Trump’s West Coast Trifecta of Doom

Trump’s West Coast Trifecta of Doom

Three environmental topics that I wanted to write about are now, in time and space, all connected, and all point to one villain: Trump.

The three topics start with Trump’s toadying denial of climate change, in order to receive campaign contributions from the rich oil barons. This summer is breaking temperature records in California, in the Western US, and around the world. It is already affecting crops, which eventually lead to starvation and political upheavals. He has already met with the leading climate change actors in the world, and budged not an inch in restoring or replacing the Paris accords. Instead, the EPA and the rest of his government has now embedded climate adaptation destructors to man a war against climate science.

The record temperatures and heat waves are now attributed to global warming, and have been steadily increasing over three and five decades. These are drying out brush and forests, and leading to record breaking wildfires in our Western states. Trump will make sympathetic appearances when hurricanes and floods damage his needed states of Texas and Florida, but not to opposition Western states damaged by wildfires. The costs are rising into the billions and impacting state budgets. Over a thousand houses have been wiped out in California, and many lives have been lost.

Finally, Trump has frozen the federal CAFE standards on automobile efficiency at the 2021 standard of 37 mpg, and abandoning the idealistic Obama goal of 54 mpg in nearby 2025. He could have just set a lower goal for 2025, but still including some progress over 2021. Importantly for California and thirteen other states, he has removed their waiver to exert States Rights, and establish their own standards, as done by past California Governor Ronald Reagan. This will immediately be challenged in court by California and the other states. The remarkable progress that California has made in reducing our smog was because of variances like these, and yet still leaves us with most of the smoggiest areas in the country. Whatever sketchy arguments Trump has about saving lives by letting us still drive around In gas-guzzling tanks, people do die from air pollution and suffer from air pollution and asthma attacks all the time. The fact that the US will not be producing many low emission cars will damage us in foreign markets, which Trump was encouraging in his trade wars.

This isn’t just a bad week, or month, or summer, or year for Western states in these arenas. This will go on forever.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2018 Midterm Election, Air Quality, Autos, CAFE Standards, California Housing Fires, California Smog, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Climate Science, Coastal Flooding, Donald Trump, EPA, Equivalent Electric Car Emissions, Fire Risks, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Houston Flooding, Hurricane Irma, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Trump Administration. Bookmark the permalink.

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