Friday, January 20, 2017


Donald Trump's cabinet choices make it clear that one of his administration's prime directives will be to protect and entrench the fossil fuel industry. George Monbiot writes:

Trump is the president that corporate luddites have dreamed of: the man who will let them squeeze every last cent from their oil and coal reserves before they become worthless. They need him because science, technology and people’s demands for a safe and stable world have left them stranded. There is no fair fight that they can win, so their last hope lies with a government that will rig the competition.

The most obvious signal of Trump's intention is the appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State:

By appointing Rex Tillerson, chief executive of the oil company ExxonMobil, as secretary of state, Trump not only assures the fossil economy that it sits next to his heart, he also provides comfort to another supporter: Vladimir Putin. It was Tillerson who brokered the $500bn (£407bn) deal between Exxon and the state-owned Russian company Rosneft to exploit oil reserves in the Arctic. As a result he was presented with the Russian Order of Friendship by Putin.

But Trump's other appointments underscore his prime directive:

Trump’s nominations for energy secretary and interior secretary are both climate change deniers, who – quite coincidentally – have a long history of sponsorship by the fossil fuel industry. His proposed attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, allegedly failed to disclose in his declaration of interests that he leases land to an oil company.

The man nominated to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has spent much of his working life campaigning against … the Environmental Protection Agency. As the attorney general in Oklahoma, he launched 14 lawsuits against the EPA, seeking, among other aims, to strike down its Clean Power Plan, its limits on the mercury and other heavy metals released by coal plants and its protection of drinking water supplies and wildlife. Thirteen of these suits were said to include as co-parties companies that had contributed to his campaign funds or to political campaign committees affiliated to him.
Last year was the warmest year on record. The two previous years broke the previous records. We were told that Neanderthals became extinct thousands of years ago. We were misinformed. They are alive and congregating in Washington. They will eventually die out -- along with every other living species.

Image: The Guardian


Pamela Mac Neil said...

" We were told that Neanderthals became extinct thousands of years ago. We were misinformed. They are alive and congregating in Washington. They will eventually die out -- along with every other living species."

An excellent post Owen.

Lorne said...

I watch with bemused fascination, Owen, wondering when and if Trump's most ardent 'average' supporters will come to realize what absolute fools they have been played for. If that day comes, will there be any consequences, or will they be answered by more scapegoating, the favoured tactic of tyrants?

We certainly live in interesting times, don't we?

Toby said...

Owen, I am continually bothered by the overwhelming amount of time and coverage our Canadian media, including CBC, spend on an election in what is essentially a foreign country. My guess is that 1. it is cheaper to take stories straight off the news feed than to go out and do real reporting and 2. by filling pages and airways with foreign news the media gets off the hook from reporting on issues important to Canadians that might be a bit controversial. The last time I looked, Canada was not the 51st State; we should stop behaving like it.

As you can guess, I have a niggling feeling of watching a shell game and losing the pea.

Owen Gray said...

It's a march to the rear, Pam -- the Trumpistas are throwbacks of the worst kind.

Owen Gray said...

I agree that we have been -- perhaps -- too mesmerized by the American election, Toby. On the other hand, Pierre Trudeau said that living with the United States is like sleeping with an elephant. You feel every nervous twitch of the beast. It's not going to be easy living with the Big Orange Beast.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that they will discover soon that they have been played for fools, Lorne. And I suspect that things will get very ugly.