named After Climate-Denier Trump

Popular
The Dermophis donaldtrumpi was named in recognition of his namesake's climate change denial. MSNBC YouTube screenshot

By Abby Zimet

To those patriots who consider our Pretender-to-the-Throne a reptilian shape-shifter, mazel tov: Now he officially is one. A small, blind, shiny, worm-like amphibian newly discovered in Panama which buries its head in the ground will henceforth be named Dermophis donaldtrumpi in recognition of his namesake's climate change denial.


The naming rights for the 10-centimeter creature—a Caecilian, or legless amphibian—were auctioned off in a fundraiser for the 30th anniversary of the Rainforest Trust. The auction gave bidders the chance to name 12 species—four frogs, four orchids, a forest mouse, a trap-jaw ant, a salamander and the caecilian—identified in Latin American reserves created by the Trust and local partners, with proceeds going to protect and preserve the species' habitat.

While protecting the world's rainforests is one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, the Trust estimates almost 70,000 acres are destroyed almost daily, causing devastating damage.

Among the new species, the caecilian garnered the largest bid: $25,000 from Aidan Bell, the head of sustainable building company EnviroBuild. While Trump and his ludicrous hair piece have inspired other facsimiles—a golden pheasant, a venomous caterpillar, a yellow-haired moth—Bell argues his creature and his new moniker are an ideal match. "It is the perfect name," he says. "Caecilian is taken from the Latin caecus, meaning 'blind,' perfectly mirroring the strategic vision (Trump) has consistently shown towards climate change."

Bell cites other fabulous likenesses: Caecilians can only detect light or dark, so see the world in simplistic black and white; thin-skinned, they grow an extra layer of skin their young peel off and eat before going on to jobs in the Oval Office; they live largely underground, thus helping them avoid scientific consensus; they have tentacles they use to catch prey; as amphibians, they're especially susceptible to global warming, and thus to extinction; and they are soulless, slithering, primordial worms, so ... yeah.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Six Democratic primary candidates participated in the ninth debate in Las Vegas Wednesday. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The climate crisis got its moment in the sun during the ninth Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Read More
Pro-environment demonstrators on the streets of Washington, DC during the Jan. 20, 2017 Trump inauguration. Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky

One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.

Read More
Sponsored
Mt. Rainier and Reflection Lake on Sept. 10, 2015. Crystal Geyser planned to open a bottling plant near Mt. Rainier, emails show. louelke - on and off / Flickr

Bottled water manufacturers looking to capture cool, mountain water from Washington's Cascade Mountains may have to look elsewhere after the state senate passed a bill banning new water permits, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
Large storage tank of Ammonia at a fertilizer plant in Cubatão, Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Luis Veiga / The Image Bank / Getty Images

The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.

Read More
At high tide, people are forced off parts of the pathway surrounding DC's Tidal Basin. Andrew Bossi / Wikimedia

By Sarah Kennedy

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.

But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.

Read More