Posted by: ericgrimsrud | August 28, 2017

Our President will have another “Deep Thought” tomorrow

In anticipation of President Trump’s visit to hurricane-ravaged Houston tomorrow, we can expect him to proclaim total surprise as to just how devastating a modern hurricane can be – just as he was so surprised to learn a couple months ago how complicated our nation’s health care system now is. This is to be expected in view of his and his cabinet’s efforts to not learn anything about the science of climate change and to ensure that no one else does either. They simply had to do this, you understand. If our President is to make good on his promise to “make America great again”, he is going to have to sweep a few of our problems under the rug and especially those as devastating as Tropical Storm Harvey.

While he might be able to get away with smaller deceptions in some areas, he will have a very difficult time doing it with the issues related to climate change. A lack of universal health care, for example, might diminish the quality of life for many Americans who have little wealth and influence, but should not affect that of the wealthy among us. On the other hand, the ravages of Mother Nature induced by our increasing greenhouse gases will affect all localities of the USA including our coastal regions where a large portion of our well-off citizens live during much of the year. While wealthy and influential folks might be able to arrange local laws so that storm relief is provided to them when the ravages of climate change hit their neighborhoods, the USA cannot afford to continue to do the same for all of our large sea-level cities, such as Houston, New York and New Orleans, just to mention three that have already been devastated. As the present clean-up in Texas goes forward, it will be interesting to observe the responses to pleas for federal assistance by Texans – especially in view of the fact that the representatives of Texas voted against such assistance to New Jersey four years ago following the devastation of that state by Hurricane Sandy.

All of this would pose quite the conundrum for most of our past Presidents, but just watch – it will not for President Trump. His operational mode is always to make sure that he is not held responsible for any failures of government (a Harry Truman he is not). Thus, I suspect that his summary comment in Houston tomorrow will be “nobody knew our climate was getting so complicated!”.  He has a point: most of the people who had previously made such claims where labelled “fear-mongering extremists” of the scientific community by his administration and, of course, he pays no attention to “losers” of that sort whose influence is being eliminated the “Great America” envisioned by President Trump.  Thus, the science advisers to his administration are indeed being replaced by “nobodies“.

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