American Mythology: The Presidency of Donald Trump (Part Seven: Climate Carnage)

In his denial of science, Donald Trump has guided the U.S. far past the tipping point of mitigating the unfolding existential threat of the climate crisis. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations over decades, U.S. climate policy has fallen far short of the urgent action scientists have demanded. In crucial ways, Donald Trump has been far more dangerous than his deeply-flawed predecessors. Trump seems to actually revel in his dangerous denial of fundamental and scientifically indisputable realities. In part seven of “American Mythology,” we examine how the Trump administration has catapulted the corporate-fueled deregulation crusade dramatically forward. In the past four years, Trump has undone or weakened up to 70 rules and regulations aimed at protecting the environment, while another 30 policy changes are still underway. The majority of these 100 changes are being done at the Environmental Protection Agency, which is currently headed by a former lobbyist for the coal industry who fought the Obama administration’s attempts at environmental regulations. Trump has overseen the largest rollback of federal land protection in U.S. history, opening environmentally-sensitive areas for corporate and industrial development and has portrayed himself as opening up “God’s great creation” to mining and extraction, freeing it from government protections. We analyze the corporate and industry executives and lobbyists Trump has placed in key environmental positions, his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and hear from environmentalists and scholars on how to proceed if the earth is to remain inhabitable.


 

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